‘CLEAN’ EATING

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ImageImageImageMy schedule has been pretty busy for the last few weeks. I have not had the opportunity to post as often as I would like. I’ve had my challenges since attending this course due to my rigid schedule. I am not working out as strenuously as I did back home. With that in mind, I am more conscious of my diet. Maintaining weight loss have its challenges. I am maintaining, so I’m on the right track. I plan to step up my my workout routine when I return home. I signed up for a 5k which is scheduled for April, so I really need to up my game. This will be my first 5k and the longest distance for me. So, I’m a little excited and nervous at the same time. AFTER I signed up I ask myself “what in the world was I thinking to sign up for a 5k?” Then I thought about it; the preparation will keep me on track with my fitness. There will not be room for me to slack off. I’m sure there will be a sense of accomplishment once I cross that finish line.

When I return home the weather should be warmer, so for those of you in local area be prepared to resume our workout sessions if you are interested). It’s going to be challenging. It will not be a walk in the park. If you want serious results, then you have to do some serious things to make it happen. Some items you will need is a jump rope and some hand weights (7-10 pounds). If you have an exercise band, that will work in place of the weights. There will be details to follow.

There was a challenge with the soda intake. I am so happy about the great feed back I have been receiving in reference to the soda consumption. Some individuals have stopped drinking the sodas. That is a very big deal! I am so excited about that. I said before, if people cut out the sodas, they would see a drastic change in their waist line. Without all of the added sugar, aspartame, carbonation, high fructose, etc, your body can’t help but respond positively. I am happy to report that I have not had a soda in 11 months. March will be my one year anniversary of being soda free. I don’t crave it. Believe it or not, once you start drinking more water, your body will start craving it.

What other bad eating habits have you kicked since the start of the 2014? It is only February. I wonder how many people have started the new year making healthier choices but fell off the wagon for what ever reason. The holidays are way behind us, so if you have not started shedding the holiday weight, what are you waiting for? What is holding you back? Well, if you haven’t made that commitment, it’s not like you don’t have time. Why not start today. You have to make up in your mind that you are ready to have a healthier life by making proper food choices.

Weight loss does not have to be complicated. There is so much information online. There seems to be a pattern; most of the sites are basically saying the same things. Eating clean will cause you to loose weight.

When someone makes the choice to eat “clean” they are choosing to eliminate all processed foods and extra additives from their diet. Basically, you are choosing to eat whole, unrefined foods.

The basics of eating clean include – eating lots of fruits and vegetables. These are straight from nature – the idea is to stay away from anything that may have been altered in any way.

If you think about the old days, food was planted, grown, picked , gathered and the animals were grass fed. Eating clean is choosing lean protein, a variety of veggies, fruits and nuts. Clean eating is NOT a diet – it is a lifestyle choice.

Enjoy whole grains – these are grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down in any form. Examples include: brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains. You will have to get used to reading over food labels. Just because a product says its “whole grain” does not mean it is. It also does not mean they have not added a bunch of other ingredients as well.

Eat fewer ingredients – try not to purchase items with more than 4-6 ingredients in the ingredient list. Also, be sure you recognize every ingredient. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t put it in your body.

Simple Guidelines for Success:
1. Eating small frequent meals 5-6 times per day to level blood sugar and prevent hunger
2. Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats in each meal choice
3. Avoid ALL processed and/or refined foods (sugar, baked goods, candies, white flour, white rice, etc)
4. Avoid saturated and trans fats
5. Avoid sodas, high calorie juices and other drinks that give your body no nutritional value and lots of unnecessary (unwanted) calories
6. Avoid high calorie, non nutritious foods (i.e. junk food)
7. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day

If you have never eaten this way before it may take some practice and some time to get 100% “clean”. Unprocessed, natural state foods have a different taste than frozen and processed foods. Your taste buds will go through an adjustment period. Although it is less expensive to eat clean and nutritious foods, it does require more time in the kitchen planning and cooking meals.

There are so many weight loss plans out there, but eating cleaning removes the guess work. Most foods in a clean diet are low calorie and low fat. What I like most about eating clean is that I am not limited to the amount of food I can eat if I chose the right foods.

Starting out may be a little challenging so, you may have to make gradually changes. Personally, I love how my body feels after eating clean so it’s not a challenge any more.
It’s hard to stick with it 100% of the time, so I following the 85-15 rule. 85% of the time I eat clean; 15% of the time I splurge a little. So, you have it figure out what works for you, but do something. This is your health. It is not just about looking good, but being healthy also.

Give yourself time – I promise you, your body will LOVE you and you will reap the long term benefits!

L. Strong

 

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