Eating Clean May Not Get You Lean

Everybody thinks they “Eat Clean” and some that “eat clean” feel it’s pointless because they do not see results.  That term is used too often and means something different to every person you ask.  For some people, not drinking alcohol on weekdays or not having any dessert after dinner is what they consider eating clean.  For others, they might follow a plan that is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, paleo, or some other type of dietary lifestyle and that is what those people view as eating clean. Again, too vague of a term to define.

If you want results, you need to be accountable.  First, establish your goal(s).  Are you looking to lose some body fat? Do you want to perform better when you go to your Crossfit box? Would you like to add some muscle to your body?

After you determine your goals and determine which type of nutrition plan you want to follow (if you are not hiring a Nutritionist or Coach) you should examine your current intake so you can make adjustments where necessary.  Keep some type of log… use a journal or one of the many free smart phone apps that will not only keep a log of your food intake, but also break down all of the macronutrients and micronutrients.  I tend to go for the latter of the two.

Few more simple tips that will help you dial in on your nutrition…

Make a list prior to going grocery shopping – this will help you stick to the new plan and not buy snacks/foods that you should avoid.

Prep food in advance – I’m not big on making an entire week’s worth of food, but I do like to have enough prepared food in my refrigerator to last 2 or 3 days.

Pack and bring your food with you in a cooler if you’re away from the house for several hours – Some people might view this as extreme, but if you want to be sure to eat on time and avoid impulsive eating, having your own food is the best option.

One more thing… When you do embark on a new Nutrition plan… I strongly suggest sticking to the plan 100% for 2 weeks before determining that something isn’t working and making any changes.  COMPLIANCE is usually the biggest issue for people… and it doesn’t matter how flawless a plan is, if the individual is not following said plan.

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Pumpkin Protein Loaf (Gluten Free & delicious)

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons Safflower Oil

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup arrowroot flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 scoops vanilla protein powder

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Beat together eggs, honey, oil, pumpkin puree and water.

Fold in chia seeds and remaining dry ingredients.  Once all ingredients are moist, beat again on low setting until batter is well mixed.

Pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Grocery List

Here’s a quick list I put together, since I often am asked what I recommend people to put in their carts and take home, rather than frozen dinners and boxed macaroni & cheese….

GROCERY LIST

Proteins

  • Lean Red Meat/Wild Game
  • Wild Caught Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Shrimp
  • Lentils
  • Black beans

Green/Fibrous Carbs (Fresh or Frozen)

  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Red/Yellow/Green Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Edamame (in the shell)
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Romaine
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Eggplant
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Artichokes
  • Squash
  • All other veggies

Starchy Carbs

  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of Rice or Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice, White Rice
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yucca
  • 100% whole grain sprouted breads
  • Low Carb/high fiber tortillas

Fruit: Fresh or Frozen

  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Melons
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemons, oranges)

Fats

  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts (slivered or sliced), Nut Butters
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Grass Fed Butter

Miscellaneous

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Herbs and spices (fresh and dried)
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Garlic
  • Natural sweetener – truvia, stevia drops

Stick to the Perimeter

It can be a daunting task trying to navigate the aisles at your local grocery, especially if you just started a new meal plan and are looking to implement some healthy lifestyle changes.  One simple rule of thumb (with a handful of exceptions depending on your plan) is to “Stick to the Perimeter” of the store.  When you first walk in to most grocery stores, you are greeted with vibrant colors and fragrances of fresh produce.  This is my favorite part of the store and I absolutely love taking my time to read where the fruits and vegetables I’m interested in purchasing are grown, harvested, imported from, etc.  I personally prefer organic produce and will go out of my way to find it.  Do I eat organic 100% of the time?  No, I do not.  But I make an effort, more so now than ever before.  Many grocery store chains offer organic options, if the market is not an organic market like Whole Foods, you just have to seek it out.

Pic below is from Mrs. Green’s Natural Market… this franchise carries 100% Organic Produce in their locations.  Takes the guessing work out of the equation when shopping there.

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Even Costco has a great selection of Organic products, and at very competitive prices.   You just need to be patient and take your time going through each aisle and reading labels in the produce, meat, and dairy sections.

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In many stores I’ve been to, the fish market and butcher are next in line, if you stay close to the outer perimeter of the store.  Just after that is the bakery, which may not be totally off-limits if you have multi grain or whole wheat bread in your program.  Some stores may even carry sprouted grain bread and/or rice bread here.  Again, you just have to take your time and read labels.  Try not to get too distracted by the muffins, doughnuts, and scones though… while they look delicious in the case, I’m fairly certain most programs will not have a pastry listed as an approved choice in the plan.  Deep breathe, put the blinders on, keep it moving!

Next up we have the dairy section, which in my local grocery store is huge.  There are so many different types of milk to choose from… cow’s milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, lactose free milk, organic milk.  Don’t even get me started on all of the different types of yogurt, cheese, butter, orange juice, and last but not least eggs.

At this point, as you make your way around the perimeter, you might have a cooler or two with beer… and your right back near the registers.  Now, some of you might have things like brown rice, oatmeal, coffee, tea, seltzer, rice cakes… those are typically located within the aisles.  But I warn you… do not pull anything off the shelf that is not on your approved list of food choices.  It’s not even worth the aggravation of reading the label and facing the fact that you just can’t have it.  Stick to those aisles and most of your shopping, if not all of it, is done.

Hopefully this helps you WORK OUT some of the confusion of grocery shopping… Thanks for stopping by!