Starting to Eat Clean? Aren't Able To Enjoy The Food You Eat?
Start Your Mission To Eat Right. The Right Way. Part 1.
When you set out on a mission to revolutionize your life and begin living healthy it’s particularly important that you know that the most imperative part of healthy living is not exercise. It’s what you eat and how you eat it. A healthy life begins in your kitchen, so once you make the
decision to change your life you’re going to need to start clearing out your cupboard and fridge.
The first step, the cupboard. Go through and start parting ways with all of those chips,
microwaved popcorn, processed sweets, really anything processed and packaged in airtight
plastic bags. There’s a good chance that any of these items are detrimental to your overall
health. Next step, the fridge. You’re also going to want to part ways with high fat dairy products
(cheese, whole milk, etc.,) as well as red meats; yes I know, this is probably hard for those of us who do enjoy a burger here and there, any preprocessed meals that you can pop in the
microwave for five minutes and “make” dinner. All of these things should be avoided or at least
eaten in extremely limited quantities. Like I said, and will continue too say. it's about Eating CLEAN!
After you’ve taken care of all of the unsightly items that may be lurking in your fridge and
cupboard it’s time to head to the grocery store and start paying attention to those nutritional
labels on the back of everything. Some call this being a “smart shopper” some think of “smart
shopping” as couponing but for our purposes today we’re going to call “smart shopping” the act
of paying attention to what you’re going to be putting into your body.
Now that you’re in the store I’m going to start telling you how to replace all of those things I
made you get rid of earlier with healthier alternatives.
We’ll start with breakfast. This may not have been abundantly clear earlier but one of the
processed things that needs to be removed from your cupboard is cereal, many start their days
out with bowls of highly processed that are loaded with sugars and though they claim to be
healthy most of them truly are not. Fret not though there is a healthy alternative to this and it
actually is cereal, its just old-fashioned European cereal called Muesli. Muesli can be somewhat
difficult to come by in the states but there is one brand, Bob’s Red Mill, that makes a great
Muesli that can be found on the shelves in most major grocery stores across the U.S.. Muesli is
basically just a combination of rolled whole grains and dried fruits and while it may be
somewhat bland if you’re used to the sugary cereals popular in the states it is much better way
to start off your day than by eating a bowl of processed sugar. You should also grab some
bananas, apples, oranges, and blueberries. These can be added to your Muesli to make it more
exciting or eaten on their own for breakfast and are also a great way to begin your day. You
should also learn to love black coffee if you’re a coffee drinker as black coffee on its own is
actually a good antioxidant and can be healthy, but as soon as you start adding sweeteners (yes
even sweet and low or stevia) and other creamers to your coffee those antioxidant properties
fly out the window.
Now for lunch. Lunch is, far and wide, the most difficult meal for many to make healthy, this is
mainly due to the fact that unless you are one of the lucky ones who can work from home many
people are at work for lunch and often have short lunch breaks and not enough time in the
mornings to pack a lunch, and fast food is a very convenient way to get food in a hurry on your
lunch break. Unfortunately, fast food is absolutely smothered in trans fats, saturated fats, and
even unnecessary sugars, which just so happens to be the very thing that tells your brain that
you want to eat it again when its actually one of the worst things you could put into your body.
If you must eat out for lunch I highly recommend that you do not go for the Big Mac with a
large fry and diet coke and instead opt for a healthier option in the form of a local sandwich
shop and don’t get chips, if you do though opt for baked Lays or something similar.
Let us assume for a minute though that you are fortunate enough to eat lunch at home and talk
about what sort of items you should look for in the grocery store. Let’s also assume that like
many sandwiches are your go to lunch item. You should always eat whole grain bread, avoid
red meats for lunch and instead look for turkey (personally I buy Tofurkey (Turkey made out of
tofu)) or sliced chicken can be another healthier alternative to ham or pastrami. Don’t be fooled
into thinking that iceberg lettuce has any nutritional value whatsoever, it is basically just
crunchy water, instead buy spinach and use that in place of lettuce. Go easy on the condiments
and use a maximum of a single slice of cheese, not Kraft singles however, buy quality cheese, it
may be slightly more expensive but the damaging effects on your body are greatly reduced. As
far as sides go, you should buy unsalted whole nuts, they can be almonds, cashews, walnuts or
just about any other kind of nut you enjoy just as long as they are unsalted and raw. Trail mix
can also be a great thing to snack on throughout the day but be careful which trail mix you
select as if the first item is M&M’s you should likely avoid selecting that item.
Now for dinner. Dinner can be one of the most exciting and rewarding meals you make for
yourself. This is also when you can enjoy those meats you’ve probably grown accustomed to,
the key though, portion control. Of course, I do recommend you avoid red meat as much as
possible but I also understand that sometimes it’s difficult to resist that juicy steak that’s staring
you in the face. With any cut of meat though portion control is key. On average you should only
eat about 3-4 oz. of meat with any meal. If that sounds small, it’s because it is. 3-4 oz. can be
estimated by using a cut no larger than the palm of your hand, or a deck of cards if you have
small hands. Most home cooked dinners are fairly healthy so I’m not going to go too in depth
here and my only real recommendations for healthy dinners are portion control and avoid
covering your plate in starchy veggies and bread to fill the void left by the tiny cut of meat.
Green beans or broccoli are much healthier than mashed potatoes smothered in butter or corn.
If you’re going to have pasta for dinner you should also be careful not overeat it and try to eat
no size greater than your average scoop of ice cream.
Cutting out all of these things and restricted your portion sizes to healthier quantities is going to
be a challenge but if you genuinely care about your health take the changes slowly and over
time it will become your new normal. If you’re left feeling hungry after a meal too you should
pay attention to how quickly you are eating and how much water you are having along with
your meals. If you notice that you’re only spending five minutes at the dinner table there’s
likely an issue there. Slow down, chew your food thoroughly, pause between bites, and make
sure to drink water and breathe between bites. These practices will help you to fill fuller as well
as teach you to enjoy the food you’re eating rather than eating every meal like it is your last.
Hopefully some of the things you’ve read here and that you can read on our blog will and can help you to get on track to healthier lifestyle
and learn to eat better. The better you eat the better you will feel in time and so stick to it as
best as you can and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad meal, just get back on track and
the change will come.