Work Out Wednesday – Clean Eating Challenge


 
 

The Who, What, Where, When & Why of my fitness regime

 
 
Clean Eating Challenge

Even dirty girls eat clean.
Photo by Yero Brown
 

 

I’ve talked in the past about my general eating habits, the paleo plan, and even bacon. Today I’m going to get even more specific, with a post about what I refer to as “clean eating”.

 
To me, clean eating is the simple act of consuming foods that make you feel “good”.  No.  Not the foods that taste good, look good, or make you look “cool”, but the ones that feed your body, give you good health, aid you in recovery, and help fuel your day.  Yep, I mean good/clean in the nutritional sense.  
 
Greens, chicken, strawberries & a dash of olive oil
 
After years of sport, fitness, travel, and modelling, I have a good idea of what my body wants, and when.  I also know when it’s worth it to let loose a little, and how much I can get away with before I stop enjoying the fun, and start paying for it.  (“Birthday cake all day?” Ok! “Birthday cake every day?!?” No thanks.)
 
June 20, 2013 – the day after I ate an entire cake
 
Here is a guide written up by my sister @RandiFitMom, of Ace Athletics & I.


Clean eating is NOT a diet – it’s a lifestyle choice, and it’s not new.  Most professional competitors, personal trainers, and health practitioners have been practicing “clean eating” for most of their careers. 
 
Clean Eating has many benefits that include:
  1. Fat Loss
  2. Weight Loss
  3. Increased Energy
  4. Clearer Skin
  5. Shinier Hair
  6. Better Sleep
  7. Increased mental well-being

By eating “clean” you are choosing to eliminate all processed foods and extra additives from your diet. Basically, you are choosing to eat whole, unrefined foods.  Processed foods tend to be carried in the mid section.  Fuel your work outs with clean eats, and give your body the chance to show off all of those hard work outs you’ve been doing!
 
 

The basics of eating clean are as follows:

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veg are (more or less) straight outta the ground, or off of the tree.  Your goal is to avoid food that has been altered in any way, or is no longer “close to it’s natural state”.
 
Consuming meat, but favouring “whole” meats.  Whole meats are those that have be purchased directly from the butcher, or have had little interference since slaughter.  (Plain cuts, without breading or seasoning are definitely the way to go.)

Enjoying whole grains.  Whole grains are those that are still complete, and haven’t been broken down, milled, or pulverized til they no longer resemble something from nature.  Examples include: brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains. You will have to get used to reading over food labels. Just because a product says its “whole grain” does not mean it is. 

Eating fewer ingredients.  By choosing to purchase items with fewer ingredients, you are limiting the number of extra calories, and additives you consume.  Also, be sure you recognize every ingredient. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t put it in your body.
 
Simple Guidelines for Success:
  1. Eating small frequent meals 5-6 times per day to level blood sugar and prevent hunger
  2. Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats in every meal
  3. Avoid ALL processed and/or refined foods (sugar, simple baked goods, candies, white flour, white rice, etc)
  4. Avoid saturated and trans fats
  5. Avoid sodas, high calorie juices and other drinks that give your body no nutritional value and unnecessary (read unwanted) calories
  6. Cut the extras.  Condiments, creamer, and other items added to food after preparation add extra calories   
  7. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day
 
A good cup of black coffee needs no cream or sugar
 
Get started! 
 
– Mark your calendar on your start date.  It may seem simple, but keeping track of how many days you have dedicated to your dietary change can be very motivating, and help you to fight off the urge to backtrack into old habits.  Scratch off each day you complete, or make notes of what triggered a cheat.  
 
– Take before pictures, measurements (arms, bust, waist, hips, upper thigh)
 
– Tell your friends, family and peers about your plan.  Talking about what you are doing and posting pictures of your food, and progress can help keep you on track.  It also makes you feel more accountable.  
 
 
 
Here is a list of grocery suggestions, to help clean up your fridge, and your diet.
  • Quinoa 
  • Avocado
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Yams
  • Salad greens
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Almond milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Your choice of fish (salmon, cod, sole, tuna) Fresh, NOT farmed!
  • Chicken
  • Ground Turkey
  • Red/white kidney beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce (low sodium)
  • Olive oil
  • Sprouted grain bread/wraps
  • Raw almonds and/or cashews
  • Beef (limited portions)
  • Low fat Cottage cheese
  • Bananas
  • Rolled oats
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Protein powder 
 
Below you will find menu examples.  Feel free to make substitutions, but remember to keep it clean! A good rule of thumb is to stay away from the center aisles of the grocery store. These isles contain most of the processed food.  The perimeter of the grocery store is  typically comprised of produce, dairy, meats, and the bakery.  
 
 
*The key to success is diet. 10% of your results will be determined by the gym, 90% will be determined in the kitchen!!*
 
 
Nutrition tricks and tips:
 
Try and eat as much MEAT*, VEGETABLES, NUTS, and FRUIT as possible
*You may add in, or substitute eggs, or vegan meats in place of animal products
 
Consume limited starches, and as little sugar as possible
 
Eat only when hungry
 
Control your portion sizes.  (I have cute lil cupcake plates, that are small in size, and hold just the right amount of food for lil ol me.)
 
Portion control at it’s finest
 
 
No one wants you to feel deprived, and we believe it’s very important to relax and enjoy life… HERE AND THERE! Comfort foods and sweets can be tough to cut out completely, so we suggest replacing your usual fair with clean recipes like protein muffins, black bean brownies, and flourless peanut butter cookies.  Paleolithic breads and desserts are also a great option that can help quelch cravings and kill your sweet tooth. 
 
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
 
For some examples of these recipes, check out the Ace Athletics Instagram
 
 
Additional diet suggestions: 
If you are a late night snacker, have protein as your final snack.  
 
Plan your meals out ahead of time.  It’s called “Meal Prep Monday” for a reason!  
 
Pre wash your fruits and vegetables for easy snacking and cooking options.
 

DISCLAIMER:
These are just some of the examples we promote to begin a clean eating challenge.  Remember you can make substitutions, but if you want results, you’ve gotta stay clean! 
A clean eating challenge can last as long as you want it to.  Whether you’re trying to fit into that cute outfit by month’s end, or complete a total lifestyle and image overhaul, so much can be accomplished with a few simple food choices.  The word diet can be so dirty.  Save the dirty for the camera, and the clean for the fridge.  Think of this challenge as a choice, and you’re likely to feel less limited, and more motivated 
Last but not least, I can’t stress enough that this blog is full of ideas and suggestions only.  Nothing I have written here is meant to interfere or counter the advice of your personal nutritionist, doctor, or contradict your dietary limitations.  What works for some doesn’t work for all.  Tall, short, fat, skinny, caveman, or vegan, clean eating is just plain ol eating what is good for you.  It’s up to you to decide what that means for you 😉
 
 
Do you love it?!? 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

2 Comments

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  1. 1
    Joe Graziano

    I love it almost as much as I &lt;3 you :)<br /><br />I&#39;ve been eating natural and healthy since December of last year and am over 30lb down and counting. These recommendations just fuel me to want to work harder! I&#39;m training TaeKwonDo again and scheduled for some 5k races like the Warrior Dash in August!<br /><br />You rock Tita!!<br /><br />Much love and respect<br />Joe<br /><br />PS

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