I’ve been talking eating recently with some folks. I’ve been answering questions about what I eat, when I eat, how I cook, what I have for snacks, those types of things. Before I go any further let me say that I am NOT a nutritionist. I am not perfect. In fact, at times I am pretty bad. You likely eat more nutritionally than I do at times! I find that it is a constant, fluid, living, learning experience with me. Finding what works, what doesn’t work, and then, continuing to be consistent with listening to our body and knowing what is best for it and how to nurture it properly.
I have a few things that, for me, are my tried and true ways to Clean Up my diet, eat clean and nurture myself in a way that makes me feel healthy and good. These are the principles that I fall back on if I get out of routine and need a reminder about cleaning up my diet. You may have these all figured out already, or maybe you might find a new tip to try, or maybe this is just a reminder that you could look at your habits and see what tweaks might improve your own diet. So, here is my list of:
10 TIPS TO EAT CLEAN
1. Clean out the junk. If it’s not in your kitchen you can’t eat it! Oftentimes, if you find you want something and do not have it, it’s far too much trouble to actually get in your car to go to the grocery store or drive-thru to buy something you are craving. By the time you go through all those steps that craving will be long gone!
2. Eat at home. In a nutshell, cook more! When you prepare your own meals you know exactly what you are eating. You are in control of the amount of butter, salt, oil and portions. Sometimes, this can be tricky in our home because The Husband likes to eat out. He thinks it is easier for me to not have to prepare a meal. I look at eating out as a treat and try to save that for the weekend. There are so many fresh and healthy meals out there just waiting to be prepared . . . look at it as an adventure!
3. Write it down. Keeping a food journal is one of the best ways to be mindful of your meals and snacks. Honestly tracking what you put in your mouth can really show you what foods you are eating, what is missing from your diet and where you need to make changes. Whether it is old school, like having a notebook and pen and paper or using one of the great Apps out there, like My Net Diary, writing it down will keep you honest.
4. Have two vegetables with each meal. No explanation needed . . . just do it.
5. Include a healthy protein in each meal. This is so important. A normal size portion of protein during each meal will give your body what it needs to feed your muscles and keep you feeling full longer. You are feeding your body to perform your normal, crazy, everyday activities. Feed it what it needs to keep you going.
6. Stop mindless grazing. (See #3 Above)
7. Clean up your drinking. Limit the alcohol intake. You will notice a huge difference in this if you forego the beer and wine during the week and keep things in moderation over the weekend. Avoid mixed drinks with added sugar, also. Remember, if the drink is colored, it is likely loaded with sugar and is NOT clean!
8. Read labels. If you cannot pronounce the words listed in the ingredients then put it back! Do not put it in your grocery cart, do not pay for it, (do not pass go and collect $200). Also, see #1 above and get rid of it!
9. Learn true portion sizes. This is really key, also. In this day and age, when the portion sizes have ballooned far past what a normal human being should consume in one meal, learning what one serving or 4 oz really looks like is important! You may need to purchase a food scale and keep it handy in your kitchen until you can properly recognize what a true portion size looks like.
10. Live a little but make good choices. This means enjoy your life. Enjoy your food and meals. It’s life and nothing to sweat over! However, try to make good choices. If you are eating out over the weekend, try to choose either the bread OR the wine. Not both. You don’t need both. Or choose bread OR dessert. Not both. You’ll relish that glass of wine or dessert even more!
I’m stopping this list at 10, although I’m sure I could add a couple more things or I’m sure you have a few good tips up your sleeve. I’d love to hear them! I hope there’s some little tip here you can file away and use when and if you need to clean up the old eating act. You’ll be seeing more tips and posts like these when I get into the REFRESH AND REBOOT program that launches June 1. Can’t wait . . . stay tuned!
What are your tried and true clean eating tips? What works best for you?
Enjoy Your Day!