But what if you think that you are doing everything right and...you just aren't?
As a Pilates instructor I hear from my students, family, friends and acquaintences about what nutrition paths they are taking. I also tend to pay more attention to social media posts and conversations about diet and nutrition.
In my opinion there is one critical mistake that most people tend to make. But it's not their fault. And if you are doing it, it's not your fault. Blame it on marketing, big business, common misconceptions...the misinformation comes from all over.
Okay. So, I need to get to the point. What is the mistake?
You aren't eating REAL FOOD.
That 100 calorie cereal bar that promises to fill you up and aid in weight loss is basically just chemicals and fillers.
The frozen diet meal that looks so appetizing on the box and is described just like a favorite restaurant meal may taste great and get you thinking that you are on the right track, but, again, it's chemicals, fillers and pretty packaging.
The breakfast sandwich that claims to be "lite" is light on nutrients and healthy ingredients that will help you get through your day.
So, what's a person to do?
Just eat real.
It may take a few extra minutes of prep work, but I promise it isn't as hard as it seems.
Clean Eating Examples:
Breakfast - Peel and slice a banana and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add a dollop (1 tbsp) of nut butter or sunflower seed butter. Dip and enjoy! In the picture below I added berries because they were in season!
Lunch - Carrot sticks, celery sticks, a cutie orange and/or berries, 1/8 cup of almonds, walnuts, pecans or your favorite nut. Add a small piece of cheese, like swiss or babybel, along with whole grain crackers. This is what I pack nearly everyday for my lunch or dinner at work. My favorite brand of crackers.
Dinner - Cook real! Real ingredient always win over pre-packaged. Even if the fat content is higher if, for example, you make a bechamel sauce as opposed to a "fat-free" jar of alfredo, that is okay. Remember, fat doesn't make you fat, sugar (and chemicals!) do.
|When in doubt, throw as many fresh veggies together as you can, |
drizzle with olive oil and a splash of lemon or orange juice!
Here are a few of my favorite clean eating dinners:
Salsa Chicken and Red Beans
Vegetarian Mexican Pizza
Quinoa Tuna Casserole
A quick google or pinterest search for "eating clean" or "eat clean recipes" should also bring you a treasure trove of ideas.
When in doubt, pack whatever veggies and fruit you have and take with you, whether it's to work or to run errands. A banana or apple in my purse has kept me from grabbing fast-food many times! Keeping a Larabar or Kind Bar in my desk has also saved the day quite often!
Remember, you don't have to eat perfect, you just have to eat the best YOU can each day!
What is your favorite clean eating meal?
What is your typical breakfast?
Do you have any emergency healthy snacks packed in your bag or desk?