What do I mean by ditching the processed foods? I’m talking about clean eating…just eating real food. Choosing the homemade muffin made with real ingredients over the store-bought version with a mile-long list of wacky ingredients. It’s no more complicated than that.
Your food doesn’t even need to be home-cooked all the time! For example, I don’t make my own bread, I just buy from a bakery that uses organic ingredients I could replicate at home (Great Harvest is our bakery of choice).
Why change your habits and choose a clean-eating way of life? You will feel SO MUCH better, that’s why.
Imagine the version of you with sustained energy, not feeling tired at 3pm; the version of you at your optimal weight, feeling confident and in control, not feeling consumed by cravings and struggling to fit in your favorite jeans; the version of you who eats for energy and enjoyment and feels, well, fantastic.
Pretty picture right?
No, I don’t always feel fantastic, but I feel a whole lot better than I used to (and I usually do feel great!).
Most clients I speak with cite time as their biggest barrier to eating well. I know, we are all busy, and picking up food that is already made for us sounds so much quicker. But then we sacrifice quality and end up on a crazy craving-rollercoaster and consuming way more than we need due to the addictive ingredients wreaking havoc on our systems.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to eat clean. I do it every day. Because I don’t have a ton of time either. I have a business and kids and obligations just like you. But I promise, you can change habits and make this transition too.
I didn’t always eat like this. Rewind a short 7 years and I was eating processed ‘healthy’ foods because I didn’t know an easier way. Unfortunately I was also tired, bloated, often sick, and moody.
How do I eat so well now?
Simply set yourself up for success by changing habits. Here we go….
1. Kick Sugar.
Kicking sugar allows you to change your taste buds, easily slim down your waistline, and increase energy naturally. You need to get out of the hold that sugar has over you so you can truly enjoy real, whole foods.
Ever feel out of control around sugary treats? Or do you ever eat a full meal only to be hungry shortly after? I certainly have. That’s sugar. It’s addictive.
I have found that the best way to kick sugar is to go cold turkey. Get it out of your diet and you will feel better fast. Find all of the places it’s hiding in your diet. (My clients have had success with this approach too!)
The first couple days may be tough, but you can do it! Grab fresh fruit or a treat made with medjool dates (like this one) instead of giving in to the craving.
Once you break free from sugar, you become more in tune with your true hunger and satiety cues and enjoy the flavors of real food. You are able to break what I call the ‘crazy cycle’ of cravings and the constant need for more.
2. Plan and prep.
You don’t have to make a week’s worth of meals on Sunday, or stock your freezer for the next month, but you do have to find a balance that works for you when it comes to grocery shopping and planning out meals.
You need a well-stocked pantry and an arsenal of easy-to-prepare meals. If you wing it every day, you will end up making less-than-ideal choices. I’ve learned the hard way on this one (hello, binging on Costco organic tortilla chips).
- Start with a simple meal plan for the week. Plan out meals and snacks so you know what to buy.
- Cook more than you need at one time so you always have leftovers for quick meals.
- Find a couple go-to meals you can make in minutes that you always have ingredients on-hand for when life doesn’t go as planned.
- Always travel with snacks. Don’t let yourself go too long without food or you’ll make poor choices (aka me and the chips). I like to have fruit, almonds and protein powder packets with me.
3. Figure out which foods work well for your unique body.
This is where it gets a little more complicated, and this step is advanced, so don’t worry if you aren’t ready for this one.
This step really kicks clean eating up a notch. You learn to choose the foods that work well for you and dump all the vegan, paleo, dairy-free, raw, gluten-free, etc, etc advice.
I teach this in my seasonal cleanses, but you can start to uncover hidden intolerances draining your energy and inhibiting weight loss on your own!
Start a food diary so you can connect what you ate with how you feel. Note what you ate, how hungry you were, and how you felt after eating.
I realized through elimination diets (ie my seasonal clean-eating cleanses) that peanuts and eggs don’t work for me. Big bummer. But at least now I know what was giving me digestive distress. Dumping those two foods made weight loss so much easier.
Lastly, give yourself a break. Habit change takes a while.
Remember, the goal is to eat food to fuel your body and enjoy your life. Stress hormones released when you feel guilty over food choices are probably causing just as much inflammation and harm as the fake food you are eating. So let it go. Consider it part of your 10 or 20%, enjoy every bite, and move on (Learn about my 90/10 lifestyle here).
If you are ready to look and feel your best so you can do now what you’ve been putting off until you have more energy, look better or feel more confident, then contact me now for a free consultation!
I love sharing my knowledge, so if you have time to focus on you, so do I. Contact me now and let’s make 2016 your year.