I love to encourage healthy living and with that come a lot of talk about eating clean, but clean eating shouldn't be bland! When I say "clean", I mean you need to stay away from processed and prepared food. You need to know what you're eating. How do we do that? You do more cooking at home and meal prep. Make snacks in case you get hungry on the go!
Some people take their diet so seriously that eating is no longer pleasant or fun. Don't let this be you! Even Jesus sat with his disciples around a table and at weddings and ate and enjoyed it. Don't focus so much on losing that 20, 5, 50 or 10 pounds that it takes over 90% of your life! Don't get to the point where watching every bite you take keeps you from reaching your goals.
I'm not a fan of "diets". They require to many rules and guidelines with what to eat, how much to eat and when you can eat. They don't allow you to get to know YOUR body and how it works. We are all unique and our bodies all work differently. Diets will come and go but getting a grasp on mindful eating will last you a lifetime. Some days you will eat more than others and that's ok. Being stressed about every calorie you intake will affect your hormones and your sleep. When all of that is out of whack say goodbye to weight loss.
There are common problems that go along with "dieting".
1. You're eating healthy-nutritious meals, but you don't enjoy them.
Eating healthy doesn't mean it has to taste bad. Bland salads, broiled chicken and steamed veggies are great but can get old fast. I love to eat and want to enjoy what I am eating. Healthy meals can be full of flavor. If there is a meal you love don't be afraid to experiment and find a cleaner way of making the dish. That is how I started with making cleaner meals. Get creative with spices. I find meals on Pinterest all the time and just tweak them to be a healthier version. There are a ton of swaps you can make with food to bump up the nutritional value of a meal
2. You feel like you can't go to an event or party because of the food being served.
This is simply not true. You can go to the party and enjoy yourself. I always say if I see something that I have never tried I am definitely going to try it and enjoy it. If I don't love it then I won't eat it. If I've had it before and know that it's not my favorite then I'll pass. Be mindful of your servings and chew slowly and digest your food. It won't taste any better if you eat it fast. Enjoy the party or event and get back on track the next day.
3. You want dessert but feel like you can't have any.
Treats are something our culture has used as a reward for many years. It can be hard, even for me, to navigate the dessert options. I typically bypass dessert unless it is a special occasion and then I just enjoy it and move on. First ask yourself if you're full. Will dessert push you over the edge leaving you feeling miserable? Come on, we've all been there and it's not a pleasant feeling. Split your dessert with someone so that you can enjoy dessert but not overindulge in it. I will say that the cleaner you eat, avoiding sugar, the less you will even crave the sweet treats. I have always been an ice cream lover. Many years ago I would have a bowl of ice cream EVERY night! I would revolve my entire day of eating so that I could have that bowl of ice cream. It was taking me way over the amount of sugar I should have a day and keeping me from fueling my body with nutritious food. Because I have eliminated processed sugar from my daily diet I don't crave it like I used to. A frozen banana with nut butter sounds yummy to me. So try to avoid temptations but you can't go through life never enjoying a dessert.
4. You're afraid to eat out.
Eating out can be challenging, especially if you are new to clean eating. My husband did his first clean eating program about a year ago and going to lunch with his co-workers was stressing him out. He didn't know what he could order. Don't be afraid to ask how the food is cooked and request it to be cooked how you want it. Grilled or sautéed with olive oil, not butter. Remember you don't have to eat everything on your plate and skip the bread basket. Chew your food and enjoy it. Take your time. If you're just learning my advice on eating out is to just do your best and don't beat yourself up. If there's something on the menu you really want but you know it doesn't line up to be a "clean" meal then only eat half. One thing I try to do is to look at the menu online before I arrive so that my mindset is ready to order what I know will be best for me instead of seeing the menu for the first time and being overwhelmed with what to order.
5. You are eating "0 Point" food all the time because you're always hungry.
I know what this feels like. I joined Weight Watchers and became a lifetime member. I was always trying to find the "0 point" food so that I could have my ice cream at night. Again, keeping my body from getting the nutrients it needed. Don't get me wrong, Weight Watchers has helped many people, but it didn't teach me how to eat clean-nutritious meals, it just taught me how I can manipulate those points to eat what I wanted. In turn I felt hungry and unsatisfied most of the time. I was seldom eating foods my body needed to be healthy. I was also sick more often because my body was lacking nutrition. You can eliminate calories without having to go the "no carb" route as well. Avoid sodas and coffee filled with sugar, creamers and flavors. Instead drink fruit infused water. To stay satiated you should make sure you are eating FFP - Healthy FAT, FIBER and PROTEIN at every meal. These foods will keep your blood sugars level keeping you from having that crash and feeling hungry all the time.
Do you need a challenge?
I would love to help you in your "Clean Eating" venture. I offer a 10 Day Clean Eating Challenge. It will include clean recipes and suggestions, smoothie recipes, detoxification guide, how to kick caffeine, videos, a grocery store tour and more. This is a great start to getting on the right track and really learning more about your body. You'll have better sleep, more energy and feel better all the way around. To learn how to get this program click here or contact me
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20