Thursday, July 28, 2011

Clean Eating Pt. 1: Green, Garden or God!

GOOOD Morning everyone! 

I had a lot of requests on facebook asking me what I ate or what clean eating was. It was after I posted my before and after pics from the last three months--what a fun journey it's been!

"I am committed to putting healthy things in my body everyday whether I am craving sweets or not. I am committed to fueling the way I should and I am committed to perpetuating health and not illness. I am going to commit to a shopping time, a prepping time, to cooking and to eating meals I am planning. I am committed to it for my health, for my healthy weight and to practice and exemplify a consistent life for my clients."

So I started by taking some photo's and I started cleaning it up! 

The photo on the left is May 23rd, about 2 weeks after I got home from my NYC trip, not too shabby, fit, strong and doing OK. The Pic on the right is last weekend July 23rd after a run, I was heading to the beach and I saw my self in the mirror--little changes over time sneak up on us, I snapped a photo to do some comparing! I had been taking pics the whole time, in the same outfit, the same bra and shorts...

A pretty big change. It was in fact 10 lbs and 8 body fat points! 

FIRST THING I DID, was toss the junk! 

Here I was, an athlete, a marathoner, a personal TRAINER and I ate junk. I ate donuts for breakfast and fat ladden scones. I ate junky chips and all kinds of processed foods like granola bars, frozen meals etc. Everyone's JUNK is different! Mine didn't "look" bad, but was all high in calories, fat, sodium.. etc. You can see all the junk I talk about here in this POST .  

What is the easiest way to toss the junk?
 Ask yourself these questions: 

Is it in a box or bag? 
Does it have nutritional info? 
Do I KNOW the ingredients I am reading?
Did it ever live or grow outside? 

Here's the thing, even organic co-ops carry items that aren't good for us! Box food, processed food, aka, factory made food so far from it's original state we don't recognize it and can't pronounce it. Food with added sugars, preservatives, food that was created, doctored or modified in a lab somewhere. 

I Added in more: 

More lean protein: Chicken, turkey, fish
Tons of veggies: ALL KINDS
More fruits: All kinds and colors
natural sugars: Honey, agave, fruits
whole grains: Couscous, quinoa, millet

I didn't cut calories or eat celery all day, I NEVER feel deprived, and am always having amazing food like avocado, roasted sweet potato and asparagus, fresh peaches and Yeah, even dark chocolate!! 

1) Cut out processed foods--go for Green, garden or GOD! If you are eating clean, it should be colorful, grew or lived outside or is a product of something that did, and is in or close to it's natural state the way God made it. IF it is, chances are it's a whole food and eating it would be "clean eating"!

2) Cut out sugary drinks--this goes without saying! Pop, sugary, calorie laden waters, sports drinks, even fruit juices that can be high in added sugar... empty calories that gotta go! Drink that water, add a little lemon or a raspberry or strawberry for flavor! 

3) Eat all throughout the day! Lot's of small snacks and meals keep our metabolism running HIGH and keeps that fuel burning in our bodies! We have to be prepared to do this, plan, shop and cook, but it's well worth the effort--you will reap the results of what you sow! 

4) YOUR version of Clean! Everyone is different, every one's body reacts differently to what they eat, whole foods or not. For the last 2 or 3 YEARS at least, I knew my body was reacting poorly to the kinds of carbs I was eating, so reducing those and eating other carbs worked for me. Experiment with foods you think maybe your culprits and see how your body reacts to the additions or subtractions of certain foods! Find your own healthy balance and version of clean. 

5) Fats and oils are our friends! Opt for healthy fats and natural ones like nuts, seeds, and avocado! Oils like coconut oil and olive oil are amazing replacements for thick, creamy salad dressing that can give you a sugar rush and sabotage a great clean salad! I cook with coconut and olive oil daily! Embrace the fats, they are your friends! 

