If there is anything we don’t want to take for granted…it is our health!! If we don’t have our health, then how does our life look? How does life change when we don’t have our health? Just take a few minutes to think about this one.
Our health can be affected so quickly and in just a moment of time. This is why prevention is so critical! Take the time to put only clean fuel into your body… be deliberate about making your body work physically each and every day to get the blood flowing and boost your good cholesterol.
Numerous health conditions are totally preventable but we have to be deliberate about thinking about our health each and every day! What we do now really does matter! Choosing junk or processed foods over fruits and vegetables and clean proteins…NOT a good idea! Choosing to sit on the couch or laying around instead of doing some kind of exercise…NOT a good idea! Choosing a night on the town getting drunk and tonnes of junk food over a healthy evening of fun activities with the family…NOT a good idea!
Every one of those choices we make each day counts either for or against our health and well-being. The choices may not seem like a big deal at the time, but it the big scheme of things, they really are a big deal!
Take some time to be deliberate about what choices you will make towards optimizing your health and do it NOW. Now is the time…do not wait until something goes wrong…until it’s too late to prevent it…
All set for a healthy day today!!! Dynamic strength workout done which now has all of my muscles fired up and roasting a tonne of calories that will increase my metabolism all day! The calorie burn all day is a real bonus! Once we are over-40, our metabolism really needs a kick!
My healthy food is all ready for the day to carry in my trusty cooler that includes mixed greens salad, 0% plain Greek yogurt, raw unsalted mixed nuts and seeds, apple, orange, and a spare scoop of superfood shake in a ziplock baggie just in case I notice any cravings later in the day. I will also have some eggs with pepper for breakfast for extra protein before I head to work!
All set for a healthy day! It helps to get started right every morning and to have some preparation done the night before!
As a Coach, Nurse Practitioner, and host of The Clean Eatery, I often hear clients and patients say how expensive they think clean eating is.
At first, I didn’t understand. I didn’t find it expensive at all. In fact, it’s much cheaper! I soon realized why. There are six mistakes people make that cause clean eats to be more expensive than eating processed foods.
Before we look at how cheap clean eating really is, let’s look at the common mistakes people make that can inflate the cost unnecessarily.
Costly Clean Eating Mistakes to Avoid
Filling the Fridge with Good Food
It sounds weird, doesn’t it, that putting good food in a fridge is a mistake? But it is. People get all pumped up, fill their cart in the produce section, and set it in the fridge… and it’s more than they can or will use in a week, so it goes bad. Money effectively flushed.
It can be tempting, especially as a beginner, to buy pre-packaged food. It’s certainly easier, and if you’re in a pinch for time, sometimes it’s worth the cost. Buying pre-cut fruits and veggies, for example, is much more costly than buying the whole fruits and veggies and cutting them yourself. You’ll pay more for a pre-packaged parmesan chicken breast than a plain chicken breast that you season at home. (You’ll also save yourself the chemicals, but I digress…)
No, despite immense pressure from the foodie community and those who can afford such luxuries, buying organic is not actually required. Especially if you’re starting out or on a limited budget, there just has to be some flexibility on this point. Eating clean is not an all-or-nothing deal where you have to eat all organic, fair trade, locally sourced, or don’t even bother. It just isn’t. Listen, a carrot or salad is better than crackers or chips any day of the week – organic or no. I know there’s a lot of pressure and social status attached to one’s food choices these days, but trust me on this – it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to go non-organic, and a carrot by any other name (organic or not) will taste as sweet.
Buying Frozen Produce
Despite popular belief, fresh produce actually tends to be less expensive than frozen. This is highly debated, in part because of how fresh produce prices fluctuate seasonally, but I found a third option that’s even better. I buy fast frozen vegetables. They have a longer shelf-life, and their nutritional value is often more intact than raw or canned vegetables.
Eating Clean and Dirty at the Same Time
The most expensive option I can think of is to maintain old shopping and eating habits while also buying items for a clean diet. When people double up like that, they inevitably must throw lots away. Lettuce wilts, tomatoes go uneaten, and the drawer of good intentions – er, I mean the crisper, fills with microbial lifeforms. It wastes both food and money, and nobody eats any cleaner because of it.
