At the age of 43 I'm more fit, stronger, healthier and happier than ever. So, it seems logical to me that the next step toward health and fitness is to examine a little more closely what I eat. It would stand to reason that feeling as good as I do I must be doing something right with how I eat, but there is always room for improvement and admittedly I'm a little curious about Clean Eating.
Inspired by my Beachbody coach and friend, Rhonda Layton, I will begin a 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge on May 1.
So what exactly is clean eating? I had a general idea but needed more information. As expected, googling "clean eating" gave me about 15,200,000 results. A few resources that I found to be interesting and helpful in getting started...
6 Tips for Getting Started Now
How to Convert Your Pantry to Clean Eating
Clean Eating - Starting Out - The Nice and Easy Approach
Clean Eating - Starting Out - The Dive Right In Approach
Clean Eating Magazine Meal Plans
After a lot of reading it seems the general consensus is there is no definitive definition of clean eating but there are very basic rules that people interpret to fit their life.
1. eat lots of plants
2. include meat (no prepackaged products)
3. eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down
4. eat fewer ingredients (try to avoid foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list)
5. no alcohol
Those are the basics. Now, it’s up to you to decide how you will apply these basics to your life and to your eating plan.
The Benefits of Clean Eating Include:
- fat loss
- weight loss
- increased energy
- clearer skin
- shinier hair
- better sleep
- increased mental well-being
Simple Guidelines for Success:
- Eating small frequent meals 5-6 times per day to level blood sugar and prevent hunger
- Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats in each meal choice
- Avoid ALL processed and/or refined foods (sugar, baked goods, candies, white flour, white rice, etc)
- Avoid saturated and trans fats
- Avoid sodas, high calorie juices and other drinks that give your body no nutritional value and lots of unnecessary (unwanted) calories
- Avoid high calorie, non nutritious foods (i.e. junk food)
- Drink at least 8 cups of water per day
Every Sunday I will share my weekly menu, recipes and thoughts on this "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" clean eating. Will I reap the benefits? Will I feel a difference?