Two months of craziness is getting ready to come to an end, and so is my series of guest bloggers. I’m so thankful for everyone who has stepped in and helped me through this crazy time in my families life. Not only have you all been such a wonderful source of encouragement, you have brought so much fresh inspiration to my little corner of the blogging world. Thank you all so much and without further ado meet my last guest blogger Melissa.
Hello everyone! I’m Melissa and I blog over at Dancing For Food. My blog is all about overcoming the ballet body image and what that has meant for me. As I’ve worked on making myself healthier, I’ve learned a lot about proper exercise and nutrition. I’m here to share some tips on clean eating for you. I am also an independent fitness coach, so if you ever need health and fitness support, I’m your girl! Just head on over to my fitness coaching page for all the info!
Clean Eating in 3 EASY Steps
Step 1: Know What Foods Fall Into the Clean Eating Category
Clean eating means eating foods that are as natural and unprocessed as possible. Eliminate the junk, and look for the shortest ingredient list possible. You don’t want any of those artificial colors or dyes. Yellow number 5? No thanks!
Dr. David Katz says, “In some ways clean eating is what eating was always about.” [source] Would our ancestors have eating artificial sugars? Of course not. So why should we?
So, if a food grows in the ground, on a tree, or comes from an animal, it’s clean. If you bake a cake at home with natural ingredients, even if it has white sugar, it’s fairly clean. White sugar isn’t the devil. Sure, you don’t want a lot of it, but it’s a lot less processed than Splenda, aspartame, or saccharine are. My philosophy: eat things that your body knows how to process. I never bake with margarine, only with real butter. Our bodies know how to process the saturated fat in butter (in small amounts) but the trans fat in margarine stays in our bodies because our bodies don’t know what to do with it. If you want to know more about good vs bad fat, read this great article from the Mayo Clinic.
Step 2: Buy Foods That Fall Into the Clean Eating Category
This is the most obvious step. Once you’ve figured out which foods are clean and which aren’t, buy the ones that are clean! If you’re buying packaged items as treats, look for the ones that are made with non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients. If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it. Know your cravings and find an alternative.
If it’s hard to imagine giving up your favorites, consider this: you only get one body. Take care of it.
Step 3: Maintain the Habit, but Don’t Stress Yourself Out
It’s hard to stick to a new habit, especially when things like cravings and delicious food are involved. It takes around 21 days to establish a new habit, so take it one day at a time. With each day that goes by eating clean, you’ll feel better and better and have more energy. That will help you stick to your habits as time goes on – you won’t want to lose that good feeling!
That being said though, don’t beat yourself up about a bad day here and there. That whole 21 days to make a habit thing? You might have a slip up day here and there as you grow accustomed to your new lifestyle. You’re only human. And, cheat days aren’t always a bad thing. You need a cheat day or cheat meal every so often so you don’t restrict your favorite things and end up splurging too much later. Or worse, reverting back to old habits.
Eating clean is a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s not about eating less food, it’s about changing the type of food you eat so that you are feeding your body what it needs most. You’ll have more energy and will probably sleep better too. What do you have to lose?
I hope you’ll come visit me at Dancing For Food. Health and fitness are my passions, and I love to share what I’ve learned over the years! Thanks for reading!
Melissa, what a wonderful article! As a family, we have seen many benefits from eating more natural ingredients. I’m so happy that you chose to write on this topic, since it is something I’m passionate about as well. Thanks for explaining this subject more and giving practical tips for developing a Clean Eating lifestyle.