There is soooo much chitter chatter about the concept of clean eating. This has been all up in my business since I’ve started to venture in the fitness community. It’s primarily really inspiring but it also creates a layer of guilt and fear about what I’m feeding myself and my family. Here’s my current situation: 70/30. I eat healthy and low fat 70% of the day and 30% of the time I eat whatever else. It’s loose math but it has kept my weight at a stand still. Here’s essentially what it looks like:
Then came the new year. It was my goal to cook more home cooked meals (don’t judge – I’m not a cook) and I’m just starting to get the hang of that. Yes, it’s soul crushing to see my kids turn their nose up at cauliflower mac and cheese that is barely different than any other mac and cheese and watching my husband cringe at spaghetti squash like a 5 year old is pretty hilarious (JUST EAT IT!), but I keep on trying! My goal is to get more healthy ingredients in all of our bodies.
As I hear more about more about clean eating, I realized I’m not as far off from that lifestyle as I thought. I already plan my meals, cook at night, etc, so why don’t I take a closer look at the ingredients?
I decided to do some research! What does Clean Eating mean anyway? There are 3 big takeaways from my reading:
1. As you can see from any quick Google search, there are 2 sides to this story. There is the ultra purist like Food Babe and then there is the drastic other side most recently represented by an article on Gawker. These are just two examples and both are worth reads.
2. Everyone has a very strong opinion. Like Wonder Woman strong. People are quick to support and quick to shame. No one hides their opinion. I see this a lot on Instagram, which makes me a little nervous to even share my thoughts publicly.
3. At the end of the day, it still feel like it’s a moving target to me. The definition and the execution range for all people. This is where I see opportunity! What’s my version?
I’ve set out on a new challenge! I’m so close to completing my journey to handstand challenge, so now what? I’m giving myself 20 days to clean up my eating! To be clear…THIS IS NOT A DIET! Like LITerally not a diet. This might be a lifestyle change. I’m just taking it for a test drive. My major goals are to have more energy and to put better quality ingredients in our bodies.
Here are some of my fears: Will my family hate the food? Will I have time to eat like this? So many ingredients! So much shopping! Will this blow my budget? Despite these fears, I’ve set some principles for my challenge.
10 Principles for the Mamas Daily Fit Cleaner Eating Challenge
1. Adjust my 70/30 rule. I want to shift the 70% of my focus from low fat to now focusing simple natural ingredients. This doesn’t mean eating a 20 lbs of pine nuts in a salad is ok, but it does mean I will chose almonds for a snack instead of baked chips. As for my remaining 30%, I’m going to push to make better choices here too, with simple ingredients being the base. This 30% is still my wiggle room for going out to dinner, eating pizza (now homemade) or enjoying a glass of wine or 2 or 3.
2. Buy only organic meat, produce & dairy. If it’s around the perimeter of a grocery store, I’m going for organic. Fingers crossed we can still pay our mortgage. Just kidding – I don’t think it will be that bad.
4. Stay away from packaged meat. The butcher should have whatever I need. If I want it ground, they can do that for me. This way the meat should hopefully be from 1 animal. The packaging of ground meat blows my mind.
5. Focus on plants! Fruits, Veggies, Legumes (note to self, Google Legumes), beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The world is my oyster – but not literally bc that’s not a plant. I can still serve Hayden whole grain pasta with carrots and I can serve Adeline whole grain rice and beans and a banana. The goal is to expand all of our plant based repertoire.
6. If I want something sweet, bake it myself. If it’s worth the effort and the calories then put good ingredients in it.
7. If something comes from a box, shoot for 5 ingredients or less. This broadly applies to anything that’s on the shelf in the middle of the grocery store. The number 5 is completely arbitrary and this one might be super tricky but it feels like an interesting experiment.
8. Always have Oreo’s in my house. It’s the key to my family’s happiness.
9. Always have wine in the house. It’s the key to my happiness.
10. Don’t beat myself up. All I can do is all I can do. I’m just trying to make a healthier lifestyle for my family, but if these changes don’t work at this stage of the game in life, then so be it. Life and health are moving targets!