Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Clean Up Time!

No, not THAT kind of clean up time - with 4 kids I personally have had enough of Barney to last a lifetime!  But I have been working on cleaning up my diet - eating clean, to be exact.  To be honest, I have been on a bit of a plateau over the past few weeks, which completely sucks, and I have been looking much more closely at my diet to try and figure out where I can tweak things to get losing again.  The exercise part of my program has been going pretty well - give or take a few workouts that almost killed me.  But I really struggle with eating well.  You know, making healthy choices every day, avoiding fast food, eating breakfast.  Sigh.  I LOVE food, and changing my orientation to eating is really a struggle.

I have been focusing on eating "clean", which is not a diet, but rather a way of eating that will be sustainable even after I lose weight.  Which I figure is a good plan, or I am just going to be back in the same place six months after my year is up.  Clean eating is really about  a lifestyle that focuses on eating healthy whole foods and avoiding crap.  Sadly, I love eating crap, so making the transition has been tough!

In a nutshell, eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up the diet of Canadians and our neighbours to the south. ( And forget telling yourself that Americans are much worse - I have seen a lot of overfat people rolling around with me in the Great White North!)  These types of food include human-made sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, white bread, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. An easy way to remember if a food is clean is: "if a human made it, don't eat it."

A person that eats clean generally practices the following:
  • Eliminates refined sugar
  • Cooks healthy meals
  • Packs healthy meals
  • Makes healthy choices when dining out
  • Drinks a lot of water
  • Eats 5-6 small meals per day
  • Eliminates alcoholic beverages (or significantly limits it)
  • Always eats breakfast
Sounds deceptively simple, but it is actually tough to break the addiction to processed foods and sugar, unhealthy fats and sodium.  Let's face it people - crap tastes really good.

I am finding it is pretty easy to eat well for a while, but frankly I am easily bored and have a short attention span, so the thought of another breast of chicken and salad makes me want to run screaming from the table.  Not to mention the fact that I HATE cooking and am not very good at it.

So I was chatting with my trainer Wendy today and she had some very helpful advice.  I was complaining about the boredom of eating clean, and she very nicely pointed out that maybe it was time to find excitement and variety in something other than food.  That maybe other things in my life could provide the entertainment that food often has provided.  Hmmmm.  You mean I might be using food as something other than the fuel it is intended to be?  ME???  Really???

I am not denying the pleasure of gathering around a table and enjoying a meal.  But the enjoyment is really in the gathering, and eating clean and healthy never gets in the way of that.  Good food can be healthy food - it just means being a little more creative and a lot less dependent on fat, salt and sugar to make me happy.  Wow.  Who knew that eating your veggies could be so profound?

So I am tweaking my diet - getting rid of some things and increasing some others, and looking for ways to make eating healthy all the time part of my life, rather than a chore to do because I want to lose weight.  Sigh.  To be honest it wounds like a lot of work, like most things worth doing, I guess.

So I might just have to start trading recipes and practicing my clean cooking skills.  Anyone want to get together to share healthy cooking ideas?

BAHAHAHAHHAHAHA - did you really fall for that?? I would rather do Christina's Filthy Fifty!!!


rumomma said...

I'd be happy to send you some of my time savers and favorite clean recipes if you send me your email :)


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