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Friday, May 31, 2013

Clean Eating Challenge

Since January, I have been doing monthly Facebook fitness challenges over at Fit and Healthy with Debbie Reichert. Last week, a friend of mine mentioned doing a clean eating challenge for June.  Brilliant I said!! There are many people out there that work out consistently, but yet struggle with the nutrition component of their exercise program so I would like to help you with that this month if I can.  Here is what we are going to be looking at for the month of June when it comes to our clean eating challenge.

We will look to consume food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet, but yet a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life. 

Eat five small meals/snacks a day. Eating consistently in this fashion keeps your metabolism going throughout the day, keeps your blood sugars in a steady state, and keeps you from getting to that point where you are FAMISHED and will reach for just about anything you can find in the cupboard to curb your appetite.  You will want to include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

Drink at least two liters of water a day
A good rule of thumb to go by is half of your body weight in ounces, and even then I add some.

Get label savvy. Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients.

Avoid processed and refined foods. This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead. Green veggies, such as green beans, broccoli and spinach  contain less starch and more fiber, making them a great choice to fulfill your complex carb needs.

Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.

Shop with a conscience. Consume humanely raised and local meats and eat produce that is seasonal and local. 

Choose organic whenever possible.If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.  The Dirty Dozen includes the following:  apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, cucumbers (add on green beans and kale/collard greens).  The “Clean 15” include the following:  onions, pineapple, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, mushrooms, sweet corn (keep in mind that 85% of the corn manufactured in the U.S. is genetically modified, so in my opinion, I do not necessarily agree that corn should be included in the “Clean 15” list).

Consume healthy fats. Try to have essential fatty acids every day. This includes nuts, seeds, avocados, extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil for example.

Pack a cooler for work or when you know you will be out and about for awhile so you always have clean eats on the go.  There is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere for hours on end with no healthy snacks to choose from.  

Every day through the month of June, I will write a blog post which will include a clean eating recipe for you to try.  This will either be one of my own recipes, or one of my favorite recipes from another clean eating site.  I will give you ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  But you need to tune into my blog everyday to see what is in store.  Pin your favorites to Pinterest to save them for later as well.  

Make sure to FOLLOW my blog by putting in your email address on the right hand side of the page where it says "Follow by email" and you will get my posts delivered directly to your email.

Best of luck in the challenge and here is a great way to kick off the challenge tomorrow morning by trying one of my favorite ways to eat oatmeal.

I cook my Steel cut oats in water.  When finished I like to pour in a little bit of almond milk, a drizzle of raw, local honey, some cinnamon, chia seeds, and all natural peanut butter (I like the Krema brand) and 1/2 banana. Sometimes I even add in a little bit of chopped walnuts. This is a great way to start your day and FANTASTIC pre-workout!! 

Click here to read about some of the benefits of chia seeds.

I hope you enjoy this month's challenge and it can help you with your clean eating goals!!

In Good Health,


  1. How much Oatmeal is a good amount to eat for breakfast? I know on the package it says 1 serving is 1/3 cup, but that doesn't seem like very much to me. Any thoughts?

  2. That is actually a pretty good serving amount if you eat it the way I do. I like to pile some fruit on top of it, especially love it with banana. If you see all the goodness I put in it above you will see that I can make it so it's nice and filling. Oatmeal is naturally very filling so a little goes a long way, BUT if you are still hungry afterwards, then an egg with it is a great combination too!! Enjoy and make sure to follow me on Facebook!!

  3. Today I had greek yogurt, almonds, cranberries, and a little vanilla. Yum! It's greek yogurt clean?

    1. You know a lot of people will argue if Greek yogurt is necessarily "clean" but I gotta tell you from my perspective it is a great food to eat. I love it as a protein source for pre and post workouts, it has low carbs and I love the probiotics. I don't eat a lot of dairy so I definitely eat this in moderation. You will get different answers to your question in regards to how clean it is. For me, it is acceptable and helps me towards my fitness goals. In my opinion your breakfast sounds simply amazing!

  4. I just want to say that this WAS an amazing pre workout breakfast. Gave me the energy I needed and overall it was an amazing breakfast treat.

    1. Right?!?!?! I think I could eat this everyday for breakfast before working out! Love!! Glad you found a new favorite as well :-)

  5. Just curious if anyone has figured out the calories in this yummy option? :-)

    1. I know, I suck when it comes to listing calories and nutrition info. I simply don't count calories or portion out my food. However, I certainly understand the importance of that to a lot of people and encourage anyone trying to lose weight to do so. Unfortunately, at this time I do not have the extra time to track this, BUT you can do it through myfitnesspal or sparkpeople. Thank you for being a follower of my blog/FB page and let me know if you try any of my goodies!!