Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Thriving Guide to Clean Eating

 

I try to eat as clean as possible.  And by clean I mean limiting processed foods.  Now, I am guilty of loving wheat thins and pita chips, but in the grand scheme of things, they aren't nearly as bad as say other snack foods like, Cheetos.  Granted, I fall victim to the rare grilled cheese from In-N-Out Burger and even a Taco Bell Nacho Supreme at times, but those times are far and few between.  On the whole, I do my best to stick to healthy food options because it just makes me feel better from the inside out.  I strive to keep my diet as whole food-plant based as possible, but lately I have been keeping organic dairy products on hand.  I have chosen to accept that I am not on the vegan path at this time in my life and am perfectly content just being a vegetarian...for now.

Nic approached me asking for help to get her diet a bit "cleaner" as well.  I told her I was happy to help which then led to our usual discussion of if she is seeking information, our readers could probably benefit as well, so here we are...a clean eating post!

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Here are just some meal ideas that are my usual go-to and can help you get started on your journey to cleaning up your diet.  I typically only buy organic foods, but that is a choice you will have to make for yourself, I feel it is worth the money.  Hard fruits such as bananas and oranges are fine to buy non-organic, but I urge you to stick to organic for soft fruits and all dairy products.  I assure you, if you supply your body with healthy, vitamin rich food throughout your day, you will not only see results, but feel them as well.  You will no longer crave that processed crap and start to see it for the drug that it is...that delicious fat laden drug that is meant to seduce your taste buds and leave you feeling like you want to cry into the empty containers.

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I like to start each AM with a major protein kick.  Protein not only will keep you fuller longer, but it will get your metabolism pumping for the day ahead.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I have come to look forward to it all night!

Breakfast:

  • 2 scrambled organic eggs with organic spinach and tomato on whole grain wheat toast
  • Oatmeal with a sprinkle of raw sugar and fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries)
  • Whole grain wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter and sliced bananas or honey
  • Green smoothie with spinach, banana, fresh or frozen fruit, ice and orange juice.
  • Fresh fruit over organic yogurt and drizzled with honey and/or granola
  • If you have a juicer, whip up a mean and green plant protein powered juice for the road!

I eat every two hours to always keep my body working.  I always have snacks in my purse, car, desk and on me at all times.  I have been known to get rather ill if I do not keep my sugars level, so I don't mess around and always have something to snack on to go with my HUGE water that never leaves my side.

Snacks:

  • Handful of peanuts, cashews, almonds or mixed nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus with assorted organic vegetables
  • Apple slices with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or cheese slices
  • Whole grain tortilla chips with 1/4 cup homemade (or store bought) salsa or guacamole
  • 1 cup of popcorn (no, not the movie theater kind)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese with tomato slices

Lunch:

  • Peanut butter, jelly and banana slices on whole grain bread
  • Hummus and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Quinoa with tomatoes & basil or olive oil and capers (the possibilities are endless for this superfood)
  • Vegetable and lentil soup
  • Salad with quinoa, black beans and salsa with avocado slices

I typically pair any of the above with a piece of fresh fruit or veggies to snack on while eating or for dessert (well, the fruit is usually the dessert if not one square of Dove dark chocolate)

(Hit up another snack for the afternoon)

Dinner:

  • Salad bar (I usually use a mixture of spinach and romaine, while the dressings have sugar, I limit the amount and toss the heck out of that thing before serving):
    • Taco:  Black beans, corn, salsa, 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce and avocado slice with crushed corn chips
    • Winter: Apple slices, dried cranberries, walnuts and beets with balsamic dressing
    • BBQ Blue:  Apple slices, dried blueberries, 1 tablespoon blue cheese dressing, 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce and crushed pita chips
  • Whole wheat pasta noodles tossed with olive oil, sautéed spinach,broccoli, tomatoes and garlic with parmesan cheese
  • Grilled vegetable pizza on whole wheat crust and limited cheese
  • Crock Pot risotto with baked vegetables
  • Chunky broccoli and cheese soup
  • Any of our delicious Vegan Crock Pot recipes!
I usually always need to eat something sweet after dinner, so whether you hit up another square of dark chocolate or opt for frozen yogurt that is up to you, here are just a few other suggestions to consider.

  • Frozen organic green grapes (a personal favorite of mine)
  • Dried apricots dipped in dark chocolate
  • Baked apples or pears with cinnamon
  • Frozen banana slices in dark chocolate
  • Homemade juice popsicles

I hope these help you generate some of your own clean eating favorite meals as well as assist you in realizing eating clean is easier than you think.  It takes a little planning and preparation.  Good luck!


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