Blog # 2 – My Lunch-Bag !
- Morning Snack: Cottage Cheese and Oatmeal
- Lunch: Grilled Veggies, Salad, Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes
- Afternoon Snack: Berries, Nuts and Sliced Fennel
- and lots of water and lemon!
When you struggle with your weight, the journey has no end. Losing weight and keeping it off is like a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs, highs and lows, fear, anxiety and exhilaration. With fad diets, fancy weight-loss programs, tons of websites, and book after book, theory after theory, it’s POSSIBILITY OVERLOAD.
So where do you start? What works? What’s healthy?
I am not an expert, nor am I a health professional, but the way I look at it is, use your common sense! There is no silver bullet and no short-term fix. For me, in the summer of 2011, even with endless calorie counting and being “active” I was 160 pounds. Feeling sad, frustrated and deprived I decided to invest in myself, hire a personal trainer and “clean” up my diet. Now I am down 40 pounds, at 18% body fat, and am able to eat twice as much as before (healthy foods of course). Something’s working!
So what is clean eating? Most importantly it is NOT a diet, it is a lifestyle. You read it everywhere, and it is true, a diet is temporary and a lifestyle is a long-term commitment. My simple definition of clean eating is to stick to whole natural foods as much as possible, nothing processed. It’s principles wrap up much of what we already know, but decide not to apply, like:
· Eat small frequent meals/snacks (5-6 times per day) to prevent hunger and fire up your metabolism. Eat every 3 hour’ish.
· Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats in each meal choice. Keep daily protein % high to build muscle.
· Avoid ALL processed, refined foods and bad fats (sugar, baked goods, candies, white flour, white rice, margarine, butter, etc.)
· Drink lots of water (water and lemon a great cleanse) and Tea’s (especially Green Tea to boost metabolism).
· It’s not about calorie counting, BUT calories do matter. There is math to losing weight. Don’t over-eat. Portion sizes DO matter.
· Exercise at least 3-4x a week, blending cardio and strength training to lose fat and build muscle.
· Always be prepared. Plan meals, make ahead and in batches, and always pack your lunch/snacks. (I have my “feed” bag wherever I go).
Let me put it this way, my great grandmother lived to 97 years of age, without a pill, disease or hospital stay (except for cataract surgery). If I think long and hard why, probably some good genes, but she followed clean eating principles without knowing it. Her food was organic (grown and harvested in her garden), she was a grazer (she ate small meals, every few hours, never stuffing herself), nothing was processed and all meals were home made from scratch using quality ingredients (tomato sauce, pasta, sausage), nothing was excluded from her diet (she ate carbs, healthy fats, protein, dairy, sweets and half a glass of red wine at every dinner), she was always on the move (no fancy trainer or gym, but plenty of walking, laundry, cleaning the house, and gardening), and lastly no stress (is that possible?)!!!
Sound familiar? Yup.
If you’re in the same struggle, or just want to eat healthier, I encourage you to use your common sense and bring it back to the basics! Look at what clean eating can offer you. To learn more check out Tosca Reno’s website, books or materials.
Remember you can’t work off a bad diet; the magic to beat this struggle is 80% food, 10% exercise and 10% genetics. Seems like our mothers were right again (damn!) 🙂
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