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Fun Kitchen Tip:
Adding a multitude of good veggies can easily replace the “full” feeling you experience from eating bread and carb products.
*Substitute things squash, brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes where you would otherwise eat things like rice, pasta, breads, or red/white potatoes*
#1 RULE FOR GROCERY SHOPPING FOR A CLEAN EATING LIFESTYLE:
Do not go down the aisles!
I am being serious. This is the first, simplest, and most important tip I could give you. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. What is around the perimeter? Fruits, vegetables, meats, and everything that is in its purest form. What is down the aisles? Processed junk… The best way to say what NOT to buy and what NOT to eat is ANYTHING THAT COMES IN A BOX! I am honestly sitting here right now trying to think of anything I have in my house that I eat that comes in a box and the only thing that comes to mind isss… nothing. If it has ingredients on it that you cannot pronounce, toss it. I don’t care about your rationalization that is from so-and-so company or that it’s a “100 calorie pack” or that is has raisins and nuts in it. Cut the crap and get real with yourself. Most of you guys know what is processed or not. Right? Clean eating means really really simply only eating things that come in their MOST NATURAL STATE.
The food groups that fool you:
The umbrella of “complex carbs” includes grains, rice, corn, potatoes, and legumes amongst other things. Personally, I do not cut legumes out of my diet. I consume them in the shape of peanuts/peanut butter and beans, all kinds of yummy beans. Some people may tell you to avoid these things. It really depends on your body type. BUT buy ONLY an all-natural brand. Seriously look at the label for this too cause some say “natural” but then the ingredients listed suggest otherwise. I buy all-natural chunky Smuckers or Trader Joe’s all-natural and there is legitimately ONE ingredient listed on the jar: peanuts. With this category it isn’t do or die but it really comes down to being careful how much of these little buggers you eat and what exactly you choose. I tend avoid most grains as often as possible. BUT when I do indulge in something, usually a bagel (which is like heaven in my mouth haha), I go whole wheat or gluten-free. 110%, without exception. Also in the world of potatoes, sweet potatoes have an INSANE amount of nutrients and benefits; especially for us gym rats or anyone engaging in high levels of physical activity but white potatoes you could probably do without for the most part. Now, corn has some vitamins and minerals of course but I am just not a fan so I don’t eat it; thus avoiding the added carb count and getting my intake of these same nutrients elsewhere. Same goes with rice. Other than an occasional indulgence, rice plays less than a cameo part in my diet. However, quinoa (which is in fact a grain but we only eat the seeds of the grain) is an insane superfood and does not fall under the “ban the carbs” category. If you need that pasta or rice -esque fix, look to this ancient superfood to do the trick!
Dairy is not your best friend. A lot of people think cutting out bread is the answer to all their problems; hence, the Atkins and South Beach diet and things like that. While yeah gluten is rough on your body and takes an extended amount of time to breakdown, dairy is also one of those things that will convert straight to fat in your body. Mostly this is referring to things like milk and cheese. Stop putting cheese on everything! This was the hardest thing in the world for me because I freakin L O V E cheese but you learn to love food without it. I pinky promise. This also means cutting down on yogurt. Everyone loves them some yogurt but if it is not greek yogurt stop buying it. Go greek people! I consume dairy very very very minimally other than the almond or coconut milk that I use only to put into my breakfast smoothies when I make them or a greek yogurt a couple times a week. Cutting out dairy has helped me more than anything else. It has been my biggest secret to success.
What is the difference between BAD fats and GOOD fats? Bad fats are just that, things that you should not be eating because your body does not like them and they are not converted into anything worthwhile. Bad fats are processed, boxed, wrapped foods like cookies and candy and cake. Also avoid excess fats and oils that are all, again, processed and terrible. If you have vegetable oil in your cabinet or processed (non-grass fed) butter I am going to cry. And OMG don’t you dare buy margarine or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or any absurd butter substitute. Yes I understand that your body actually does need a certain intake of fat but this should come from healthy things! Hence those things we like to call G O O D fats! Avocados and I are definitely buddies. Nuts? Oh man I love ‘em. How about some coconut, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, or olive oil? Yes, please. Don’t eat things that have extra crap oils. STOP COOKING WITH CANOLA OIL AND VEGETABLE OIL AND ANYTHING SUPER PROCESSED! Leave the Crisco at your grandmother’s house.
This one should be a little more self-explanatory. Don’t buy things that are loaded with sugars! What people miss with this one is that, yes of course that means desserts but, it also means yogurts with like 24g of sugar! That is insane! Put it back on the shelf and move along. It also means watching what your fruit intake is. Fruit is fantastic. I love it. It is also a super super super good alternative to snack on when you are really craving something super sweet. And in the summer. Ohhhh baby, pass that watermelon this way. Wanna know why it is so satisfying as an indulgence though? Fruit is looooooaded with sugar. Bananas have an absurd amount of sugar so don’t overdo them. They are perfect post-workout but you don’t need one every morning. What makes up most pies and tarts? Cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries… Berries are great treats because they are the biggest sugar culprits. I am definitely not saying don’t eat fruit cause there are TONS and TONS of benefits, as I have and will continue to talk about in my blog posts, but be careful how much you eat, like anything. People tend to jump into clean eating and go right for the fruits; sticking them in every meal. Don’t do that. As they say, everything in moderation.