Eat clean or maybe you should detox or how about a juice cleanse?? These are all the latest trends and lingo in healthy eating these days. I’m all for anything that gives you a jump start on healthy eating so GO FOR IT!
However, here’s my thing will all these new ideas be sustainable for you? Will you be able to drastically modify your eating habits to maintain this new way of eating? I’ve tried LOTS of diets with detoxing and then introducing certain foods and permanently eliminating others etc. etc. Didn’t work. After a couple of weeks I reverted back to my old ways. I couldn’t commit to something so different forever…2 weeks yes, forever NO WAY. I just LOOOOOVE food too much. I am a self-proclaimed-foodie! There it is I’m a foodie into fitness. Could that be one of those contradiction type statements? Oh well I can’t help it, I can’t give up good food. Here’s my take on it, I truly feel that eating clean need not compromise good food. It does not need to be a trade off. We live in the real world where juice cleanses and detox trends can’t be a way of life. Food is fuel and good food is just heavenly so there’s no need to give it up. Eating clean should be part of the daily routine and the food you eat should taste good and you should thoroughly enjoy your food. Occasional indulgences should also be part of the program, because this keeps you sane. And if you’ve ever had a meal with me you’ll know this is true.
Many Baby Boot Camp moms and Karna girls come to us thinking we’re going to embark on some super strict with a gazillion rules diet plan. We can’t live on a diet forever. We can’t live on food delivered to your doorstep forever. We usually start simple by picking 2-3 things that you can commit to for 30 days. And then we move on to another couple of things that we work on for the next 30 days and so on. Before you know it after a series of small monthly changes you’ve changed how you eat significantly. I’m not talking about a massive makeover but some real changes that stick and as a result have gradually decreased your excess calories and sugar intake. Suddenly the pounds start to come off and stay off, suddenly you have more energy, and suddenly you start gaining more confidence in yourself.
1-Clean eating starts with a clean FRIDGE! So get to cleaning out the fridge for anything that has an expiration date longer than a week. Good food shouldn’t last that long. Get rid of the excess sugar like juices, sodas and sports drinks. Power up the fridge with good stuff like fruits, veggies, high-protein dairy foods and the more foods without labels the better!
2-Next stop the pantry…stuff can live in here forever. Go through the pantry and start cleaning out the excess sugar in here. Get rid of the cookies the snacks with a shelf life longer than 6 months! Replace some of this with whole grain snacks that will be much more filling when you crave something crunchy or salty. Just a little tip I also use is to stock up the pantry with healthier baking ingredients (almond flour, apple sauce, agave, etc.) so when I start to crave something sweet like a cookie or a muffin it forces me to get up and bake it and by the time it’s done I’m usually just satisfied with a small taste.
3-Now that the fridge & pantry are cleaned out, take a few minutes each week to plan out your meals simple breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Choose meals you enjoy and like and alter the recipe a bit if need be by swapping out ingredients for healthier alternatives or just shrink the portion size. Make sure each meal includes a fruit or vegetable. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to do. Take stock and see what ingredients are missing to complete these meals and go shopping for the missing items.
3-Substitute your drinks for water. Water is the cleanest drink out there. That’s a REAL easy way to eat clean and cut down on the sugar and extra calories.
4-Now that the every day is taken care of indulge socially. Use these special moments with friends and family to indulge a bit BUT let the focal point be on the enjoyment of the social occasion, not about the food. Another small tip I often use when enjoying good food is to make sure I take time to enjoy the taste and flavor of good food. If it’s cake, then have a small piece and make it last at least 10 bites. Slowing it down helps to really enjoy & savor each bite.
So go ahead and start eating clean, detoxing, or cleansing but for every day life stick to simple delicious food!