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.

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.

Food Prep Essentials

We spend countless hours working on our fitness goals.  Whether it’s sweating like crazy during a cardio session, punching a heavy bag, throwing weights around, taking classes, or a combination of all of the above, the time we spend on our physical activity should be complemented with a diet suited to help us achieve our goals.  Why leave the nutrition aspect, which is most critical, up to chance?   What am I saying exactly?… You are going to spend a lot of time in the gym, but you’re also going to be in the kitchen quite a bit.  In order to find success, food prep is a priority.  Your kitchen will need some basic tools to get you through food prep with ease. Some people like to cook food in bulk 1 or 2 days per week, and then store everything in large containers.  Others, like myself, prefer to cook more frequently, 3 or 4 days per week, in an effort to eat food that is more fresh.  This approach still requires an arsenal of plastic storage containers of various sizes.  Here is a quick list I put together of kitchen essentials to make food prep easier:

  • digital food scale
  • measuring spoons
  • various size plastic storage containers
  • plastic baggies – snack, sandwich, quart size
  • multiple large frying pans/skillets with lid or mesh splash guard
  • metal baking trays
  • ceramic bakeware
  • aluminum foil
  • spatula
  • large spoons – plastic or wood
  • cutting boards – I prefer wood for veggies and fruit, plastic for raw meats
  • various size cutlery – the sharper the better
  • thick oven mitts
  • timer
  • coffeemaker
  • Optional – Radio/iPod docking station – Music is a must for many people

Of course, this list may be missing some items, but it is a good starting point.