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Clean Eating

Clean Eating - A Better Way of Life
Clean eating - is it a trend? You may have heard or read the term recently. I discovered Clean Eating about 5 years ago when I picked up a book called "The Eat Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno. What I learned, is it's a way of focusing your eating habits: eating whole, non-processed foods with minimal added ingredients and processing.

This way of eating encourages consuming lots of fruits, veggies, proteins and only whole grains. For most, cutting out those addicting "white" ingredients: white bread, white sugar, white carbohydrates can be the most difficult. I know I have a sweet tooth! Sugar really is addicting, but as I fazed it out of my diet, I craved it less, and if I did eat it in large amounts, it made me feel heavy and sluggish. It took me a very short period of time to get rid of most all sugar in processed from from my diet and I am so glad I did. I have much more energy and feel so much better. 

What I have come to notice is that if I want to truly live a healthy lifestyle I MUST focus on clean eating. Losing weight comes down to an 80/ 20 food to exercise ratio. It requires 80% focus and efforts on clean, healthy eating, and 20% effort on exercise. You can workout all the time but if your eating like crap your not going to see the same results. You have to put in the time and focus on your nutrition if you want to truly make a change. 

Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect

When you live this type of lifestyle you will find that you are not on a diet, you are not starving, you are simply changing your habits for the better. Often times the habits also wear off on others including your loved ones. I know personally when I started focusing my eating habits on clean eating my family's habits changed as well. When practicing this lifestyle you will want to eat 5-6 small meals per day so that your metabolism is contually being fueled throughout the day. I eat every two to three hours and that seems to work best for me. You will also want to consume half of your weight in ounces of water each day to reduce bloating and cravings. I suggest not eating anything 3 hours prior to bedtime for your body. If you find that you are still craving something in the evening a cup of hot green tea can often do the trick. Put in the work and your body will reward you for it. 

Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect, clean eating

Prep Days - If you want to be successful with this lifestyle you will need to spend one day a week prepping food so that it is not so overwhelming. This does require some time and work but if you put in the effort your going to be successful. I like to spend my Sundays meal planning, grocery shopping and prepping foods so that I am ready for the week ahead of me. This is so that I can avoid the excuse that I do not have enough time. Which in turn leads to me cheating and eating foods that are not "clean" rather just "quick." 

"It's not a diet, it's not a phase. It is a permanent lifestyle change." 

It is very important when exercising and trying to lose weight that you eat 6 small meals per day.  This helps you to keep your blood sugar levels steady.  It also helps you body maintain its muscle mass and fuels your body for your daily activities.  Always eat breakfast within 1 hour of rising!  And more importantly ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST!  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It starts your metabolism and gets your body ready for the activities you have to do during the day.  If you are not losing weight it could be because you are not eating a healthy breakfast with complex carbs and protein.
Also, make sure you always pair complex carbs and protein at every meal.  I recommend Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Recharged Book!  She really explains the entire history and science behind eating clean and why you should pair your foods strategically together to get the results that you want!

Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect, clean eating, lemon waterBefore I eat my breakfast I get a large glass of warm water and squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon into it.  I drink the entire thing before I eat.  This helps cleanse your body, improves digestion, and helps the body shed toxins.  Lemon water is a natural diuretic.  Each morning I eat oatmeal of some sort.  My usual recipe is:Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect, clean eating oatmeal
1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 handful of blueberries and 1 tbsp flaxseed.
4 hard scrambled egg whites
1 cup black coffee

2 1/2 hours later I have my mid morning snack:
1 apple with a handful of almonds.  You can also do any one of these options:
  •  20 grapes and 1 low fat string cheese.
  • 2 plain (no added salt) whole wheat rice cakes with 1 tbsp all natural nut butter and 2 tbsp raisins.
  • 2 tbsp hummus and carrots and celery.
  • 1/2 cup plain (no fruit) Greek yogurt with fresh berries on top with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar and a scant handful of raw unsalted slivered almonds.

Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect, clean eating, Shakeology
Chocolate Shakeology with 1 tbsp of PB2, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup of almond milk with water and ice.  I blend mine in this handy little Hamilton Beach single serving blender that you could literally put in your bag and take to work with you!  AMAZING!

Before I drank shakeology I would eat: 
1 piece of grilled chicken on a salad.  I would add every veggie I had in the fridge.  Carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, feta cheese, slivered almonds and low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing (1tbsp). 
Always drink a big glass of water!

Afternoon snack
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries, and a drop of stevia and a glass of water.

Usually chicken or fish of some sort and veggies.  I use sweet potatoes a lot of times and brown rice, quinoa and orzo.  Check out my eating clean recipes for more ideas.

 If I am still hungry in the evenings I will have 1/2 cup greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a drop of stevia!  Green tea to drink!  Green tea has these awesome natural antioxidants that help to fight off hunger and shed your body of toxins!  I love all the different flavors from orange to blueberry to peach!

Message me for customized meal plans and additional ideas!  I'd love to help you reach your health and nutrition goals!

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