What Eating Clean Looks Like
It is defined a variety of ways by a variety of people, but for the most part, I follow this definition:
Absolutely positively no Processed Foods – this includes most condiments!
Lean Protein – cooked in either no fat or healthy fats like Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Veggies like they are going out of style. Raw or roasted (in the slightest amount of healthy oil) or steamed
Fruits – stick with the berries, apples, bananas, pineapple
And Grains and Starches- this is where you’ll find a lot of questions. Some will say only Whole Grains, others will say not even that! I like gluten free steel cut oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato. And when I’m feeling frisky, popcorn and all natural corn tortilla chips.
Eating Clean is basically how I have eaten this past year, and in this past two weeks while on the AdvoCare Challenge, I have not been feeling frisky, and have eaten Very Clean. (Except for Saturday. I ate tortilla chips at my cousin’s house. And They Were Really Good.) I guess that’s not really Very Clean. The reason I opted to do this mini-sugar detox / AdvoCare Challenge right now is that I was eating more sugar, more white potatoes, more saucy high fat meats than I know I should have. Also, I would indulge in some processed sweets, and the more I did, the easier it was to do again, and the harder it was to resist the next time, because, you know, I’d already done it, and really, how bad can a Twizzler be?
It’s not really that terrible, in the scheme of horrible things I could put in my body, and one freakin’ Twizzler is not going to kill me. Or you. But then it was one more Twizzler, and maybe a Tootsie Roll, and Oh, where did that half a package of Oreos go, Amy?
I think that is the greatest threat of not-so-great foods. It’s not the eating them on occasion that’s so bad. It’s that for some, or even many, of us, you can’t just eat them on occasion. They contain chemicals that are addictive – this is not made up, there have been studies that have shown how fat, sugar, and the myriad of chemicals added to our food supply can be as addictive as cocaine! Take the time to Google this, please. Here’s just one sampling I found from a Health Blog on The New York Times website. It talks about how rats experienced opiate-like withdrawal symptoms after coming down from a sugar high. You know, the shakes and stuff.
This is a major reason to consider a more Clean Eating daily diet. With occasional splurges. I always have and always will love the 80/20 rule to dieting – eat what you know you should 80 percent of the time, allowing for not-so-good the other 20 percent. And now I would throw in an occasional all-out detox. Maybe three or four times a year, give your body a reset, remind it what Clean Eating feels like!
So what does Clean Eating look like? I’m no expert, I’m still a relative virgin to this style of menu planning. But here’s a sampling of some of my meals the past two weeks:
It is not boring and I am not starving. However, this is not someone’s typical comfort food, and if the four above pictures look very foreign, I would definitely start slow and try out a few ideas here and there before jumping in feet first with your eyes closed. I need more ideas, because not everything I’ve tried these past two weeks has been a winner.
Most importantly, as I’ll always support, is that you gotta love yourself and give yourself a break. I feel great, really great, better than I have in years. But I didn’t just wake up one day and change everything about the way I ate. This has been an evolution. You can’t go from eating Taco Bell and pot pies to a full-on Paleo diet overnight. Your body would hate you, your mind would abandon you and your friends probably wouldn’t hang out long because of your glorious disposition.
Always, always be kind to yourself. Because eating clean can get a little dirty.
Have you ever heard of Clean Eating before this post? There are a lot of definitions, but, alas, it does not involve housing Oreos. SMH
Do you have certain nights for certain meals, like Monday Night Taco Night? This is our one for sure, but I plan to implement others, such as a Fish Night. Or Friday Night Pizza Night – homemade pizza that is! Or Crockpot Night. Others?