What is eating clean? Eating clean is eating food in the form that it was naturally intended for us. Over decades we have changed the way food looks and feels to increase taste, respond to desires and accommodate for convenience. What this has done to our food is reduce the amount of nutrients we are getting with every single serve. Some foods that we eat have next to no nutrients at all, so why are we putting this into our bodies? I am going to give you a simple guide to eating clean so you can start your journey to a leaner, healthier and energized body.
Where do I start?
The best thing to do is look inside your pantry and refrigerator. What is it filled with? Is your pantry filled with boxes of cereal, crisps, crackers and sweet biscuits? These types of products are a good example of minimal nutrition but high in energy which means you will likely feel hungry right after eating them as they aren’t giving you what your body needs. Now let’s move to the fridge! Is your fridge filled with fruit and vegetables or is it loaded up with ready meals and soft drink? The best place to kick off your eating clean plan is to get rid of the packaged goods and learn how to fill your pantry and fridge with items that your body will thank you for.
Clean and Simple Food Choices
Think about breaking up each of your meals into 3 key components.
3. Good Fats
For each meal you want to make sure you have a representative of each of these groups. You want to have them represented in the order I have listed. You want your plate to be filled with mostly vegetables, with a small portion of protein and a small serving of fat. If you have each of these 3 in every meal, this will be giving your body what it needs to feel nourished.
Here are some examples of meals that follow the components above.
For breakfast you could have a 2 Egg (Protein) Omelette with grated Zuchinni, Tomatoes and Mushrooms topped with Avocado (Good Fat). Or perhaps Fresh Berries over Greek Yoghurt (Protein), sprinkled with Almonds (Good Fat).
For lunch you could have Smoked Salmon (Protein) with Avocado (Good Fat) Tomatoes, Rocket with Feta Cheese (Protein) on Rye Bread. Or you could have a Chicken (Protein) Salad with Spinach, Dried Cranberries, Tomatoes and Avocado (Good Fat) Drizzled with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
Dinner is best to keep simple and light. Pick any meat, grill it and season with Lemon and Herbs. Serve with your favourite Salad Greens or roast vegetables and top with Toasted Almonds and Olive Oil.
Move Your Body
Make sure that you exercise regularly! If you aren’t someone that goes to the gym regularly make sure you at least walk for 30 mins a day. To ease into fitness try a Yoga or Pilates class as these are both great ways to boost your core strength. Stretching and lengthening the muscles will assist you getting that lean and clean look. I like to mix it up at the gym – you will find that most gyms will have classes. This is the best way to ensure that you work hard during your time at the gym. Get yourself along to a cardio or spin class. I personally like boxing classes, you work super hard, it doesn't feel like hard work, and you can release the stresses of the day!
Drink Plenty of Water and Supplement Your Diet
This goes without saying! Make sure you’re drinking enough water, but don’t drink too much. You want your urine to still have colour. The aim is for your urine to look like Chardonnay! If it’s clear, then you are likely drinking too much water and over-working your kidneys! Fish Oil tablets are definitely a supplement you can’t miss out on! I also take Vitamin D, E, Magnesium, Zinc and Chromium. Make sure you do your research before taking any supplements as pre-existing conditions might not allow you to take them.
This has pretty much scratched the surface on clean eating, there is so much more to learn. But the basics will give you a pretty good start on some changes to make in your life immediately. Remember that every little change you make will take you one step closer to living a clean and healthy lifestyle.
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