Taking care of myself properly is fairly new to me and I realize this may be a very dumb question, but I hear people refer to “eating clean” all the time. What does “eating clean” mean? Is this a specific diet?
This is definitely not a dumb question. Eating clean is not a specific eating plan. Eating clean is a term that is used to describe the act of “cleaning up” your diet. In very simple terms it means cutting out the crap. When you’re eating clean you’ve cut out foods like pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, ice cream, cookies, breakfast cereal…basically all highly refined pre-processed food (oh yeah…and the booze, too). You have replaced these foods with whole, natural foods. Examples of clean foods would include fresh vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins such as egg whites, chicken, fish, high quality protein powders and lean red meat. It’s also important to drink a lot of water…shoot for a gallon a day.
For a lot of people it can be very tough to transition into eating clean. The fact is many (most) people now a days are raised and bred on, for lack of a better term, shitty food. Along with a busy lifestyle, fast food and the constant eating out at restaurants, cleaning up your diet may seem like a daunting task. However with just a little planning it can be accomplished very easily and after 5-6 weeks of eating clean it will become more of a lifestyle than a conscious effort…it becomes automatic. Here are a few tips to help you transition into eating clean.
- Plan to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day.
- Shop in the perimeter of the grocery store (all you need will be found on the perimeter of the grocery store … stay out of the middle … that’s where all the junk food lurks).
- Cook all you food for the week on Sundays or another day of the week that is convenient to your schedule.
- Get some vented storage containers to store your meals in.
- Get a soft pack cooler to carry your food with you to work.
- When eating out, make healthy choices (this can be challenging at first, but like everything else, it will eventually become a habit).
- Drink at least a gallon of water each day.
- Give yourself one day a week to “cheat” and eat whatever you want.
Getting to peak performance or looking and feeling your best absolutely requires “eating clean”. You certainly will not get there without it. Although this may have seemed like an overly simple question, if you don’t know, you need to ask. One of the major differences between people who succeed and people who fail is their willingness to ask questions!