I’ve decided…for the month of March, I will be doing a Clean Eating challenge. After some self reflection, I’ve decided it’s time to give clean eating a try. It’s not a new idea to me – I’ve cooked a few clean meals before, and it’s not as scary or odd as people seem to think. Of course, clean eating means a couple of different things to folks depending on who you ask. Personally, to me the point of clean eating is to take more time to think about what you are eating and to make an effort to eat less (if not any) processed foods.
Truth is, we really don’t know what it is we’re eating anyways – it’s a best guess these days with all the chemicals and splicing that is done to our food. I just would like the comfort of knowing that when I sit down to eat a meal, it’s one that I know exactly what’s in it, because the ingredients are simple and natural – none of that ‘extra’ stuff.
I’ve mapped out a challenge for the women in my running group to basically ease everyone into the mindset of eating clean. The purpose of this challenge is to gradually get you accustomed to looking at food in a cleaner, healthier way. It’s not meant to be a jarring shock to the system, but it should help you to re-evaluate how you eat and why…and also it is meant to get you to incorporate cleaner eating into your current routine. I’m opening that same challenge up to you! Will you join me? Of course you will! Right??? 🙂
Now…for some basics.
- No fried foods -nope, not for the next 4 weeks.
- No fast foods – say bye bye!
- Juices/sodas are allowed, but only following the guidelines for each week of the challenge
- At least 8 glasses of water every day (one per hour)
- Dairy is allowed – HOWEVER, only low fat cheeses (skip the non fat kind) and low fat or non fat milk.
- Keep a food journal that includes what you ate, when, how much, and note how you felt before and after eating it.
Do what you can, with what you have. Each week I will add the new additions to the challenge. This is meant to be a progression – I can’t stress that enough. If you feel like you can do a little more than what the current week’s challenge is suggesting then have at it! But remember, slow and steady will win the race.
You guys still with me out there?!?! Good. Now, here’s the first week’s challenge:
For this week, we are going to focus on what it means to eat clean. Eating clean can mean a lot of different things to many people, but we are focusing on YOU. What is it that you wish to achieve here? is it incorporating more veggies? Eating out less? Cooking more? Whatever it is, state your intention and make it plain. Write it in your food journal – consider it your mission statement for the next four weeks.
Now, let’s get to the challenge for the week:
- Choose two items currently in your fridge/pantry that can be replaced with a ‘clean’ alternative.
- Cease the purchasing of any and all junk food items.
- Two meals each day needs to be dine in, meaning if you hit panera bread for a breakfast bagel, then lunch and dinner are foods for home
- One glass of water…every hour. Remember, we want 8 glasses a day
- Cook at least 1 clean meal this week, and pack your lunch at least 2 days this week – doesn’t have to be overly fancy, the point is to just take the time to think and plan about what you’re going to eat.
- Want a glass of juice/soda/vitamin water/alcohol? Ok, fine. BUT…BEFORE you have that sugary caloric beverage, you MUST drink two 8oz glasses of water. If you still want that sugary beverage after drinking the two glasses of water, ok – go for it.
I hope you guys decide to join in on the fun. I’ll be starting the challenge tomorrow, and to prepare I’m doing this salt water flush. Can I tell you how gross it is to drink 4 glasses of warm water on a full stomach? Ick. But I did it, so now I’m simply waiting for it to kick in and for stuff to kinda just…y’know…moooove out, lol. 🙂
Till next time!