Thursday, March 19, 2015

Clean Eating Basics

It is very important when exercising and trying to lose weight that you eat 6 small meals per day.  This helps you to keep your blood sugar levels steady.  It also helps you maintain muscle mass and fuel your body for your daily activities.

I recommend that anyone who is trying to lose weight or get healthy, buy and read Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet Recharged book.  It is a valuable resource for clean eating.  I bought it after having a few friends and fellow coaches recommend it to me and I'm so glad I did.  She really explains the entire history and science behind eating clean and why you should pair your foods strategically together to get the results that you want.  You don't have to go out and buy all of the things that she mentions in the book because some of them are difficult to find.  However, her basic principles are great.

Tosca's Main Principles of Clean Eating are as follows:

  1. Eat more - 6 small meals a day!

    • Each meal is 2.5 -3 hours apart
    • Here's what it looks like:
      • 7:00 am - breakfast
      • 10:00 am - snack
      • 1:00 pm - lunch
      • 4:00 pm - snack
      • 7:00 pm - dinner
      • 10:00 pm - snack
    • Make this work for you.  Adjust the times as needed but DO NOT go more than 3 hours without eating! You want that metabolism to stay high! For example, my typical day is as follows: 8:00 am breakfast, 11:00 am lunch, 2:00 pm snack, 5:00 pm dinner, 7:00 pm snack, 9:00 pm snack.  This is so that it fits my family's schedule.  Let's face it, when the kids are hungry, that's when we eat. And mine are like clockwork.
  2. Eat breakfast EVERY DAY!
    • It's preferable to eat within an hour of waking up.  It starts your metabolism and gets your body ready for the activities you have to do during the day.
  3. Eat a lean protein and a complex carb at every meal - 6 servings of each!
    • There is a HUGE difference between a simple carb and a complex carb.
  4. Eat enough HEALTHY fats!
    • Almonds, avocados,cashews, cold-water fish, flaxseed, hazlenut oil, nut butters, olive oil, pecans, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and many more.
  5. Drink plenty of WATER!
    • A good rule is to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces.  Example: a 150 lb person *should* be drinking 75 ounces of water each day.
  6. Carry a cooler packed with clean eats!
    • That way, you are NEVER without your good food! No Excuses!
  7. Depend on fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains for complex carbs!
    • Simple carbs = WHITE foods (think white flour and white sugar). Fruit is also a simple carb but a good one because it has fiber that speed up digestion.
    • Complex carbs = amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgar, cream of wheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, wheat germ, whole grain pasta, bananas, carrots, chickpeas, beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radishes, split peas, lentils, yams, artichokes, asparagus, betts, greens, watercress, zucchini, apples, berries, citrus fruits, dried fruits (in moderation - no added sugar), grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lychee, mango, melons, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, pears, plums, pomegranate, and many more.
  8. Stick to proper portion sizes!
    • Proper portion of protein = what you can fit in the palm of one hand.
    • Carbs from fruit and veggies = what you can fit into two cupped hands.
    • Starchy complex carbs = what you can fit in one cupped hand.
    • Healthy fats = a scant handful of nuts (ex - 14 almonds), or 1-2 tablespoons of a healthy oil.
So now that you have the principles, what does a meal plan look like? I try to drink a big glass of water with each small meal.  Here's what I typically pick my meals from:

  • Oatmeal of some type, with fruit
  • Shakeology
  • Protein waffles
  • Eggs with sliced turkey and diced tomatoes
Snack #1
  • Apple and 1 tbsp of nut butter
  • Plain, non-fat greek yogurt with fruit
  • Apple and string cheese
  • Shakeology
  • Grilled chicken salad with carrots (and any other veggies you want) w/1 tsp Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chicken breast wrap
Snack #2
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Sliced turkey with 1/4 pita
  • Sliced Bell peppers and hummus
  • Whole wheat tortilla or wrap w/1 tbsp nut butter and 1/2 banana
  • Salsa Chicken
  • Grilled Steak w/veggies
  • Baked Chicken w/roasted potatoes and carrots
  • Grilled Chicken w/veggies
  • Poor Man's Stir Fry
Snack #3
  • No-bake Shakeology cookies
  • Apple and cheese stick
  • Shakeology
All of the snacks are interchangeable.  Please feel free to take a look at my Recipes page for more ideas :)


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