Q: Does clean eating mean you can't have food that tastes good?
A: Not at all! You can eat beef, poultry, seafood, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy, nuts...your options are certainly not limited to a few.
Q: Is it difficult to shop "clean"?
A: Absolutely not! Your best bet is to shop the perimeter of the store...produce, meat, etc. Avoid frozen dinners, dinners in a box, cookies, crackers. Stick to fresh, whole foods.
Q: Is clean eating some sort of a diet?
A: No! Clean Eating is a lifestyle. This lifestyle allows you to consume foods that are found in nature. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, poultry and fish are all "allowed" in this lifestyle. Will you lose weight? Maybe. Maybe not. That would depend on your calorie intake versus your calorie expenditure. However, you will most likely feel better, and have more energy, which will allow for greater calorie expenditure, which could result in weight loss.
Today I'm getting back on track with this lifestyle. I have tried my best to eat clean for some time now. I do "treat" myself a little more often than I should though. I'm really good about avoiding fast food, but my vices are frozen yogurt (which in and of itself isn't bad, but when all the "mix-ins" are added to it, it's no longer clean!), cookies (and not the clean kind), and sweet tea. My husband is back from Afghanistan and is in dire need of a clean diet while he is home in order to cleanse his system from all the crap he is fed over there in the chow hall. I hit the grocery store last night to stock up for the next week or so. The grocery bill was a little steep, if I'm going to be honest ($220!), but to my defense, I did have to purchase alot of items that are normally "stocked" in most pantries. Mine had become fairly empty because I haven't made a big trip to the grocery since before my husband left. I would just pick up a few things here and there for myself and the baby. Mostly I would eat out--Panera salads are another of my vices. If a salad can be a vice? Sure it can, especially with all the salad dressing on top, nevermind the delicious baguettes that are served with them! But, I digress.
To start off day 1 of my clean eating plan, I had 1 cup of Kashi Golden Goodness cereal for breakfast. The plan actually calls for 1/2 cup dry oats, made with 2/3 cup water, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup milk and 2 tbsp walnuts. However, I don't do oatmeal. I have a texture issue with it, so I have to modify. There are several meal/snack suggestions that I will be modifying, but they will all be replaced with a clean alternative.
The morning snack for today is supposed to be 20 grapes and 2 string cheese. That's a HUGE snack, if you ask me! I don't typically get all that hungry before lunch, but I will try to eat it.
For lunch, we'll be having 2 cups of arugula/baby spinach mix with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 2 oz tuna, 1 cup navy beans, (6 chopped olives will be omitted because I don't think the hubby cares much for olives, as will the 1/8 chopped avocado for the same reason) and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. All these ingredients make up the Tuna Bean salad.
The afternoon snack is supposed to be 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 chopped pear, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon. Well, here is one I will definitely be modifying. I don't do cottage cheese. I'm not a huge fan of pears either. Instead, I will do an apple, with a little bit of natural peanut butter to dip it in. Yummy!
The plan for dinner will also have to be modified, but only because my cart was so full that I just didn't have room for some of the items this meal calls for. Chicken Breast Hash - 1 seared chicken breast, sliced, 1/4 cup shallots (which I don't have), 2 small julienned redskin potatoes (maybe I need to go back to the store; I don't have these either), 6 julienned Brussels sprouts (another item I do not have), 4 sliced shiitake mushrooms (an item I don't have, nor do I want!!), and 1 tsp soy sauce (make sure it's a low sodium, no msg soy sauce).
The hardest part for me will be the "after dinner" snack. That is usually when I want to dive into a container of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked FroYo. I suppose I will have to find a way to distract myself from that!
Stay tuned and I'll do my best to keep you posted on this meal plan and our progress! Something needed to change because I've actually gained 5 pounds since I started working out (and don't give me the b.s. about it being "muscle" weight...yadda yadda yadda).
Now, here's the scary part....my stats. Yikes!
Today's weight: 146.8 pounds.
Dress size: 8
Dress size: 8
BMI: 23.7 (Normal range for my height is 18.5-24.9).
If you'd like your own meal plan, go to Clean Eating Magazine or pick up a copy of Clean Eating Magazine at your local newsstand.