Imagine it is a Sunday morning and you have decided it’s time to clean the house. You have about 2 hours to get some work done and you start with your bedroom. You find a place for the loose change, the laundry is put away and you’ve re-made your bed. Time for the kitchen—sweep and mop the floors, put away the dishes, sterilize countertops and you find a place for the stack of papers. Room by room you clean things up to your liking and you finally finish everything by taking out the trash. Where am I going with this? I’ll explain with three major points:
1. When cleaning up your diet, imagine it is like cleaning up your house.
a. Everyone’s house is different just like everyone’s goals and nutritional needs are different. Someone cleaning up their house for the first time in a month will most likely spend a lot more time and effort compared to the person that cleans every Sunday. With that being said….
b. You can’t expect to change your diet overnight just like you can’t expect to clean your entire house in less than an hour. Make small weekly changes to reach your clean eating vision.
2. When cleaning up your diet, imagine it is like taking out the trash.
a. Trash builds up over time. It gets stinky and gross. Yes, I just used the word stinky. I think most would agree it is wise to take out the trash on a regular basis versus waiting 2 weeks to get rid of the junk that has piled up in your kitchen and bathrooms. Imagine if you regularly removed the added “junk” from your diet versus waiting 2 months to start eating better.
b. Remove your dietary “trash” by removing the added sugar, added salt, overly processed foods and trans fats from the diet. Maybe you start by controlling your added sugar intake for two weeks followed by limiting the added salt the following two weeks. This is a more realistic progression towards clean eating.
c. Replace any “trash” with vegetables, fruit, herbs, whole grains, beans, legumes, yogurt, nuts, seeds, oils, eggs, salmon, seafood, lean proteins and water.
3. When cleaning up your diet, rely on high quality foods.
a. No one wants to use harsh cleaner on their hardwood floors or use the wrong kind of cleaner when scrubbing the showers. Why do that with your food choices and your body?
b. Purchase fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market, ask your butcher how the chickens were raised, rely on herbs and spices for your flavor—not the brown rice that has been pre-seasoned with who knows what and the list could go on and on. High quality food is important; but make sure you know your goals, your realities, and what you are willing do to in regards to your food choices.
I hope this helps break down what I consider “CLEAN EATING.” Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect, but you can create a meal plan that involves small weekly changes and eating specifically towards your goals by relying on whole foods. Happy “TAKE OUT YOUR TRASH” Tuesday!!