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Getting Started with Clean Eating (part 1)

Whoa…just starting this post is a crazy task for me. I’ve struggled with where to start for such a long time. I am not a registered dietician or a personal trainer, and everything I have put together is my plan. I wish I had the expertise that others posses, but unfortunately it simply isn’t so. A good place to begin is to read this POST that I did a few weeks back on Nutrition. Now my take on Healthy Nutrition might be totally different then yours, again this is just my perspective on clean eating.

Getting Started with Clean Eating

Introducing…drum roll please…my 30 – Day Clean Eating Challenge!!! Whoop Whoop!!!!

I’ve been trying to put this plan together for awhile now but something wasn’t quite clicking for me. One thing I know about myself is that when I try to force something and  I am not getting the result I want, I throw a huge fit and flip out ,  I accept that I need to take a step back and say it “just ain’t gonna work for me right now.” Truly the best thing I can do is walk away temporarily and come back with a fresh perspective at another time.  I’ve been attempting to write this post for a few weeks now…and whatta ya know, it just wasn’t the right time.  And I know it is because I tried to force it into becoming my new “healthy plan.”

I have a really tough time drastically changing my nutrition and exercise routine overnight. There are so many people out there who can simply flip the switch, and suddenly they are committed and motivated to a clean diet.  I can do this…for about 3 days, but eventually my old habits and temptations resurface.  I try to do way too much…way too fast. This is exactly what I have experienced the past two weeks.  Once again, I tried to force it and I needed to take a step back and reevaluate #1 My approach to Clean Eating and #2 why I am struggling so much with staying on track?

I know, along with the rest of the world, that there is no such thing as a perfect diet OR perfect physique. What I want to focus on is putting the right tools in place so that I can be successful and healthy and balanced AND FINALLY ACHIEVE THIS GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge will help me to create boundaries and assess my specific goals.  I will also have a tool to stay accountable to my goals but even better, to myself! I am the only one who can make this happen and I am SO OVER the yo yo number on the scale. I am going to try this for 30 DAYS…and then reassess my successes and failures and where I can tweak and improve my plan. Again, this plan and my take is not for everyone and I would encourage anyone to consult a medical professional before adjusting and attempting this plan.

What is Clean Eating?

Eating clean is not complicated, it is common sense and dedication to a plan. Where I struggle is staying motivated and not giving in to all the temptations. Everyone will have their own struggles and road blocks.  It takes control and a plan to stay on track.  Through all my years of dieting etc. I have never really put a concrete no nonsense plan in place and simply stuck to it. That changes TODAY. Clean Eating is choosing to include healthful and nutritious foods & liquids into your diet. It really is simple; kick out the crap foods, you know EXACTLY what they are, you are only cheating yourself and draining your own life.  Include wholesome and nutritious foods with NATURAL lean protein sources, NATURAL complex carbohydrates, and HEALTHY natural fats in moderation. Cut out the junk, bring in the GOOD, and DRINK TONS OF WATER!!!!! This is a lifestyle change…not a fad diet!

Food and Workout Journal

Over the past two weeks I have been keeping a food journal to track what my habits look like. I highly suggest doing this…it really helped me to see everything I was consuming and at the end of the day I was surprised.  I have to be honest with myself to grow and change and move forward towards a better “self.” Here is my assessment:

#1 – I am really good in the AM.  I don’t have much of an appetite in the morning and zero cravings for anything, so it is super easy for me to stay on track.  If I struggle with anything it is actually eating in the morning period.  I am so proud of myself for actually doing this.  There were only 3 days that I legitimately forgot to eat anything in the morning…and yes that is a common problem for me…forgetting to EAT in general. Definitely not the case later in the day. I seem to have more of an appetite when I work out in the morning and adjusting my schedule so I actually GO to the gym has helped a lot.

#2 – I am really good at eating a snack in the mid-morning before lunch. I have a work schedule that begins later in the morning so I pretty much eat again as soon as I get to work.

#3 – My job complicates my ability to actual EAT while at work.  I will often go hours or all day without eating and I am so busy with appointments and consultations that I don’t even notice. This is definitely an area where I will be focusing a lot of my energy because I spend a good portion of my day at work. On the flip side, I have days where I can’t control my appetite whatsoever and eat everything in sight. I think the key for me is going to be creating a schedule for eating and sticking to it. I need my meals to be easy and accessible and consistency will be key. I know there is truth in firing up your metabolism and I need to get mine going.

#4 – Even though I struggle with eating at work, about %50 of the time I don’t do too bad. I stick to what I bring and have really adjusted my habits with ordering lunches etc. Not only does it save money but it keeps me focused on what is truly healthy.  I’m hoping to get on a schedule where I eat every few hours without any exceptions.

#5 – I have a tendency to BINGE at night. I do such a good job during the day and then all the stress and hunger catches up with me and I lose it. I also have a tendency to indulge in too much wine in the evening which isn’t a healthy habit either and definitely something I am looking to change! I am a snacker in the evening and even after i’ve had my dinner I am still hungry. I have yet to determine if it is true hunger or simply a habit of eating in the evening.

#6 – I have a weakness for sugar that I will be getting into CHECK ASAP!!!! No excuses with this one. NO SUGAR doesn’t mean I can’t have a little cheat or indulgence every once in awhile, it just means that it won’t be an everyday occurrence!

I’m sure I could go on and on but I really want to focus on putting a plan into place and then tweaking it as I go. I need to focus on consistency and success.

Here is my Game Plan for the next 30 days:

Nutrition / Clean Eating Schedule:

6:00am – Wake up & Coffee/PreWorkout Supplement (meal #1)

6:30am – Workout

8:30am – Breakfast (meal #2)

11:30 am – Mid-Morning Snack (meal #3)

2:00pm – Lunch (meal #4)

4:30 pm – Late Afternoon Snack (meal #5)

7:30 pm – Dinner (meal #6)

9:00 pm – Before Bed Snack (meal #7)

I am going to give it a GO for the next 30 days and then reevaluate and see how things are going. I know for me it comes down to discipline and pushing through the difficulty. It is mostly a mental game and once you break through the barrier it becomes 2nd nature. I don’t expect PERFECTION and I know I will have days where I will slip up, but again it is about staying focused and seeing the prize at the end of the road.

the secret

I will track my progress everyday and record my WORKOUTS & DIET. I know I can do this for 30-days. Focus on your goals and take it one week, one day, one meal at a time…MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!