Spring Clean Your Diet.

30 Apr

 

Spring Cleaning

While you may not have attacked that monster of a closet still full with winter crap or organized last season’s shoes or even attempted to spring clean any part of your home it’s never too late to spring clean your gut.   Clean eating is not a new concept but may seem like a new fad diet a la, gluten free or Kale however, those involved with health, fitness or nutrition from competitors to personal trainers and health conscious individuals have been practicing “clean eating” for years.

All it is choosing to eliminate all the crappy, fatty, processed foods and extra additives from your diet.  Basically, you are choosing to eat whole, unrefined foods and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Eating clean isn’t a diet it more of a lifestyle choice whether you’re a meat-eater or vegetarian like myself. Opting for a more “orderly, pure” diet doesn’t mean emptying out your fridge and spending much-needed green on organic greens  the idea is to stay away from anything that may have been altered in any way.

Personally I’m a  label Nazi, I’m always reading the contents of everything I buy (if you can’t pronounce it you shouldn’t eat it) although, like some of you fatties I have my moments where I rather go for something quick and delicious whatever GMO,  steroids or additives are free with purchase.  As summer approach and as I look in the mirror I know it time to get serious about my diet.

No matter how hard you workout If you’re not putting the right food into your body it will all go in vain. A clean diet will result in not only a slimmer figure or more pronounced muscles but increased energy, clearer skin, shinier hair, better sleep and increased mental well –being.

 

These are the steps I’m taking to get back on the clean eating track.

  1. Fasting for 24-72 hours is the perfect way to press the reset button on your intestines. You can do a liquid diet or veggie/fruit diet.  This will help clean your system and prepare you for your new dietary change. Kind of like an oil change, you don’t put new oil in with the old.
  2. Things to eliminate are sugar, over processed foods (precooked, prepackaged or boxed). Especially white flour and sugar, artificial sweeteners, sugary beverages, such as soda, juice, and alcohol (I hear the screams now). Foods with chemical additives like food dyes and sodium nitrite, foods with preservatives and artificial foods, such as processed cheese slices. Also, Saturated fats and trans fats and anti-foods — calorie-dense foods with no nutritional value (pastries, chips, salad dressing, junk food and fried food).
  3. Limit dairy; being a vegetarian as well as cheese being so tasty this is a source of protein and a good source of calcium however, it’s high in calories/fat and cause bloating. It’s best to lower all dairy intake; sour cream, cream cheese, ice cream and milk. Switch to almond or soy milk both has more calcium than milk with few calories, buy egg whites instead of whole eggs and choose block cheese that hasn’t been processed or artificial.
  4. Water, water and more water is one way to jumpstart the eating clean lifestyle because hydrated muscles grow and perform at a higher level, and they are better protected against catabolism (breakdown).  Also, water keeps you energized, flushes out toxins and waste, increases your metabolism and helps your body assimilate vitamins and minerals. To shed some pounds trade in carbonation, soda and juice for cold, crisp water.
  5.  Listen to your body by eating when you’re hungry and don’t wait until you’re in a food coma to stop eating, stop when you’re full, meaning satisfied, not stuffed. Once you feel content  you should be done with your meal. Again, make sure you’re drinking sufficient water throughout the day as feeling hungry could actually be thirst.
  6. Proportion is everything just as when dressing yourself, the wrong size will ruin your entire look. Rely on proper portion size to keep a balance diet and scale. Some people may complain of not losing weight on a clean (or vegetarian) diet however eating small frequent meals 5-6 times per day every 2-3 hours to level blood sugar and prevent hunger will help melt those lbs. If you’re not a big eater 3 well balanced meals 6 hours apart with 8-12 hours in-between dinner and breakfast will help regulate digestive track and metabolism. Don’t overload yourself with food.
  7. A key to a balanced clean diet, knowing the “magic combination”.  Focus on Nutrients, not just calories don’t get too caught up in the numbers game. I know in my body weight-conscious universe, it’s easy to measure everything in terms of calories-in, calories-out. While this approach can help make you thin, it’s not enough to make you healthy. Have two or three servings of healthy fats and fatty acids every day. Lean protein, such as chicken breast, legumes and fish, with complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies is a key principle of eating clean. Keep your meal simple.
  8. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store as a general rule. The periphery is the natural habitat of the fresh vegetable, meat market, whole-grain baked goods, and the nuts and dried fruits in the bulk bin. Even if you venture into the interior for some staples like olive oil, dark chocolate or frozen veggies keep your blinders on. You’re entering an obese trap of extravagant packaging and manipulative slogans. Few of the items you see in the store’s interior promote good health; it’s a stretch to call most of it “food.”
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6 Responses to “Spring Clean Your Diet.”

  1. mybodymytime April 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Great post

  2. Manu May 1, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    Except for the fasting you are describing my lifestyle! 😉

    • BougieHippie May 1, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      The fasting is for those new to clean eating. Needing a reboot. As well as it’s Good to fast at least once a week.

      • Manu May 2, 2014 at 2:40 am #

        I’ve never fasted and I must recognize that I have some prejudices about it. I know that you have written about this before, but it would also be great a post about fasting in a more personal way, I mean about how do you personally feel when you fast (like how do you feel after 12h without eating or after 24h) and how it really affects your life in a positive way. Just a suggestion! 🙂

      • BougieHippie May 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

        You know what?! I got you!!!!! Coming up! thank-you.

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