Saturday, March 22, 2014

3 Reasons Why I Believe in Clean Eating

People ask me a lot- "what DIET are you on?"  Well, I'm not on a diet.  I'm doing a healthy lifestyle journey that will never end.  I'm not on a fad diet and I'm not restricting my calories. I fuel my body with fresh food as much as I can.  I don't deprive myself- I just substitute, adjust and find a balance. I try to eat whole-foods the majority of my diet. So.. this means that when you see me eating an Oreo, don't call me out! It's part of my plan. ;) There are so many "clean eating" HATERS out there.  I DO believe in "clean" food and "dirty" food. But what I really mean is nutrient dense and not-so nutrient dense. Clean food fuels my body and makes me feel good during and after I eat it.  Dirty food makes me feel good during, but makes me feel horrible after.

Why do I believe in clean eating?

1. Because I research and know the ingredients that are in food.

Ignorance is NOT bliss when it comes to your health and the health of your loved ones.  Research ingredients and find out what is in your food and how it's "made". Start with {these} ingredients. The unfortunate thing is that many chemicals are hidden inside the word "natural flavors" on your ingredient list. Do you know that they use a chemical called azodicarbonamide in many breads (including Subway bread)?  Azodicoarbonamide is the same chemical used to make yoga mats. YOGA MATS? How is that even ok? The frustrating thing is that this chemical is banned in the UK and Australia because it is linked to respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma.  My question is why is it banned all over the globe, but not here?

You want to be completely freaked out? Read all the investigations that has done. It scared me and I wanted to just starve to death for a minute.  But then I got hungry. ;) I just decided to not to go extreme and start growing out my armpit hair. My husband and I agreed to just be conscious of what we are eating and try to avoid certain food as much as possible, but not become CRAZY about it. When we go grocery shopping, we don't buy many things that come from a box. If it does, we avoid certain ingredients and make sure we can READ all of the ingredients.

Don't get overwhelmed! I read some great articles that helped me. Start with one of the ingredients below and eliminate it (I'll post more clean-eating tips later):

2. Because this is what happened to my face:

In both pictures I'm not wearing any makeup (just mascara).
Top: May 2013
Bottom: March 2013

So about a year ago I was fed up with my adult acne that was painful, irritating and it honestly wore on any ounce of confidence I had.  When you first meet someone, they look at your face first. I was so embarrassed. I tried so many things to help.  I went to the dermatologist and all he did was SHOVE antibiotics in my face. I asked him if antibiotics were bad for me in the long-term and he said no.  I went home that day and researched it myself and found the answers that I needed.  Antibiotics are NOT good for you long term. Do they clear my face up? YES!  BUT... that wasn't worth it to me.  I wanted to do it holistically (mind, body, spirit).  I tried every cream, oil, and scrub out there. I bought an expensive exfoliator. Nothing worked.

I finally started researching holistic ways to treat acne and many sites were saying that I might have adult acne because of what I'm eating (I eliminated dairy and gluten for 30 days and found that when I started to slowly introduce it, I felt HORRIBLE and I started to break out again).  The culprit, I think, is dairy.  Just about that time I also found Skincare Holistic Beauty Practice.Cheryl and Celeste have provided me with an amazing skin-care regimen with products that are chemical-free and safe.

Clean Eating + Organic Skincare Products and Treatments = Clear Face (and a happy girl)

2. Because it's given me *help* with these results without starving myself:
Obviously I'm wearing the same sweater and pants in this picture.
Top: October 2012
Bottom: March 2014

YOU CAN DO IT!  Just start small. 

Change out one food item (we started with eliminating artificial sweeteners like Crystal Light and Sweet N' Low). 

Start eating "cleaner" one step at a time!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dinner Meal Planning

Brian and I like to plan out our meals for the week on Sundays.  We also do our grocery shopping on Sundays.  Our goal is to cook fresh food 4 days a week.  We plan only our dinners out because we make an extra amount so that we have enough to bring to work the next day for lunch.  If there isn't enough to bring to work the next day- we bring fresh salads or tuna with avocados or we have some no-bean turkey chili that we have in the freezer.  Breakfast is a whole different post. ;)

Download the meal plan sheets {here}

Of course I use Pinterest for recipes.  But really, my husband is the cook of this house and he's just good at "winging it". I sure love him. You can check out our Pinterest board we just started for Meal Plans.

We follow a very lax Paleo diet right now (but I plan on going back to counting my macros).  I avoid gluten and dairy because I have an intolerance to them (MANY people do... you might too).  Just because it says gluten free, doesn't make it healthy.  We read every single ingredient and hardly buy anything in a box that even has ingredients listed on it.

I don't avoid all carbs...believe me... I get enough of those.  I feel best when I fuel my body with clean, fresh ingredients. I don't deny/restrict myself from any food, but I choose to not eat certain foods because they make me feel yucky. I eat clean 80% of the time because that's what makes me feel good, keeps my skin clear, and helps me lose weight. The other 20% is full of string cheese and chocolate. I never feel good after I eat those though!

If I can do it, you can too! I was the BIGGEST food junky.  I used to eat Dairy Queen, Subway, and Wendy's ALL THE TIME.  I had constant headaches, body aches, and acne (I'm acne free and I'll blog about that later).  You can do it. It's not too late.