March 4th kicks off my Clean Eating Challenge that I will be running via Facebook. For the entire month, we will do our best to eat as clean as possible. Most of my group was excited to be a part of a team where we can keep each other accountable, but most of them wanted to know exactly what is “Clean Eating”.
Basically, “Eating Clean” means that you are eating and preparing food in its most natural state. This means staying away from processed foods, foods that can be found on the shelves or in boxes, and contain all of the yucky preservatives and additives. I am a firm believer that our bodies were created to heal itself and it does that when we provide it with the best foods possible, drink enough water, get enough sleep, and engage in physical activity. Eating clean is a great way to not only lose weight (I dropped 11 pounds in January by eating 100% clean), but also to live a healthier life where you have more energy, more focus, and feel much better.
An example of a day of clean eating, would go something like this:
- Breakfast – Egg White Veggie Omelet and Whole Wheat Toast
- Snack – Natural Peanut Butter with Apples
- Lunch – Salad chocked full of veggies and grilled chicken
- Snack – Plain Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese with Fresh Fruit
- Dinner – Grilled Salmon, Steamed Veggies, & Brown Rice (or Quinoa)
- Water – At least 2 liters
When you eat cleaner, it means that most of your meals include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts/legumes, and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, oatmeal, etc). Yes, some stuff will come in boxes, but the idea is to choose items that do not have preservatives and added items.
Trader Joes and Whole Foods are great places to find cleaner food items. Also, shopping along the perimeter of the grocery store (produce, dairy, deli). The middle part of the grocery store is where you will find the non-perishable food items. (Hint: If it is non-perishable, it’s not clean 🙂 ) If you have to shop for foods that aren’t on the perimeter, aim for foods that have a very short ingredient list. Anything over 5, typically means that it has a lot of chemicals and man made ingredients, which deems it “unclean”.
Eating clean is a lifestyle change, not a diet. And even if you are able to adjust 50% of your meals to being cleaner, you will see a big difference. I’m looking forward to seeing the results and benefits that my challengers will have after the month is over.
To join the next challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.