First, let’s define “clean eating”. When I typed “clean eating definition” in my internet search engine, there were over 6.5 million results. There seem to be as many definitions of this phrase as there are dieting techniques. My understanding of eating clean is to avoid all processed foods, limit dairy, and avoid all sweets (in food and beverage form), including alcohol. There are plenty of recipes out there for a clean version of anything you can think of. I must say that I have been impressed with the ones that I’ve tried.
The summer of 2011, I was enthralled in the art of eating clean and incorporated making smoothies and soups. It worked very well for me. I started doing cardio on my lunch break at my office gym, and then I would add some strength training in the evening. I lost 13 pounds in three weeks, mostly water weight, I’m sure, but it was a great way to kick-start my weight loss plan. It actually worked too well for me – I got pregnant with my third child, and my way of eating fell by the wayside. Now here I am, 20 months postpartum, and back to square one. I am in need of a major overhaul – not just for aesthetic reasons, but for my health and quality of life.
This time around, I am personalizing my efforts. I need to do what is best for me, not only what works for the masses. Don’t get me wrong. The main principles of clean eating are what make it so successful. Processed foods don’t have any health benefits, and foods from the ground, including fruits and vegetables, do. It’s pretty simple. It isn’t so easy to stay on track. That’s where my personal modifications will come in. In order for me to remain consistent and keep my metabolism high, I have realized that protein is my best friend. I don’t eat pork or beef, so I get the majority of my protein intake from poultry, seafood, and beans. I believe that I have failed in the past because I thought that severely cutting all forms of carbohydrates and replacing most meals with a liquid equivalent would do the trick. Well, I lost weight that way, but there was truly no way to maintain the weight loss.
I look forward to keeping it off this time. In the coming weeks and months, there will be many posts related to eating clean, including weekly meal prep.