My 5 day eating clean challenge was tough! I learned a lot about how good I feel when I eat clean real foods. Eating 100% clean all the time is almost impossible. I do plan on incorporating much more clean eating into my nutrition. Here are 4 tips that I think are important before you start a clean eating plan:
1. PLAN AHEAD
This is the first and most important step. It's hard to find clean foods when you are in rush. You can't just go threw a drive-thru and get a clean meal. All convenient food is pretty much processed junk. You have to plan your meals in advance. Plan all your meals and snacks the week before. When you are making your menu, make sure it is ONLY CLEAN food. Leave your cheats for those times that you have no choice, like when you are eating out with friends and family. Or when a change of plans at the last minute means you can't eat what you prepared.
2. PREPARE YOUR FOOD AHEAD OF TIME
I learned through my challenge that eating clean takes TIME. We are so used to fast and convenient meals we can throw in the microwave, a pan, or in the oven. With eating clean you have to prepare most meals from scratch. That involves cleaning produce, cutting, chopping and cooking. My biggest struggle was coming home from work trying to prepare my dinner with two kids hanging on me. I barely had time to make the meals I planned. So set at least an hour or two to prep your food each week. Have your meals ready to throw in the oven, pan or crock pot. Have snacks prepared and easy to take with you. Don't be caught hungry with no good choices around!
3. SHOP LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
Your local farmers will have less processed and artificial flavoring. Healthy food can get costly. It's cheaper than when you shop out of major grocery store chains.
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF BEFORE EATING OUT
You want most of your meals to be prepared at home. However, it is impossible to avoid going to out to eat. You don't want to turn down dinner invitations and stay at home all the time. So before you go, review the menu online before you go. Call the restaurant if you have questions. Don't be shy about creating your own entree. You can replace cheese sauce with salsa. Load up on veggies. Fast food is very tricky. When I did eat out last week I choose Chipolte. Chipolte has mostly natural ingredients. Panera Bread may seem like a good choice but I discovered they are not! Educate yourself and be prepared before you go.
We have been putting so much fast proccessed junk in our bodies, it's time to take control and learn what you are eating. And more importantly what that food is doing to your body!
I would love to help you reach your health and fitness goals! Contact me for more information or if you are interested in joining a Clean Eating Challenge Group.