Happy Friday! Can you believe it’s already the weekend? Wohoo! The weekend used to signal a time for me to let loose with my eating and drinking. I had survived the week and gave myself permission to eat and drink whatever I wanted. Can you relate?
Lately though, I’ve had a massive mindset shift in relation to body image and health and in turn, it’s changed the way I view food. I no longer give myself food rewards or give myself excuses to eat poorly. Instead, I’m eating to nourish my body properly, which has shifted my “rewards.” Instead of food rewards, eating cleaner has resulted in rewards like a clearer mind in the morning, more energy throughout the day, and a decreased desire for sweet treats.
Now, I’ve only been attempted to eat cleaner for 3 weeks now, so I’m very far from perfect. But, I’ve felt so much better, which has encouraged me to continue to make better choices when it comes to what I’m putting in my body.
I’ve been sharing this shift with you guys on Instagram, and I started to receive questions on what I’m doing to lose weight and what I’m eating. So, I thought I would share what I’m doing to eat cleaner (and in turn lose weight), and share some of the things I’m eating.
A couple of things to note first, I do participate in intermittent fasting. It is something I have done for over 2 years now. It is not and should not be used as a tool to skip a meal or loose weight. For those that are unfamiliar, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between period of eating and period of fasting. I typically eat in an 8 hour eating window and then fast for 16 hours. I still eat all of my allotted calories during my eating window. The benefits intermittent fasting include improving your insulin levels, greater cellular repair, improved heart rate and blood pressure, boosts your working memory, etc. You can read more about it here from John Hopkins Medicine.
The second thing I’d like to note is that I am a pescatarian. It seems like a silly thing to note, but I thought I should since most of my meal suggestions below are centered around vegetables or fish.
9 Easy Steps to Eat Cleaner:
- remove processed foods – I’m a snacker, so for me to eat cleaner, I can’t be tempted by processed foods. So, clean your pantries out of processed food and fill your fridge with fresh fruits, veggies, and meats.
- find a not-so-bad sweet treat – giving up “unhealthy foods” altogether isn’t always a successful method. So, find a little something you can indulge in that won’t knock you off course. For me, I usually have a hershey kiss at night or a couple scoops of whip cream.
- get a good cook book – this sounds silly given the fact that we can look up anything on our phones. But, there’s just something about having a tangible cookbook full of delicious recipes and pretty pictures to inspire you. I find that if I have a recipe I want to try, I’m more excited to eat healthy.
- make time to meal plan – this tip is huge! We all have busy lives, so carve out time to plan your meals to ensure success.
- have healthy snacks on hand – if you’re a snacker like me, have healthy snacks available so instead of reaching for chips, you grab a handful of almonds or some carrots.
- do it with someone – accountability is key! Find someone who can eat healthy with you or ask you how your journey to eat cleaner is going!
- keep a food journal – counting calories can be a slippery slope for some, so I don’t recommend doing that. However, sometimes it helps me to journal or write down what I’m eating. The reason being is that it brings some insight into your eating habits. For me, it helped me realize that I usually finish my girls’ plates of food or snack on their snacks in addition to my own.
- limit alcohol consumption – I am a wine-o through and through, but alcohol is empty calories and they add up quickly. Definitely enjoy every once in awhile, but I promise you’ll notice a huge difference from not drinking as often.
- look to the experts – if you don’t have time to meal plan or aren’t sure where to start, look to the experts. I have used services like Daily Harvest to have meals delivered to help me stay on track.
A Glimpse Into What I’m Eating:
For me, the biggest hurdle to eating cleaner is actually what I eat for lunch. Dinner seems to be easier because I have more time to prepare the meal and am usually at home. Lunches are hard though because I am usually on the go. So, my biggest saving grace has been to have a fridge stocked with clean ingredients so I can make or grab something healthy.
Lord have mercy, this is one of my favorite things to make right now! My must-have ingredients for solid avocado toast are sourdough bread, a mayo-based spread (mayo + sriracha + splash of sesame oil), and smashed avocado. Then top it with Trader Joe’s’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning and an over medium egg.
Egg White Omelettes:
Omelettes are another one of my go-to meals. I love including chopped, sautéed veggies, cilantro, whatever is in my fridge!
Egg White Sandwiches:
I love a good breakfast sandwich, so I’ve started making egg sandwiches on sourdough bread. You can add anything to them that you like. I typically add mustard, avocado, and whatever I’m feeling at the moment.
Veggie wraps can be an easy lunch to pack or throw together. I will usually saute some peppers and onions the night before. Then that day I put my sauce of choice on a tortilla, add the peppers and onions, and whatever else I may want.
If you don’t eat meat, grilling fish is a great dinner option! Then pair it with your favorite veggies!
Life gets crazy and I don’t always have time to make fun and fancy meals, so I keep premixed salads on hand.
Some of my go-to snacks are sliced cucumber, gluten free pretzels, carrots, sliced peppers, and greek yogurt.
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