Sunday, August 18, 2013

Clean Eating - what it is and how I am approaching it

Clean Eating is a fairly straightforward concept - eating food that is as close as possible to it's natural state - avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on wholefoods. This means fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, free-range unprocessed meat, poultry and fish. It means avoiding bread, pasta, white rice and the like. It tends to be sugar-free and if you follow some of the stricter definitions - fun-free!

The way I have approached the whole Clean Eating thing is to be as clean as possible about 90% of the time. It was Christina at Reveal Yourself that got me on to this, and it was her that suggested the 90% idea. It is this slightly more lenient approach that actually makes it fairly doable. To be honest, I don't follow the rules completely. I do buy fresh fruit and vegetable, but have to admit I find the price of organic food fairly prohibitive, particularly when I am buying a shopping trolley full of fruit and vegetables every week! I do buy local meat, poultry and fish, although they aren't necessarily free-range. As a family we actually now eat very few meat dishes, with only 2-3 meat dishes featuring a week. I do buy some processed goods - unsweetened almond milk, lean protein powder, organic tofu, organic Bircher Muesli, GF vogel, GF falafal mix, full-fat Greek yoghurt (way less sugar than low fat) and low-fat feta as well as the odd can of tuna for lunch salads. The rest of the food I eat is pure vegetable and fruit. I juice twice a day, I eat protein fluffies and bircher muesli for brekkie, I sneak in a trim flat white on the way to work, I eat (a few) nuts, fruit, vege sticks, edamame beans or bliss balls for snacks. I eat salads for lunch and often dinner as well. Actually our dinners have been awesome - we seem to be trialling different combos than we ever have.  I occasionally sneak in a cheeky red wine if socialising and have been known to end the evening with chamomile tea and a little bit o' dark (85% cocoa) chocolate. The food and juices are delicious! Honest.

So what has been the impact of my 'somewhat-clean-90%-off-the-time' regime?? Well, I feel bloody good! My belly has shrunk by 10cm and my digestion is (naturally) restored in the first time I can remember. I suspect the fact that my diet is now pretty much gluten-free (not to mention beer and doughnut free) might have a lot to do with the whole belly shrinking, in fact, now with the benefit of hindsight I do wonder if I was suffering from something akin to mild IBS or gluten intolerance?? I sleep better. I have lost 4kg and it seems to be continuing to come off in a sustainable 200-500g a week.

I have to say, I am a convert. I love this Clean(ish) Food malarkey and I do feel like I can keep this approach going.

Next stop - nailing my 'four-times-a-week- whilst-wearing-my-halo' gym routine!


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