Clean Eating Intro

As you may already know, depending on how hard-core your blog-stalking is, Cody & I have been trying to eat clean for about 3 weeks now.  I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my Crohn’s symptoms… Typically, I missed a day of work per week- in the last 3 weeks, I’ve missed ONE day. That’s it.  Pretty amazing for me 🙂  Plus I feel better everyday… no, I don’t feel normal or even good all the time, but it is better!

I just talked to my mom & it sounds like my poor little brother is showing signs of Crohn’s too 😦  Mom is interested in clean eating now too (score 1 for me- making the world healthier one person at a time!), so I thought I’d share some of the knowledge I’ve gathered so far, as well as more recipes!

Clean Eating Basics

  • Eat foods in the most natural state possible
    • if you can’t pronounce everything on the ingredient list, don’t buy it!!!
      • this is probably the easiest, most important rule!
    • avoid:
      • processed foods
      • preservatives
      • sugar
      • salt
      • saturated & trans fats
      • anything with lots of calories & no nutrients
  • Eat frequently- 5 to 6 small meals a day
    • each meal should have lean protein & complex carbs
  • Drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day
  • Eat breakfast every day
    • I’m currently in looove with oatmeal- 1 serving, with spoonful of flax seed, a spoonful of wheat germ, a capsule of bee pollen, and a healthy dose of cinnamon & raisins.  So good!  I have no idea what the supplements really do for me, but that’s what the book said to eat 😉  Plus they’re kinda tasty…
  • Eat proper portions

Clean Eating Tips

  • Pack a cooler of food each night to take with you the next day
    • I spend about 30 minutes each night getting my breakfast, snacks, & lunch ready
  • Meal plan!!
    • it helps you stay on track, avoid crap meals (since you know what you’re making), and saves money (only buy what you need for that week’s meals)
    • I made a template in Excel, so I just print that out each week & spend an hour or so each Sunday…going through my recipes, making our menu, and figuring out what we need to buy (and then sticking to the shopping list)
      • if you’d like to use the template, let me know & I can email it to you.  I have no idea how to upload it to the blog…
  • Buy a glass or stainless steel water bottle & make it your new sidekick
    • avoid plastic… BPA is not your friend
  • Make too much food at dinner, so you have leftovers for lunch
  • Throw in some exercise too 🙂

Clean Eating Resources

  • Any book by Tosca Reno
    • I have The Eat Clean Diet Recharged and The Eat Clean Cookbook.  The first was great for explaining all the basics & the theory behind clean eating.  The downside to her books (as far as I know) is that she uses weird ingredients & they don’t have a lot of taste… definitely not Montana menu friendly 😉
    • Also look at http://www.eatcleandiet.com/.  There’s some good advice & a few recipes on there.
  • Clean Eating Magazine: http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/.  I haven’t read a hard copy yet, but the website has lots of recipes & they’re more “real person” friendly
  • http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/… There’s tons & tons of info here, as well as A LOT of recipes.  Even better, they’re real food!  Tiffany, the blogger, has taken a lot of normal meals & made them clean.  
  • http://cleaneatingmachine.blogspot.com/… This blog isn’t updated too often, but there are some interesting recipes…
  • and of course- my blog 🙂  Now that I know someone is interested, I’ll definitely post more ideas & recipes!  Sorry to the rest of you who don’t care 😉

One of the main reasons I was drawn to the idea of clean eating is that it also helps with weight loss, but it’s more of a lifestyle change than a diet… plus it’s healthier for you overall.  I figured it couldn’t hurt, so we’re giving it a shot.  There are drawbacks though- it’s more expensive to buy better quality food (thank you Costco for helping with this.. and our future garden!), it takes more time & effort, and I feel a little bit guilty when I eat crap food (as well as a little more sick).  But I’m liking it so far- the benefits outweigh the detriments for me.

I would love to hear from anyone else interested, or anyone who starts implementing these ideas… share the wealth!

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