Today’s post is taking on a more serious tone that the usual. I hope that you will take the time to read through the post and really consider my words. Several of my readers will know this information (fellow bloggers) because you have the same basic principles. For those of you that aren’t as familiar, this one’s for you!
Before we begin let me leave you with some photos of today’s eats. Basically all leftovers so nothing exciting to report, just yummy to look at!
- banana cream pie oats minus the maple
- deviled eggs
- buffalo chicken salad made with left over veggies and spinach
- white bean and chicken chili for dinner
There has been somewhat of a buzz going on in my life lately pertaining to health, weight, clean eating, exercise, etc. As many of you as bloggers know, we often times have to deal with others questioning our lifestyles. More often than not the questions are out of curiosity or they genuinely just want information. I do occasionally get the
idiotic questions/comments from uneducated people that feel my way is just plan dumb! My answer for those – to each her own 🙂
Let’s change the course back to the original path in order to keep this post free of pessimism shall we. Like I said I get asked questions very often, and while I am no expert, I try to answer the questions with as much knowledge as possible. At any given day you can find me at some point reading/researching on the net about nutrition, foods, benefits of certain items, etc. I like to stay informed and educated on the topic of clean eating.
My path to clean eating did not happen overnight. As mentioned before, I grew up in a very rural area where we planted garden, drank fresh milk, and raised our own animals for meats. This was just the way of life for me as a child. Because of that upbringing I have a love for fruits and vegetables. I will pretty much eat any fruit or vegetable you put in front of me. So I basically had a good foundation for eating clean. I know that is why the transition was so easy for me. Even before clean eating my dinners would be filled with home cooked meals, lot’s of vegetables, yogurts, etc. What was so different? I ate sugar laden yogurts, I was a dessert queen, white sugar, white flour, fried foods, you get the picture. So my diet needed an overhaul but not a major one. I loved wheat bread and such, I just found it more budget friendly to use the same products that the hubster and kids would eat as well.
I finally got off of the budget issue, and it was the best thing I have ever done. I even have the family eating healthier options now, that’s another story as well.
Instead my path to clean eating came about when I just needed to do things for my health. You see I have vitamin deficiencies, bacterial deficiencies, female issues and the such. That and the fact that I would spend time in the gym daily throughout the week with no difference in the way my body was shaped. I say shaped because I was not trying to lose weight but gain definition. I finally consulted an old friend of mine that is also a personal trainer and owns her own training facility. Her answer was simple – clean up the diet!
So that is what I did and I haven’t looked back. That’s not to say I do not enjoy life, treats, family gatherings, dessert, or even the beloved fried seafood of Louisiana. Of course I do. But I do so consciously. I know it is a treat or splurge, not something to be consumed on a daily basis. So what are the benefits of eating clean for me, here you go:
- more energy
- clear skin
- healthier hair
- no longer have to take a bag of supplements
- digestive issues have lessened (I say this because I still have to work in this area)
- many of the health issues I had are now gone
- no acid reflux
I think you get the picture. My overall health is better, but the main point is I just feel so much better. It is easy to get carried away with eating during holidays, parties, or special occasions. While I enjoy myself to the fullest during those events, I can always tell the difference the following day. I am bloated, sluggish, and just feel drained. That is a lovely reminder as to the importance of clean eating.
So what is clean eating? The definition of clean eating will vary depending on who you ask. Every person has their own explanations for the lifestyle (yes I said lifestyle it is not a diet). Clean eating to me is simply eating as close to nature as possible. This means no processed foods, no white sugar/flour, no chemically charged food, eat whole grains, nuts & seeds, lean meats for protein, beans, legumes, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Again it all goes back to nature. If you couldn’t grow it, don’t eat it! Here are a few more tips to help you on the clean eating path.
- You must read labels. So many things that you think are healthy are really full of artificial ingredients. Sure the calories are low and the fat grams are low, but give me a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on whole grain bread over a miniature “healthy cupcake” and day!
- Eat several small meals daily. I usually eat every three hours or so. This not only keeps me satiated through out the day, but I never feel deprived since I eat all day.
- Drink around 2 liters (or more) of water daily. I also enjoy coffee in the mornings and various teas throughout the day. I love to end my day with a chai tea latte 🙂
- Consume sweets in moderation. I love sweets! Always have and always will. I still enjoy my desserts, I just just use healthier ingredients. Moderation is key.
If you have any questions or comments about clean eating, how to get started, books, or anything else feel free to email me. Keep in mind that I am not an expert, but I do have a lot of information and will help as much as possible. I can be reached at helennaturally(at)gmail(dot)com.
With all of that being said, several people that I know have started eating clean and freak out when they eat what they call “dirty” food. No food is dirty, some is just more nutritional than others. Sugar is from nature, just go with the least refined/processed option you have available such as turbinado or succanat, not white.
If you want dessert, have dessert. Just do not have it everyday. I want to suggest a post for all to read. Avery over at Love Veggies and Yoga wrote a post about how rules are meant to be broken. Please take the time to read that here. I think it will help shed some light on the all things in moderation concept. I really enjoyed the post!
So remember, keep it as close to nature as possible, but enjoy life to it’s fullest! Who would want to go through life without ever having a piece of cake again?