Lack of Planning
And I’m not talking about meal planning. I’m talking about thinking ahead so when you’re stuck in the middle of a day of errands and appointments and suddenly get hungry, you’re not stuck doing drive through. Forgetting to eat before you head into your day’s activities leaves you stranded, having to buy unnecessary extras on the go.
Clean Eats on a Dime – Keeping Costs Down
Clean eating doesn’t have to cost much. If you start by avoiding those six common mistakes and doing the opposite instead, you’ll be saving money on your grocery bill, not spending more.
Keep costs down by…
* Buying only one week’s worth of food at a time.
* Avoiding pre-made – make your own meals from whole and not processed foods, cut your own veggies.
* Buy non-organic produce.
* Don’t assume fresh produce is more costly than frozen. Compare prices often.
* Commit to clean eating – financing both old and new diets is expensive.
* Plan your day – eat ahead, and pack food along – to save on expensive convenience foods.
Clean eating is actually super simple and cheap.
If you’re just starting out and feel overwhelmed, or feel this whole clean eating thing is complicated, check out this post on how simple and minimalist it can really be. I hate cooking too much to be inventing new, sophisticated recipes with obscure ingredients. My plan’s got to be fast and easy. And it is.
Also, if you’re looking for some motivation, community, or help along the way in your clean eating journey, come on over and join The Clean Eatery, my Facebook group. We’d love to have you.
So my clean eating plan is super simple. It’s also quick. It has to be because I work crazy hours, care for my grandson, maintain a country property (I spent many hours just clearing my driveway last week), and run a fitness business. Oh, and I blog too. I don’t have a lot of time to cook, even if I did want to. Which I don’t.
People think clean eating has to be complicated though. I hear it from my patients, coaching clients, and even in my clean eating challenges. New recipes, different items on the shopping list, and trying to eat new things can seem daunting.
Thankfully, it’s much simpler than all that.
The Simplicity of Clean Eating
Here’s how a crazy-busy woman who hates cooking gets it done:
The Slow Cooker is my Best Friend
It’s almost wrong how easy it is to toss some stuff in the slow cooker. One of my go-tos is to throw in some frozen chicken breasts, dump a can of tomatoes over them, tomato paste and pile on the salt-free seasonings. When I get home hours later, I serve it with salad for a filling, clean meal.
Eat What You Know
Clean eating doesn’t mean having to source new recipes with obscure ingredients every week. Eat what you know. If you eat chicken, beef, and fish normally, keep that up. If you normally eat brown rice, eggs, sweet potatoes… those are all fine.
Basically clean eating means avoiding processed foods. So certain breads, white enriched pastas, chicken fingers and boxed pizzas are things to avoid. Replace them with whole grains, vegetables, and clean proteins.
Wondering what to make? I am planning to add recipes to this blog – simple ones. Click here if you’d like me to zip them to your inbox. In the meantime, check out my 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge that runs monthly HERE.
Stock up on Staples (And I don’t mean office supplies)
If I have a few specific things on hand, I can toss together a day of clean eating in under five minutes. This is a big help for making lunch for work, especially on those days when I haven’t had time for much food prep.
Some of the things I make sure to have on hand are 0% plain Greek yogurt, raw unsalted nuts, cottage cheese, fruit and veggies, bags of mixed salad. These are grab-and-go items. I also keep on hand some basic food items like chicken breasts, canned tomatoes and eggs. I can grab any of these items – or even leftovers from my slow cooker supper – toss them in my lunch, and I’m good for the day.
A Little Pre-Made Goes a Long Way
Sometimes I’ll pre-cook a pot of quinoa or rice to last the week. It’s a great grab-and-go accompaniment to slow cooker meals. My lunches sometimes include a boiled egg or two, so boiling them ahead of time helps me pack with speed in the mornings.
I’ll also pre-cut veggies, maybe even pre-bagging them for lunches. I’ll also buy a variety of raw unsalted nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashews – and mix them together. Then I put them in little baggies and I’m set up for the week for grab-and-go lunch items.
Plan For Success
When I have a day off – and they can be hard to come by at times – I’ll take the opportunity to plan protein source meals for until my next day off. I’ve never been one to plan weeks ahead. One week is plenty for me.
