Clean Eating 101

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 is a year of change. I could feel it even before I was engaged at the end of 2013--I knew that the Lord was preparing me for lots of changes to come. Once January 1st rolled around, I took change into my own hands while trusting Him. I knew that if I didn't get control over my food choices & overall health, it would result in continued self-doubt & depression. I feel like everyone loves the idea of eating healthy & maintaining a fitness routine, but the actual act of participating in this lifestyle is another story. Making changes is not easy. Changes are intimidating & unsettling. However, mapping out small goals, finding strength via prayer & motivation through close friends? Totally doable. As I mentioned in my 24 Day Challenge post, I started the new year with a plan from my fiance--24 days of supplements which put me in a better place mentally & physically. I plan to film a Health & Fitness vlog this week to touch on the details of this Challenge, the supplements I continue to take, my meal plan & workout schedule in detail since texting & messaging people about these things can leave out important details. I could talk about nutrition & fitness for an entire day but I will make sure to stick with the main points by making a list beforehand. With this blog post I hope to inspire a change in your diet. Let me be the first to say that before January, I had never attempted eating clean. I had actually been eating multiple meals from fast food places each day & going to bed at night feeling so tired & miserable. I am my own worst critic--if you relate, then you know just how hard you can be on yourself when you're allowing yourself to be far from your best. Once I started the process of becoming more knowledgeable about clean eating, I realized it's not difficult at all. Having will-power is the most difficult part but I can assure you that once you've started feeling in control & seeing results as well as defeating those feelings of fatigue & cravings brought on by processed foods, your will-power will become stronger. Just like any other good thing, it takes time to get to the point of seeking out the healthiest option at restaurants or grabbing the piece of fruit over the cupcake. (& yes, I still treat myself with bite size candies, a scoop of ice cream & even some full-on cheat meals like pizza & burritos! I am human.) The goal is to realize that nourishing your body with goodness is more important and effective than scarfing the burger you've been craving for an hour. (personal realization) So with all of this said, I am including my typical week day diet & a few simple & clean recipes that have proved worthy of repeating. I am still a beginner. I look forward to referring back to this post in a few months to keep up motivation & drive in my health goals.

Typical week day meal plan:
30 minutes before breakfast (& before I roll out of bed) MNS Max C & a glass of water (each MNS type is dependent on your own body. Max 3 & Max E weren't as effective as Max C is for me. Email me if you have questions regarding this supplement!
Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs & fruit + water & 'with breakfast' Max C packet.
Mid morning snack: nuts or apple slices+PB2.
Pre-workout (on non-zumba days): banana+Catalyst & Spark 15 minutes pre-workout.
Post-workout (on non-zumba days): Meal Replacement Shake
30 minutes before lunch/afternoon snack: MNS Max C (last packet of the day)
Afternoon snack: Tuna in sunflower oil+cucumber+tomato blend (sometimes on whole grain or black bean tortilla)+water
 Hummus & veggies
(this snack/meal is dependent on how hungry I am--I just listen to my body)
Before dinner snack (about 2 hours before): all natural granola bar
Dinner: This is dependent on if I'm wanting to try a new recipe or have prepped chicken/tilapia for the week. If I have protein prepped, I will have baked chicken or tilapia seasoned in Mrs. Dash + kale & quinoa mixed + baked sweet potato + steamed veggies & water.
Super easy to prepare & flavorful enough for satisfaction.

A few recipes that are tried & true
Stuffed Bell Peppers:
3 tbsp. olive oil
7 oz. cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch basil, shredded
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 red bell peppers, tops removed & bodies seeded
Ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475
Spoon 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into baking dish
Combine all ingredients except bell peppers in bowl + remaining olive oil
Fill each pepper with equal amounts mixture then replace their tops
Place in dish & cook 20 minutes

Almond & Banana Smoothie:
1 cup blanched almonds
2 small bananas
2&1/4 cups water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. honey
pinch of cinnamon
Place almonds, bananas & water in blender until smooth
Add vanilla, honey & cinnamon & blend again
serve immediately

Flaxseed Muffins:
1/2 cup flaxseed
1&1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup + 2 Tbsp almond milk
Preheat oven to 350
Mix dry ingredients in bowl
Add egg & milk then stir together
Spoon into paper muffin cases in muffin tin
Bake 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean
Cool on wire rack

Pumpkin Seed 'Oatmeal':
1&1/2 cups pumpkin seed
3 cups almond milk
honey to taste
Grind pumpkin seeds in food processor
Add milk & blend
Transfer to saucepan & bring to boil
Add honey to taste

(Above recipes from Natural Wonderfoods cook book & altered to what I've discovered is the best method for my personal taste)
Greek Treat:
Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Puree
Unsweetened Cocoa
Mix Yogurt
Add 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix again
(Good dessert relacement)

Easy Pre-Made Grab & Go Lunch:
3 shredded chicken breasts
1 can drained black beans
1 can whole kernel corn
Fresh salsa
Diced avocado
Combine all ingredients in large bowl & mix with spatula
Add to tortilla, on bed of spinach or eat alone

**If you read this & have any insight on clean-eating that you wish to share--please do! Every body is different therefore we all have personal results & testimonies for what has worked in our own journey.
Thanks for reading! :)

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