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Clean Eating

Clean Eating

Clean Eating

Eating clean, to me, means eating foods in their natural state or as close as possible. Don’t think of eating clean as a diet, but rather, as a lifestyle.

I don’t think that I will ever give up my Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, Coffee Toffee Crunch, or, my favorite, Chocolate Therapy. So, to keep it simple, here are a few steps to clean eating.

Eat five to six times a day.

I’ve stopped labeling my meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. I now just refer to them as a meal or a mini–meal.

Eat organic

Although expensive, try to purchase organic foods. I purchase organic chicken, milk and eggs. I eat lots of chicken and eggs. Also, I love a glass of milk with my peanut butter on Ezekiel Cinnamon and Raisin toast.

Stay hydrated – Drink at least two liters of water a day

The amount of water a body needs depends on a number of factors, health, how active you are, and where you live. Staying with the “keeping it simple” theme, keep the 8 by 8 by rule in mind (8- 8 oz. glasses of water per day). It’s just shy of two liters recommended, but 8 by 8 is easy to remember.

Read your labels

Clean foods usually contain no more than two ingredients and they are easy to read and pronounce.

Avoid processed and refined foods

Replace foods such as, white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta with complex carbs like brown rice and whole-grain pasta.

Eat healthy fats

Fats don’t have to be you enemy. Choose olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, even butter. Yes, you can add butter back into your life. Note, however, that sources vary regarding whether butter is can be considered as part of an eating-clean lifestyle. I am including it. There are only a few ingredients, cream and salt. By the way, I do honor the portion size.

Portions

I know the dreaded portion size. Who only eats one portion of anything???

I hate measuring out one portion size. Reality hits—Oh a portion is that small, huh, who knew? Well, I have measured out and weighed out so many one-portion sizes that now I can pretty much eyeball one portion. Give it a try; measure and weigh out one portion size so you get an idea of how much you should be eating.

 

Sources of information

Clean Eating Magazine.com

“Nutrition and Healthy Eating” [Online]. (2015). Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Accessed June 2015 via the Web at mayoclinic.org

Sass, C. (2014). “What is Clean Eating?” [Online]. Accessed June 2015 via the Web at http://news.health.com/2014/01/09/what-is-clean-eating.

Clean Eating

Do I Need a Goal Beyond Eating Clean?

 

Remember I told you that I used to be an amateur competitive body-builder? I shared that bit of info for a reason, and it wasn’t for you to think, “Boy, she really let herself go.” I actually had someone say that to me once.

Well, my daughter decided last year that she was going to body-build and start competing. Of course I was the supportive mom and encouraged her to hang in there when she was getting ready for a competition and didn’t think she could handle the prep diet. Believe me it is awful; it brought back memories of my competition prep days that I didn’t want to relive.

In case you’re wondering, my daughter did really well in her first competition. She won her novice class and placed second all around. I am sure many parents would think about reliving glory days. But I didn’t give those glory days one iota of thought. I was happy to help my daughter prepare to get on stage and to scream and yell in the audience when she performed her routine. During the entire completion with all of the gorgeous men and women, I was looking forward to the Cuban meal that we were going to have after the competition. Always the foodie.

About a week after my daughter’s competition—clearly she had forgotten the whining about the precompetition diet—she texted and said, “Now that you’re working out, you need a goal.” I was like, “Huh, why do I need a goal for my workouts?” Being from the texting generation in which responses are short, she replied, “You just do.” The next day she texted again and said, “I think you should work toward body-building again; that should be your goal.” I wanted her to elaborate. She responded, “We could be a mother –daughter duo.” Uhmm, let me think about this—Notttttt!!! I only thought the expletives, I didn’t voice them.

Body-building? My love of enjoying great food, not sure I want to give up, slow cooked short ribs, fried codfish cakes, creamed chipped beef (no really, my mother makes excellent creamed chipped beef), homemade pizza, chicken tikka marsala, falafel with extra tahini. Ok, my taste buds are little eclectic.

I am still not convinced that I need a goal beyond eating clean 95% of the time.

Clean Eating, Summer

Hazy Lazy Days of Summer

 

I used to think, “I will be more successful eating healthy during the summer months because I love summer fruit. I will eat more fruit and less junk food, so ultimately I will lose weight.” But with tasty, healthy summer fruit comes glorious family cookouts, food festivals, and snowball stands. So there went that idea!

I just love summertime: Maryland blue crabs, crab cakes, and cantaloupe, and of course Baltimore’s beloved egg custard snowballs– I know, that sounds weird, but they’re DELICIOUS. Summertime is also the hardest time for me to eat clean. Of course eating clean is supposed to be a lifestyle, but I’m human and still working out all the kinks. Part of me just wants to declare the summer as “anything goes,” but this probably isn’t a great idea.

Nothing goes better with some fresh Maryland blue crab than 3 to 4 bottles of ice-cold Budweiser, and I don’t mean Bud Light. Summer also means coleslaw, homemade potato salad, grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecue ribs (with my mother’s homemade barbecue sauce), and brats cooked in beer—yum! Oh and of course I can’t forget the many desserts…strawberry shortcake, lemon bars, ice cream sandwiches, and so much more.

Well, I’ve decided that I’m not going to fight it. I’m jumping in with both feet. Clean eating doesn’t have to be restrictive. I believe you should still allow yourself to enjoy a meal or a favorite item that would not be considered clean eating. So, during the lazy, hazy days of summer, I am going to eat clean when I am not having steamed crabs, beer, summer salads and summer deserts. I will enjoy the cook-outs and crab feast and get back on track the next day.