I really love working out. I go to Zumba at least 5 times a week, and lift weights at least 4 days a week. I also have the best lifting partner (my husband! Date night at the gym anyone? haha) who knows a lot about weight training and eating right, but between health issues or just not maintaining a great diet, I still have about 10-15 lbs to lose to be totally happy and healthy.
So in a renewed effort to ditch those pounds, I have decided to start a clean eating challenge. (Disclaimer: I have to tailor it a tiny bit to meet my kidney/allergy needs, but overall I can do it as is!)
I'll be honest, I got the idea from my current library book, The Butt Book: How to Build a Non-Cellulite & Fat-Free Butt in 9 weeks! Laugh at the title, I did ;) But it has some great exercises for the glutes, and the diet info to boot.
Basically, it's a diet plan of unprocessed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and void of artificial ingredients, preservatives, "chemically charged foods," sugars, saturated fat, and trans fat.
To make it easy, you essentially only shop on the outskirts of the grocery store (that's almost always where the fruits/veggies, dairy and meats are, the processed junk is inside), minus the bakery section ;)
"Foods allowed include a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nonfat dairy, and healthy fats -- preferably organic and eaten in proper portions every few hours.
The Eat-Clean Diet recommends avoiding all saturated fat, trans fats, overprocessed, refined foods -- especially white flour, sugar, sugar-loaded colas, juices, and alcohol.
The plan's guiding principles:
- Each meal should be between 200-300 calories.
- Eat a complex carbohydrate with protein (20-21 grams) at every meal.
- Drink at least 8 cups of water daily.
- Never miss a meal, especially breakfast.
- Consume adequate healthy fats each day."
Some of the clean diet lists say to avoid any type of sweetener all together, but I find that impossible with a few things (oats, bleh!). From what I've read (I've tried to research quite a bit about this way of eating so I can learn what's good, true or just unhealthy), some sweetener options are honey, pure maple syrup, and sucanat, making sure to account for those calories if you're keeping track.
Ideally, you eat every 2-3 hours, never longer than 3. The caloric limit depends on your body of course, so you plan according to that, typically 6 meals a day, for me.
A lot of people have asked for recipes, so I'll post those as I go along too (okay, I'm not promising, but hopefully I'll remember!).
Some of the things on my food list today:
Oats with berries, cottage cheese on the side
Kirkland nonfat Greek yogurt
Granny smith apples
Veggie Frittata: Turn your oven on to broil. Heat 1 T. olive oil in skillet (olive oil is recommended, but you could use cooking spray for zero calories and cheat, it's not "clean"). Throw in your veggies, I used broccoli and peppers. Cook until tender. Add 3 beaten eggs (most of the diets recommend just whites, but for my kidneys I need the yolks as well and less whites), salt/pepper, and nonfat cheese if you want, and mix those up. Let it sit for about 4 minutes until it's set on the bottom and the top is just starting to set slightly. Throw the whole pan in the oven on Broil for about 3-4 minutes until golden, and you're ready to eat! So easy, delicious, and super filling - I was still full when it was time for my next meal! It's pretty much adaptable to whatever you like, just keep in mind the calories of what you're putting in!