Clean Eating Tips

Bits and pieces of advice on clean eating… stuff you NEED to know.

Healthy Work Lunch

You know how it is…  you rush out the door to work in the morning without packing a lunch, which leads to you buying crap in the caf, or worse, buying your lunch from a vending machine.  Of course this sucks if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight and fitness.

The answer, my friend, is to be prepared… to think ahead.  You’ve heard it said that “your body is made in the kitchen,” and it’s true.  You can’t expect to work out but then eat whatever you want, and still look amazing.

So… here’s what I’ve found to work the best… pack a lunch full of little things that will keep you going throughout the day.  Remember that it’s best to eat small meals every 2-3 hours instead of eating three massive meals.  Here’s what my typical healthy work lunch looks like:

 

healthy work lunch

eating every 2-3 hours keeps you fresh throughout the day

 

10 am (ps, I eat breakfast at 7 am)

1. two 3-ingredients healthy cookies

2. small container of raisins, pecans, and almonds

1 pm (lunch)

3. half a wholewheat English muffin topped with a mixture of boiled eggs, avocado, and greek yogurt, as well as two small slices of baked yam/sweet potato

4. small container of celery (we wash and cut up a whole huge bunch for the week at once)

3:30 pm

5. peach (if they’re not in season I have an apple, orange, or banana)

6. one small piece of my full flavoured healthy banana bread. (I only have this if I’m staying at work late; if not, it’s just the peach)

 

I take pretty much this same exact lunch to work every day.  The only thing that really changes is the main meal (#3 above) as it’s usually leftovers from the night before’s dinner.  I make enough for lunch the next day, and you can see some of these recipes at clean dinner recipes and clean lunch recipes.

The good thing about packing a lunch like this is 1) you won’t be hungry, and 2) even if you’re tempted to eat more, you’ve only brought a certain amount along, so you can’t.  This is the reason I don’t haul my whole bag of nuts along to work… I can’t control myself to eat only seven almonds 🙂

What do you like to take along for lunch?  Post it in the comments below.  🙂

 

 

What is Clean Eating?

Ever wondered what’s meant by the term “clean eating”?

Clean eating basically means eating foods that are unprocessed and don’t have additives.  The best way to tell whether a food is clean or not is to check its ingredients list.  If there are heaps of hard-to-pronounce ingredients in there, plus sugar, color, flavoring, and preservatives, you can bet  it’s NOT clean, and therefore not great for your body.  Basically, the fewer ingredients there are, the more likely it is to be clean.

Foods with no labels at all like fruits & vegetables, eggs, lean organic meat, and whole grains (non-GMO) are most definitely clean, and are the absolute best things for you to be eating.

Take a look at this video for some examples:

 

 

So why eat clean?  Well, if you do it consistently, you will notice that you feel sooo much better, have more energy, and will be able to lose weight more quickly when you’re working out.  The thing is that so many packaged foods are not clean, so you really gotta watch what you put into your body.

celery sticks

When in doubt, go for simplicity

 

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not a certain food is clean, remember that the less ingredients something has, the higher probability of it being clean.

Celery sticks, for example, work great.  So do hard-boiled eggs, fruits, non-roasted nuts, etc.

Now I know that eating one-ingredient stuff would get ultra-boring pretty quick and it’s not like you’d want to serve up a plate of celery as meal, so check out these clean eating recipes for more ideas.

 

 

What Yogurt Should You Choose?

 

So you walk into the grocery store with the *intention* of buying some healthy yogurt.  You’re trying to eat clean, after all.

Down the dairy aisle you go until you arrive at the yogurt section, and then you are faced with this:

how to choose a good yogurt for clean eating

Oh the choices to be made in the yogurt aisle.

 

What the heck??  Which one to choose?  There are millions.

And then you spot this one…. mmmm, strawberry.  “Oh my goodness, I LOVE strawberries.  Let’s get this one.  It even says 98% fat free on it.  Hallelujah, I’ve found “the one.” “

 

strawberry yogurt

Mmmmm, sweet strawberry yogurt

 

Nope, sorry, you’ve struck out.  “Why?,” you ask.

Well, turn it over and look at the nutritional facts on the back.  Although it’s fat-free, it has 27 grams of sugar per serving, and unfortunately, sugar makes you fat.  Why?

The simple, not-too-scientific explanation is that when you eat stuff that’s high in sugar, your pancreas produces more insulin, which causes your body to store fat.  And it gets worse… the bigger you get, the more insulin your body makes, which in turn makes you even fatter.  Sucks.

(The other cons to sugar are that it has zero nutritional value, weakens your immune system, throws off your metabolic functions, and is very addictive.  It also grows cancer, gives you wrinkles, makes you stupid (affects memory/recall), and makes you tired.  True story.)

So the “healthy” strawberry yogurt you just bought and are shoving down your trap is actually working against you.

What yogurt to choose then?  May I suggest Greek yogurt?  It has only 4.9 grams of sugar per serving, and the bonus is that it has 17 grams of protein, which is amazing for your body, especially after working out.  You really want to choose foods that are 8 grams of sugar per serving (or less), which will keep your body from having insulin spikes.

 

greek yogurt

Greek yogurt vs. Greek STYLE yogurt… there’s a difference

 

But be careful… you want to choose the Greek yogurt, not the Greek style yogurt which is a bit higher in sugar and much lower in protein.  Check out the above pic to see the difference.

Happy yogurt shopping 🙂