CLEAN EATING 101:
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Country Clean-N-Fit is all about Clean Eating and living a healthy lifestyle. So what is clean eating you ask? Firstly, I’ll tell you what it is not. Clean eating is NOT a diet. It is, more so, a concept of what you are eating. It is not restricting what you eat but how you prepare your foods and the ingredients that are used. Clean eating aims to eliminate certain “dirty” things from your diet. I will go more in dept with this in a minute.
Clean Eating- Why I Started:
I found out about clean eating when I was trying to loss weight after my 2nd child. Yes, I was a mom trying to lose that stubborn “baby” weight! The weight just didn’t melt away like it did from breastfeeding like it did with my first child. I was 3 years older, my metabolism wasn’t what it used to be, and I was eating a lot of not so healthy food. I cut out soda from my diet. At one time, I was drinking about 3 cans of soda a day! I was just drained. I switched to diet soda in an effort to decrease my calorie intake.
After a few months of drinking diet soda, I had develop stomach pains. I contributed it to the aspartame in the soda. I then decided to cut out the diet soda and I switched to drinking only tea or coffee for my caffeine intake and pushed myself to drink more water. Lord know us mommies can’t survive without caffeine! That’s a whole ‘nother story!
After a matter of weeks, no more tummy troubles. I felt great! In addition to the fluids that I was drinking, I also took a look at the foods that I was eating. Instant potatoes, canned vegetables, Suddenly Salads, instant Freezer meals, and lunch meat sandwiches just to name a few. These were things that had tasted good but also quick and easy to make. The problem with these foods were all the extra ingredients in them. They were very much processed. I found that a lot of convenience foods were like that.
I made many switches in the food that I was eating. Instead of canned vegetables, I bought frozen. I started cooking more meals from whole ingredients. It may be a little more time consuming but well worth a little effort! On my blog you can find some of these recipes that I have found and that I love! I also make a push to eat more vegetables. Fruits are easy to eat on a regular basic because they are sweet and they taste good. Vegetables on the other hand, take more work & more preparation. Instead of meals with ground beef or roast, I was eating more chicken and turkey.
By switching to clean eating, I was able to lose a majority of my baby weight. There were a few more pounds to go but I am felling pretty comfortable in my skin. I made the switch to eating clean and started exercising. I loved running in high school. After 10 year of not running, I had begun to run again. I found at first that it was hard. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I had been! My knees hurt and I got winded much quicker than I would have liked. I ran several times per week. I would alternate running and walking until I was able to run further distances until I was able to run 2 miles straight.
The next summer, I signed up for and ran my first 5K! I loved running but I had also been doing some yoga and circuit training at home that help me get back to my desired weight. After being pregnant with my 3rd child I have not gotten back into running but have focused on at home workout videos. I have found these workouts are effective if done 3-5 times per week along with follow at clean eating diet. For fitness motivation and tips check out the FITNESS section our website.
Clean Eating – The Fundamentals
Clean eating is simple put, a practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and replacing them with whole foods. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed meats, low-fat dairy products, and unsalted nuts. Foods to avoid would included deli meats, canned vegetables, soda, white rice/flour/pasta, foods with added sweeteners, fast food, fried foods, candy, and juice that not “100% juice”. Buying certain organic foods also cuts back on added chemical such as pesticides. Fruits can contains a numerous amount of these. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of fruits and vegetables that are contaminated with many pesticides and herbicides. For these fruits, it is recommended for buyers to purchase organic. Here is the 2016 report of these below.
The Dirty Dozen
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
These “dirty” foods are typically ones that don’t have a peel. They are hard to wash to removes these chemicals. Although they are a little more expensive, your health, in the long run, will be greatly benefited by avoiding these foods. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that you don’t need to buy organic. They are considered the “Clean 15”, (2016 report).
The Clean 15
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Honeydew Melon
But why change your lifestyle to follow the fundamentals of clean eating? When you make the change, you will have increased energy because your body is able to use the foods nutrients more readily. Improved cardiovascular health due to a decrease in salt and an increase of healthy fats. It decreases your risk of developing cancer by decreasing the amount of processed ingredients and added chemicals into your body. Eating more fruits and veggies increases your intake of antioxidants which help fight off cancer. Improved mental health from nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.
If you eat healthier you will fell better which puts you in a better mood. Decreased risk of diabetics from a decrease in carbohydrates and added sugars. Longevity comes from eating healthy and following an active lifestyle. If you are healthy, you will also have less medical bills. Would you rather pay a little more at the grocery store and a ton more from hospital bills? Prevention of health problems is the key. All of these area great reasons to make a switch!
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How Clean Eating Can Help You Loss Weight:
How does clean eating help you lose weight? Along with regular exercise, it will help speed up your metabolism. With an increased metabolism, your body is able to burn fat much more easily. Clean eating focuses on whole grain, healthy fats, lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. They suggest that eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day versus 3 large meals. If aiming to loss weight, eat between 1200-1600 calories. And for anyone, you need to watch your portion sizes. Count calories if needed to help keep your portions in check. Clean eating will give you energy and keep you from getting hangry. After a few weeks, you will feel as if you have more energy, your skin will glow, and you will just feel healthier.
So Let’s Sum it all up:
Clean eating is NOT a diet. It is, more so, a concept of what you are eating. It is not restricting what you eat but how you prepare your foods and the ingredients that are used. Clean eating aims to eliminate certain “dirty” things from your diet. Focus on the foods that you eat. Avoid buying the “dirty dozen” useless you buy them organic, the “clean 15” are OK. Clean eating can help prevent many health condition such as heart disease and cancer. It can also help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism. All of these are GREAT reasons to make a switch in your diet and your lifestyle.
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