6) Toss the Fat free, reduced fat foods! In order to take the real fat out which is often natural and healthy, they replace it or add in chemicals! You are trading true natural fat for unnatural processed junk! Allow yourself a LITTLE of the full fat item or treat you want and enjoy the FULL flavor. Instead you sacrifice flavor to save just a few calories to eat fat free and ingest unnatural ingredients--NOT a fair trade for your health or your weight loss!

Do I still have processed foods? Yeah, it's hard to avoid, they sneak in. I have power bars when I am in a crunch and on the go, but I try to be as prepared with whole, clean foods that will fuel me as I can. Want that pizza? Have it, just make them treat foods, not as a part of your daily diet. 

Be SURE to get the right amount of fats and carb ratio for your daily needs, I will talk more about that tomorrow...  In the meantime here is a cute chart on how to find REAL Food at the Supermarket: 


Kari said...

You look amazing! (You looked great before!!!) Thanks for sharing the photo. That is really motivational.

Mellissa said...

Just wanted to tell you, YOU LOOK HOT! Smokin'

Having a body that is strong, muscular, with clear glowing skin is a lot of hard work but eating clean foods is a huge part of it.

April said...

Whoa!! Talk about results! You are such an inspiration. You challenge me to do better...I may follow your lead and commit to clean eating...I don't eat horrible, but def not clean. I haven't had problems with committing to anything else, family, church, working out , running...but eating clean has always been my arch-nemesis....

LaShaune said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Mary. You look terrific.

I kept thinking I was eating enough fruits/veggies until I started tracking them. Uh - yeah, need to increase those and get off the junk.

Any suggestions for quick breakfast (currently eat Oatmeal each day), that I can toss in my bag at 5am (I have a hard enough time getting up at 5, so prepping a full breakfast may not be the easiest thing - wait...that's an excuse). Haha, just answered my own question - boiled egg, fruit, and a good cheese like the protein boxes at Starbucks!

Wendi said...

Thanks for the tips Mary! I have been noticing a lot lately that I'm not getting enough fats and protein, and that is definitely affecting my performance. I just ordered one of the Eat Clean books, so if you want to read it just let me know!

Amy said...

You look awesome and why do your posts always come at the right time. I got some bad health news yesterday and I need to focus on my health and I may just be doing my version of Clean Eating.
thank you

Julie said...

I'm sharing this with a friend/client RIGHT now!

Mom on the Run said...

Great Job with your eating. I try to eat as healthy and clean as I can but agree with you that it is hard sometimes. Thanks for posting the chart for grocery shopping. It is very helpful.

Mary said...

Thanks for all the comments--remember though, I am not eating PERFECT! I have processed foods, just not a ton, they are hard to avoid all together, I eat chocolate, pancakes etc but in a real minimal sense! Not perfect, just better than I was eating...we are all different and have different goals, this is why we celebrate!

My Life and Running said...

I seriously commend you for turning up the committment. You are looking fabulous & sounds like you're feeling it too! Loving all your suggestions, especially the part about each of us finding our own healthy balance & version of clean!

For me, I'm very careful of not thinking foods as "bad" vs "good", especially when it comes to carbs & dairy. I believe we need them (especially as female athletes) and they CAN be healthy components in our diet. So instead of restricting, I've tried to focus on replacing with quality nutrients. Whole grain bread for sourdough. There are whole grain wraps "processed" with very few ingredients - they're the perfect base for veggie packed wraps or a snack with hummus. As for the dairy, I think milk is one of the best (&cheapest) proteins out there! I've swapped out the 1/2&1/2 for skim and nixed the sugary yoplait for 0% greek. Definitely love my milk & yogurt!

And a funny thing, pizza is a regular staple in my diet! I just make it homemade now, loads of veggies, whole wheat dough, very easy on the cheese (&pick more flavorful cheeses (gouda, bleu, goat) where a little can go a long way!). So that "bad" food really can be turned into a "good" fuel!

Looking forward to Part 2! Thanks for being such an inspiration & sharing your journey!

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