Healthy Eating – What does it Mean?

Since I’m getting ready to host a 7-Day Healthy Crock-Pot group in December, I thought now would be a good time to talk about what that really means.

Clean Eating, Paleo, Mediterranean Lifestyles – Which is Right for You?

These buzz words have been around for several years now.  So, why is there still so much confusion?  Your neighbor is a Crossfit junkie and swears Paleo is the way to go.  Your best friend has decided eating Clean is the way to go, even if it means she doesn’t go out every Friday night for drinks and hors d’oeuvres.  Then you heard the barista at your favorite coffee shop talking about a Mediterranean “diet”.  The answer is really simple – Pick the way of eating that fits your LIFESTYLE.  If you are not comfortable with the limitations, you won’t stick with it.  Here are two great diagrams to help put it all in perspective.  The first from emeals compares Paleo and Clean Eating since they are the two most commonly talked about meal plans.  Then, overthinkinggirl’s blog compares all three.

All are really simple concepts when you think about it.  It is getting back to the basics – consuming foods coming from natural sources without processing and chemicals.  There goes 90% of your kitchen, huh?  Actually, it is not too hard to do.  We should all strive to eat healthy with our entire family.  It is a LIFESTYLE, not a diet.  So, if you are the only one trying to eat clean, you will constantly be tempted by the bag of Doritos in the pantry.

When you are grocery shopping, stay on the perimeter of the store.  Fresh is always best, but you might finds some items are less expensive in the freezer section, which is better than buying canned.  You may also decide to host your friends instead of going out to the bar where only fried foods are offered.  Your kids just might enjoy the lunches you pack instead of the nasty hot lunch being served (that they just dump in the trash when the lunch lady isn’t looking).  This new LIFESTLYE might just save you some money.  Now you can afford a new outfit to show off the new body.

In all three lifestyles, you want to avoid refined grains (removal of fiber source – bran or germ and and chemically changing the make-up) and refined sugars (artificial sugars).  Paleo takes it a step further and restricts the consumption of of ALL grains, legumes and dairy products.  I’m a carb girl, so I know I would fail miserably following a Paleo lifestyle.

Healthy Eating also means to:

  • Eat lean proteins with a complex carb to increase energy and burn fat.  Did that get your attention?  Examples of lean protein = skinless chicken breast, legumes (lentils, soybeans, peas, carob, alfalfa, etc) and fish(salmon, tuna, sardines, etc).  Examples of complex carbs =Green vegetables, whole grains and foods made from them, such as oatmeal, pasta, and whole-grain breads, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin, beans, lentils, and peas.  These fibrous foods will help keep you regular too, no more Metamucil.
  • Eat more frequently.  You will notice when you are eating pure foods, not fillers, you might be hungry more often.  It’s proven that eating every 2-3 hours is healthy and easier on your body.  You won’t get that sluggish feeling from overeating because you were starving.  No naps required, but you can certainly justify snuggling with your kids or puppy after your workout.  Eat breakfast within the first hour of waking up.  Start with a protein like Coach’s Oats topped with fruit or some eggs mixed with spinach and a little feta.
  • Stay hydrated.  You should be drinking half your body weight (pounds) in water (ounces).  So if you weigh 150lbs.  You should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day.  Filling up on water feeds your muscles to help recover from working out.  It helps your body feel full and wards off false hunger.  It also helps with digestion.   If you are not a water drinker, try adding a little lemon to it.  Or get a water bottle that will allow you to infuse fruit.   I’ve been using this one for a couple of years now.  I bought it at Scheel’s. main

I just touched on the basic principals.  There is so much information on the internet depending on how in-depth you want to get.  I suggest you speak with a nutritionist or your doctor to come up with the right plan for you.  If you are trying to lose weight, keep in mind 80-90% of your weight loss is done in the kitchen.  10-20% is adding in the exercise.  Make small changes to start.  Set a goal and keep with it for 21 days (makes a habit).  Then add in the next change.  If you try to do it all at once, it may be too daunting.  The goal is to succeed.

If you are interested in the FREE 7-Day Healthy Crock-Pot event on Facebook, comment on the post here


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