Hi friends. It's time to talk about eating clean. Some of you have been asking me to post more details about my eating habits and I'm nothing if not obliging so here we go! Keep in mind that this is still fairly new to me but I'm learning on a daily basis. When it comes to fitness I'm like a sponge just soaking up as much as I can from various trainers, peers, magazines and of course the interwebs, which all amounts to learning and re-learning every day how to eat clean and work out.
Eating 'clean' in it's most basic sense just means eating only what is naturally grown: fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, turkey, whole grains, and some root vegetables being the best choices. Anything processed is pretty much on the 'cheat' list and anything "white" (flour, sugar, potatoes, white rice) is strictly forbidden. This is obviously pretty boiled down and for a more in depth look at eating clean you should definitely check out Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet (http://www.eatcleandiet.com/). But I urge you not to think of this as a diet per se. As corny as this sounds it really is a lifestyle change, and once you get started and get a couple weeks comfortably under your belt you'll never want to go back. Eating clean takes (almost) all the guess work out of the horrible feeling you get when you wander hungrily into the kitchen thinking "What in the world can I eat?" Since the tenants of what you should eat when eating clean are so basic, it is extremely easy to put together meals and snacks once you know the components of your food groups.
Like I said, this is a really boiled down version but I'm just going to give it to you straight, the way that I understand and live it.
Protein: Unbelievably important for lean muscle building, and remember, the more lean muscle you have, the more fat and calories you burn when you're not even working out. (Sweet.) Best sources: egg whites, chicken and turkey breast (breast only), yogurt, pinto beans, black beans, nuts and seeds
Complex carbs: Yes, please eat carbs! Best sources: brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, 100% whole grain bread
Veggies: Eat them all and as many as you like!
Fruit: Eat but be careful, fruit contains a lot of sugar. Best to stick to berries.
I'll leave you with a sample menu.
7:30am oatmeal w/ blueberries, 2 tbsp flax seeds, 1 tbsp honey (can substitute walnuts for flax seeds) + 3 egg whites
11 am protein shake made with water
12pm large "salad": spinach, butter lettuce, 1/2 c brown rice, pinto or black beans, whole chicken breast shredded, tomato, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 bell pepper (don't be fooled by the word "salad," these are protein and power-packed meals!)
3pm small piece of salmon with brown rice and broccoli
6pm BBQ chicken breast, steamed asparagus, sweet potato
8pm (this is the controversial "snack hour," my philosophy is if you're going to snack, snack the best you can) 2 brown rice cakes with 2 tbsp almond butter or sugar free jelly
So, there we have it. This is pretty close to what I eat on a daily basis with some exceptions on Fridays and Saturdays (I cook all week and tend to opt-out of that particular chore on the weekends).
There are so many little caveats along the way like bananas (full of fat), carrots (sugar), and corn (we don't digest it and it bloats us), but you really have to just find your own rhythm with this whole eating thing. Don't think of it as denying yourself (it took me YEARS to get over this one), think of it as enabling your body to do amazing things.