80% of your fitness training regimine is what you put in your mouth...and clean eating is the key to defined abs, a hard butt and firm arms! Only about 20% of looking great is gained from huffing and puffing and sweating.
So how do you 'eat clean' exactly and what does it mean? Healthy eating, another way of putting it, is when your diet is made up mainly of unprocessed, raw and natural foods. This means cutting out refined, processed foods like white flour products (sugar, white bread) and labels that have words you can't even pronounce.
Here is a list of some basic staples for your fridge and pantry:
- chicken breasts without skin
- eggs and egg whites
- salmon, tilapia, tuna
- lean red meat
- low fat cottage cheese
- low fat milk
- natural peanut butter
- olive oil
- whole wheat bread
- whole wheat tortillas (for wraps)
- fat free mayo
- Mrs. Dash or another salt-free seasoning
- spinach, romaine, kale, Swish chard (for your salad base)
- tomatos, onions, celery, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli
- sweet potatoes and yams
- brown rice
- protien powder
- Splenda, honey or other natural sugar-free substitutes like Stevia
- almond milk
- and the list goes on and on!
Not only is this a yummy list, there are lots of ways to prepare quick snacks and to-go meals here.
This also means creating balanced meals: meals that are made up of protiens, carbs and fats. Yes, that is not a typo. Your body needs healthy fats to keep your skin healthy, hair shiny, your organs protected and to create more hormones. Good sources of the fats you need include nuts, avocado, salmon and olive oil.
Another tip is to have 5-6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3-breakfast, lunch and dinner. Add in a mid-morning snack of an apple and natural peanut butter, and afternoon snack of lite yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese and an after diner snack of a banana and cup of almond milk.
Having smaller meals spaced out like this with ingredients that are unprocessed and raw will leave you feeling better, having more energy for your day, better digestion and more fat loss.
You can find a variety of healthy recipes as well that follow the rules of clean eating.
Another important key to remembering and planning(!!!) what to eat is to keep a daily food diary. Click here for a free download template that you can print and use in a binder or folder. I also have a free download of a "Plate Planner" you can print and keep on your fridge for a handy reference of sizes and portions in relation to your plate. Very cool graphic I found in a health coloring book given to my little girl:)