If you are considering improving your eating habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle to create an ageless body, incorporating these tips to eating clean will be a big step in the right direction.
25 years ago when I stopped eating meat there weren’t so many vegetarian and vegan restaurants and convenience foods. Now you have so many healthy choices there’s no reason to not clean up your diet.
If you’d like to start with the foods you are eating now, check out these tips from CleanEatingOnline. And if you have already stopped eating meat, chances are you’ll know the substitutions to make in the menu suggestions. The one point I would disagree with here is the need for snacks. I am a small person and any one of those snacks would be a meal for me. I also have never been a snacker. So look at your own body and do what works for you.
This is the question I get asked all the time. I think people assume it’s really difficult and time-consuming. It’s really just a matter of planning all meals and snacks ahead of time.
Here are some basic principles of clean eating that you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Eat primarily non processed foods. If it comes out of a box, don’t eat it. If it comes from the earth, eat it
- Eat six times a day. This is to keep your metabolism fired up and it keeps you from getting too hungry
- No alcohol or sodas. Drink lots of water and/or herbal unsweetened tea
- Never miss a meal
- Combine lean protein and complex carbs at every meal
- Avoid all trans fats
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
Ideas for breakfast would be:
- Steel cut oatmeal (not flakes) with berries and 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
- 4-5 scrambled egg whites with 4 oz. potatoes mixed with red peppers and onions
- 1 c. yogurt with 1 c. fresh berries, 1 slice whole wheat toast
- Whole wheat pancakes (see recipe section) with fruit
- Banana chocolate smoothie (see breakfast recipe section)
NEVER, EVER skip breakfast!!!! Think about it. You’ve just been sleeping for 7-8 hrs. (hopefully). Your body needs some fuel after not eating for that length of time. Your mother was right. It IS the most important meal of the day!
Okay, here’s where things get a bit more challenging. Most people are home at breakfast time. Not so for lunch. My suggestion would be to pack a small cooler the night before and just grab it when you leave for work in the morning. (This is where the planning comes in.) Anyway, here are some lunch ideas:
- 4 oz. chicken on whole wheat bread with mustard and avocado slice; green salad with olive oil and vinegar
- 4 oz. chicken, 1/2 c. brown rice, 1 c. low sodium lentil soup
- 1 c. whole wheat pasta, 1/2 c. low sodium marinara sauce, 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, 1/2 c. broccoli
- Mexican Chicken Wrap (see recipe section)
- Easy Chicken Salad (see recipe section)
- 4 oz. salmon, 1 medium baked sweet potato and 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 turkey burger patty, 1 baked potato cubed and roasted with 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. chopped rosemary
- pizza made with 1 whole grain English muffin, 1/4 c. part skim mozzarella cheese; salad made with 1/4 c. chickpeas, 2 tsp. cilantro, 2 tsp. minced garlic and 1 Tbsp. honey-mustard vinaigrette
Snacks are NOT optional!!! You will need to eat 3 snacks a day, one after breakfast, one after lunch, and one after dinner. In the beginning you’re going to feel like you’re eating ALL THE TIME but soon you will get used to eating this way. Believe me, it beats walking around hungry all day. Here are some tasty snack ideas. All snacks should be around 200 calories.
- 1 English muffin with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 6 whole wheat crackers and 1 oz. cheese
- 1 c. plain nonfat yogurt with 1 c. berries
- 1 small baked sweet potato mixed with 1 c. plain nonfat yogurt
Eating clean is simply an amazing way to live your life. But how do you begin?
Here are 6 things you can do today to start eating clean:
1. Start making your own salad dressing. There are way too many yucky ingredients in prepared salad dressings, including high fructose corn syrup. Here’s a delicious recipe for easy vinaigrette dressing that I make all the time.
2. Stop drinking sodas and diet sodas and start drinking water and herbal tea.
3. Avoid modern vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. Instead use coconut oil (read about the awesome benefits of coconut oil here) and extra virgin olive oil.
4. Cook your own meals instead of eating fast food. Not sure how to start preparing healthy, clean meals for yourself and your family? Here are some awesome menu plans to get you started!
5. Replace food you eat from a box or a bag with fruits and fresh vegetables. Remember, if it was made in a factory you probably shouldn’t be eating it. If it came from nature then that’s what you should be eating.
6. If you eat beef, it’s best to consume grass fed beef instead of conventional beef. Read here why this can greatly impact your health.
There you have it, 6 tips for clean eating plus menu suggestions for each meal of the day. Now you’re ready to change your eating habits to healthier cleaner eating and be on your way to an ageless lifestyle after 50.