Sunday, July 6, 2014

Clean Eating 101: What is it and how do you do it?!


Eating clean is a lifestyle. A way of life. It is NOT a diet. Diets are temporary and the weight you lose is temporary too (Actually, you tend to gain the weight back and then some)! When you eat clean, you eat whole foods and eliminate processed and refined foods. Say bye-bye to those Cheetos and soda (Don’t freak out. You knew that was coming.)! The main goal of this lifestyle is to nourish your body, eliminate and avoid diseases and toxins, lose weight, and have an overall sense of well-being.

You first begin by being mindful of what you’re eating. That may sound like something you already do but I want you to take a moment to stop and think about everything you’ve eaten today. Can you remember every little bit of it? Unless you’re reading this in the morning and the only thing you’ve eaten is breakfast then chances are the honest answer is NO. We’re all so incredibly busy and distracted in our daily lives that we tend to gravitate towards the fast and easy meals and snacks. Feeling hungry and pressed for time? Taco Bell is right around the corner! Bored at your desk at work? Well hey, Suzy from accounting brought some cookies in... let me eat a dozen! The good news is that eating clean can be easy too if we’re mindful. Heck, you’re even suppose to eat more throughout the day! Now, does that sound bad or like you’re going to starve? I didn’t think so!
The next thing you should do is follow the principles listed below:


  • EAT MORE – EAT SIX SMALL MEALS EACH DAY: When you eat smaller meals throughout the day, you’re helping your metabolism increase and stay running longer. You’re also reducing the chances of getting really hungry and grabbing the nearest cookie. When done properly, you’ll never feel like you’re starving or being deprived.
  • EAT BREAKFAST EVERYDAY, WITHIN AN HOUR OF RISING: This one is IMPORTANT! Take the time to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. If possible, eat oatmeal. Oatmeal is nutritious, fills you up, and is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as having medical benefits. Oatmeal is full of fiber that helps control your blood sugar,helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, and it also helps with weight loss. If you start your day off on a full healthy tummy, you’re setting yourself up for healthy greatness the rest of the day.
  • EAT A COMBINATION OF LEAN PROTEIN AND COMPLEX CARBS AT EACH MEAL: This sounds much more complicated than it really is. Complex carbs can be found in whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Easy huh? Combine those with lean proteins such as sea bass, skinless/boneless chicken breasts, or lean turkey breast and you’ve got yourself a winning combination!
  • EAT SUFFICIENT (TWO OR THREE SERVINGS)HEALTHY FATS EVERY DAY: Yup! You can eat FAT! As long as it’s the healthy kind. Healthy fats need to be eaten each day because your body does not produce them. They are considered healthy because they help aid digestion, decrease inflammation and bloating, keep your cells in working order, and helps keep your skin hydrated. A few examples of healthy fats are almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews.
  • DRINK 2-3 LITERS OF WATER EACH DAY: We all know drinking water in incredibly important to do yet we always have an excuse not to do it, “I hate water... I prefer coke... Water is boring...’ I get it. I was like that too. Until I realized just how much body was screaming for it! I bet your body is screaming for more water too. Water helps with your digestive system, helps flush out toxins, maintains healthy skin and hair , and it helps keep your body cool (which sure helps me living in Miami)! So... DRINK MORE WATER! If you need to, look up some water infused recipes to add a little something extra to your water. JUST DO IT.
  • CARRY A COOLER PACKED WITH CLEAN FOODS: This is will help keep you on track and will help when you get hungry. Instead of grabbing your co-workers cookie, you can grab the grapes you have out away in your cooler. It’s a win/win.
  • DEPEND ON FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FOR FIBER, VITAMINS, NUTRIENTS, AND ENZYMES: Avoid simple sugar and refined foods. Instead, replace the cupcakes and the chips with fresh fruits and veggies.
  • ADHERE TO PROPER PORTION SIZES: Starchy Complex Carbs – You should have 2-4 servings per day. The proper portion for these are a cupped hand per serving / Lean Proteins – You should have 4-6 servings of protein per day. The proper portion size should fit in the palm of your hand / Carbs from Fruits and Veggies – You should have 4-6 servings per day. A proper portion of these are whatever can fit into two cupped hands.

  • Avoid all-over processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.
  • Avoid chemically charged foods.
  • Avoid foods containing preservatives.
  • Avoid artificial sugars.
  • Avoid artificial foods (such as processed cheese slices).
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded beverages, including colas and juices.
  • Avoid (or do your best to limit) alcohol intake.
  • Avoid all calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutritional value.
  • Avoid super sizing your meals

Getting healthy is 80% nutrition, 10% fitness, and 10 % genetics. If you eat clean, you’ll be nourishing your body. You’ll lose and/or maintain a healthy weight. You’ll have mental clarity. You’ll be building a stronger and healthier immune system so you’ll fight off diseases easier. You’ll have much more energy because you’re feeding your body everything it needs to function properly and you’ll also be eating at regular intervals so you’re body won’t crash. And you’ll sleep better!

Doesn’t all that just sound phenomenal?! No wonder so many people are eating clean!

Stay tuned for my next posts on Clean eating 101!
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P.S. If you'd like to be a part of my Facebook Clean Eating group please leave a comment below or email me at :)