03 October 2013

Body Basics: Eating Clean- for the regular folks

So sorry about my little hiatus.

You know, people get busy.
Things happen.
But I thought about you everyday.

So recently I've been into something pretty important: My Body.
Calm down, you guys.
I mean that I've been working harder to exercise, eat right, get plenty of rest, and hydrate.

I think it's important to take these steps now, because let's face it, I'm never giving up beer, but I can certainly do something about what else I put into my body.
It is time to start Eating Clean. 

The way I see it, you only get one body.
And I want mine to look good and last long.
Who's with me?

I know, you're reading this going "Yeah, I like the idea in theory, but doesn't it take a lot of time and dedication?"
Well frankly, yeah, it does.
But ask yourself: What else are you doing with that time?
If you say anything about Orange is the New Black, any of the Real Housewives, or something regarding Miley Cyrus, I will cry. 
Not that you can't do those things, but should they really trump changes that will improve your lifestyle?
You know I'm right.

So you've decided to change your lifestyle.
I'm so proud.

First, let's have a little run-down on eating clean.
What is it?
The basic idea is to eat food as close to its natural state as possible.  Think: Fresh Blueberries and Steel Cut oats and Almonds versus Quaker Instant Oatmeal.

The focus is to consume only fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.

Also, to eat often.  
One of the best pieces of dietary advice I've ever heard is: "When you're hungry, eat."
If you skip meals, and go hungry, your body goes into "fat storage" mode, so the next time you finally eat something, your body's natural reaction is to reserve that fuel so it can use it when you are hungry again.  
Eating regularly keeps your body constantly burning calories and fat rather than storing them.
Think 5-6 small meals a day.

Some of the best tips: 

1. Plan, plan, plan.
I'm talking the real deal.  Sit down on Saturday or Sunday before the month starts and plan all of your breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the entire month.  Make shopping and planning easier by doing the same thing each day for a week. 
Do the same thing once a week for your dinners.
If you write everything out ahead of time and stick to it, eating clean will become second nature.  Plus, you'll be all like "check me out, I'm so grown up and taking care of myself"  Talk about ego boost.

This is my October plan.  Dinners allow more creativity, the basic guideline for me is 
Monday: Chicken
Tuesday: Fish
Wednesday: Meatless
Thursday: Fish
(The weekends are for less planning, and maybe a little cheating- I mean, let's face it, you still want to have a social life)

2. Don't even go down the isles at the grocery store.
Stick to the perimeter only.
Things like Gushers, Oreos, and Easy Mac live in the middle.  
Just don't even do it.
If you must buy something that comes in a box or a can- buy it in the organic section.

3. Eat what's in season.
Um, duh.  The food tastes better and holds more nutritional value. 

4. Visualize the change.
Every time you want to reach for those donuts, literally picture a giant pastry on your ass.  You'll reach for that apple a lot more often.  Remember, you really are what you eat.

5. Be okay with almost getting it right.
I'm not saying you should find a way to justify that Big Mac, but a lifestyle change can be pretty intimidating  It's alright if you aren't 100% all in- at least you are trying.
It. Will. Get. Easier. 

The bottom line is this:
The better you eat, the better you look.
The better you look, the better you feel.
The better you feel, the better you want to eat.

So let's do this together.  We'll be so hot that it won't even be fair.
Coming next: Dishes with Dee: Mexican Quinoa Salad- An Eat Clean meal.

Do you already eat clean?
What are your best tips and tricks?

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