I’ll make the very basic plan, make sure I have ingredients, and add to the shopping list. The plan will inevitably include fast and easy things I can toss in the slow cooker or make into goulash. Because that’s how I roll.
Clean eating really is simple. I suppose it could be more complicated if you wanted it to be. If you love cooking perhaps, or are a foodie who adores trying new recipes, go for it! No one’s stopping you from making Pork and Spinach Stuffed Kabocha Squash or Bacon and Guacamolie Sammies.
If you’re a beginner or, like me, a straight forward keep-it-simple kind of eater, clean eats can be very simple.
For more tips, ideas, recipes and motivation, check out my Clean Eating Community Facebook group or just say the word and I’ll inbox you upcoming posts with tips and recipes for your clean eating journey.
But would she be the kind to take the advice I was about to give?
Time would tell.
“I’m sorry. That’s hard.” I said, offering her another tissue. “Thankfully, this is totally fixable.”
She looked up at me with a mix of curiosity and doubt. “How?”
This is where I wonder what they’re hoping for. A pill? Homework? A promise that the problem would fix itself?
“Your body is not made for exhaustion. It’s a finely tuned machine, capable of running excellently even into your eighties. It’s just… well, it’s kind of like a car. If you put the right fuel in the tank, you can expect it to work. If you pour cat food or dish soap in the tank, you’re going to have big problems.”
She snickered, then sighed, realizing I would not prescribe a magic pill.
I took the time at that point to stop and educate her about clean nutrition principles.. “It will blow your mind how clean eating will change your life.”
She absorbed the information and dabbed her eyes with a tissue again.
“Did you know the processed or chemical-laden foods we eat actually can lead to adrenal fatigue, diabetes, increased fat deposits? It’s because they affect our hormones, which affect metabolism, thyroid, and other hormonal functions.”
She nodded. I guessed she’d heard it before.
“Did you know poor hydration can raise blood pressure?”
I couldn’t tell if she was overwhelmed, disappointed, or just plain tired.
“Seriously, clean nutrition habits will change your life.”
She left my office with an exhausted, half-hearted, “We’ll see. I guess I could try it.”
I thought for sure she’d be among the majority who change nothing and return again and again with worsened symptoms. To my surprise, she jumped in with both feet and started using the clean eating principles I had so carefully explained.
To her surprise, she experienced exactly the results I talked about.
Her blood pressure decreased, emotions stabilized, and her energy sky-rocketed! She didn’t need naps every day anymore. After a few weeks, she even lost a few inches from her waistline.
Our expectation for a quick fix is only making us sicker.
The truth is, our bodies need maintenance.
Just like a car.
Sure, you can ignore it for a while, and even treat it like junk. But after a while, the bolts will loosen, the hinges will stiffen, and rust will start to eat holes in the body.
Prevention isn’t just about avoiding a wheelchair when you’re eighty.
It’s about feeling awesome and energetic on your way to eighty.
If you’re like many of the patients I meet in my job as a Nurse Practitioner, and you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, trust me – clean eating and increased physical activity will be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Try it. The simplicity and results will blow your mind. (and change your life)
Millions of books, articles, coaches, and programs tell us how to slim down and get healthy, yet most of us still struggle. We’ll try diets and we might even workout really hard for a while, only to return to the same, tired problem.
We’re fat. We’re tired. And we don’t know why.
A big reason is because some of the advice out there is just plain wrong. Believing these lies, we continue to struggle with weight and fatigue.
I’ll look at three of the biggest myths we believe, and then show you the truth
Myth #1: Eating Less Helps Us Lose Fat
Sorry, no. Eating less does not help us lose fat. Some people who try calorie cutting may experience a loss in weight, but it’s not fat they’re losing. Without adequate sustenance, the body will fuel itself by burning muscles, not fat.
What’s worse, when regular eating resumes, the body will pack the pounds back on, and in the form of fat. I know, it’s unfair. But this is how it is.
The truth is, it’s not how much we eat, but what kind of food we eat that dictates fat loss or gain. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
Myth #2: Exercising More Burns Fat
What a weird thing for a fitness coach to say, right? But it’s true – exercising won’t burn fat. It builds muscle. It sends endorphins coursing through you, making you feel awesome. It has loads of health benefits and I obviously recommend exercise. But don’t expect it to be just this that burns the fat. You’ll be very frustrated if you do.
Exercise doesn’t tell our bodies whether or not to store or burn fat either, hormones do, as I’ll soon explain.
Myth #3: Ab Workouts Give You Abs
I know this goes along with Myth #2, but it’s such a common belief, it needs its own point.
We’ve been misled – perhaps by our own desperation – to believe that if we just do enough crunches, if we really hit those sit-ups hard, the fat will melt off our midsection and we’ll finally be slim.
Not so. It is impossible to turn fat into muscle.
No, I’m afraid abs are made in the kitchen.
So How Do We Really Burn Fat Then??
The reason none of these things work to burn fat is because they don’t impact the boss. The decision maker. The one who decides whether our body will store fat or burn it.
And that boss is our hormones.
Our hormones – particularly insulin – decide when to store food as fat rather than burning it.
Are you curious what swings insulin to choose fat storage? Are you sure? You won’t like the answer.
What triggers insulin to tell our bodies to store our food as fat is the intake of sugars, carbohydrates, and pretty much any processed foods (because they typically contain both carbohydrates and sugars (plus chemicals), and in high amounts too.)
Note: The recommended clean eating for everyone is NOT a carb-free approach. Our bodies need carbs. We just need the right kinds and in the right amounts. The less processed the better too.
Our hormones ultimately decide how much fat to store, and they don’t care about crunches. You can do two hundred sit-ups every day, it won’t matter unless you feed the hormones what they need to choose to burn fat instead.
It’s not just how much we eat or whether we workout, it’s what we eat that determines whether fat is burned or stored.
Clean eating is super, crazy important. It’s critical.
We can’t be healthy or lose fat without it.
This is why I advocate for and lead a Clean Eating Class regularly on Facebook. It’s free to join, and comes with a meal plan, recipes, shopping list, and daily challenges and motivation from me and others in the group. Contact me to join here and I’ll send you registration information.
Stop letting these myths delay your progress.
Kick your hormones into fat-burning mode with clean eating today!
LETS DO THIS!
#1. Click the button below to receive a PDF about how to get started with a clean eating lifestyle NOW!
#2. THEN, Contact me to learn more about joining a clean eating challenge and burning fat!
Oh man…after 7 days of vacation (5 on a cruise) and all restaurant meals with much higher fat and sodium than I am used to…I feel like a big bloated puff-ball whose GI system is a little on the backed up side.
For those of you familiar with the fluid retention grading system, I literally have 3+ Pitting Edema to my knees and it feels like my feet are under pressure when I try to walk!
Holidays are awesome and relaxing, but I sure am looking forward to getting home to my own healthy clean meals and to my grandson!!! 😊💕. (Not looking forward to the snow though!)
Have you ever had it this way? A stretch of time with a LOT of high calorie, fat and salt foods and end up having a hard time transitioning back to “normal” healthy portioned-control eating after this? When I get home, I am going to do a very healthy 3-day cleanse which will give me a system reset and hopeful help to get me back on track!! I will keep you posted about my experience with this one! 😊😊👍
Would you like to learn the BEST and most effective anti-aging strategy there is?
My “then” picture was taken back in February of 2014. I was tired, not sleeping, aching all over, irritable, miserable, overweight, had poor digestion, miserable cravings, PMS and had no exercise tolerance. I knew I was going to become a new grandma and the thought of being in crappy shape, not being able to keep up to my grandkids was just making me more miserable!!!
After going through numerous medical tests which proved there was nothing medically wrong with me, I knew I had to do something..and fast! I felt like I was sick and dying inside!
I made the DECISION to make some lifestyle changes. I incorporated portion control clean eating, professionally designed fitness program and superfood shakes every day. Over the last 2 years, I have failed and restarted numerous times but kept failing forward …and I realized today when I compared my headshots from them to NOW, it truly HIT me just how much difference this has made in my appearance!!
You can just see it! I am 40 pounds less, so much more positive, full of spunk, hair and skin are glowing and I look so much younger!!! Fitness, superfood nutrition and working on my mindset has totally changed me from the inside out!! This method takes dedication and consistency, but does more to improve health and appearance than any pill or cream can, that’s for sure! 😊.
Take a minute to message me or comment if you think a transformation like this would make a difference in your life! 🌺