I’ll Start on Monday… Cleaner Eating – Phase 1

Happy Monday! Here is this week’s game-changer: clean eating. It’s going to be a two week process. This week will be about becoming aware of how often you’re not eating clean food, starting to make some different choices, and planning to go all out next week. Try to keep up or increase the lower sugar choices from last week while doing this!

1. Take note when you eat something pre-packaged, jarred, or canned that’s altered from its original state. This would include whether you eat it at home or from a restaurant. Make a list.
*(Hint: to make it easier since meal times can be hectic enough as it is, take pictures of the foods with your phone and make a list at the end of the day or week).

canned or jarred fruits or vegetables
vegetable “chips” or crackers
boxed scalloped or mashed potatoes
rice or pasta kits with flavors and ingredients already added
canned or boxed soup
jarred applesauce with preservatives, sugar, or flavors
jarred tomato sauces
canned diced tomatoes
flavored water
fruit juice
bottled salad dressing
fruit and veggie dips
jelly and jam
flavored popcorn
breaded chicken nuggets, drumsticks, etc.
frozen breakfast sandwiches
dried or dehydrated fruit with added sugar and/or preservatives (including in trail mixes, oatmeal, cereal, and “Craisins”)

2. Take note when you eat something packaged that doesn’t contain any actual food in it other than ingredients like sugar, oil, flour, or cornmeal and/or little nutritional content. Make a list. 

Soda pop, bread, pasta, rice, cereal (look at what else is in the cereal listed as “whole grain”), bagels, breakfast pastries, pretzels, Cheetos, cookies, cakes, donuts, candy, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, etc.

3. Take as many opportunities as you can to choose a food in its original, natural state, and eat foods rich in nutritional content with a variety of colors, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.

make eggs instead of frozen breakfast sandwiches
make fruit smoothies with a handful of spinach for a snack instead of a fruit juice
use fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned
make cauliflower rice instead of boxed rice
make spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti noodles
use zucchini or eggplant instead of lasagna noodles
get the apple at Panera instead of the potato chips, or decline either of them if you’re not going to eat the apple
eat some nuts instead of chips or pretzels
skip any added ingredients in trail mix
chop your own tomatoes instead of using canned diced ones
have a few squares of dark chocolate instead of a milk chocolate candy bar
don’t put breading on any poultry, fish, or meat
eat fresh fish or chicken instead of boxed, frozen and processed

4. Take stock at the end of the week. What proportion of your intake has been coming from prepared rather than fresh forms? Where do you see the easiest ways to eat the cleaner versions, and what are you not ready to swap yet due to convenience, time & effort?

Possible easy swaps:
Fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned or jarred

Not ready to dedicate the time & effort yet, so don’t stress over it:
Homemade salad dressing

5. Look at Pinterest or do internet searches for fresh meal & snack ideas, and make your menu plans for next week to be as clean as possible.

Breakfast – Nothing boxed or packaged. Search for homemade hot cereal porridges, breakfast bars, egg casseroles, cups, and omelets.

Snack – Search for fruit smoothie recipes using only fresh ingredients.

Lunch – Make extra at dinner time and eat the leftovers at lunch.

Snack – Nuts

Dinner – Search for a protein and vegetables and  with delicious, fresh ingredients, cooked the way you prefer your food (i.e. crunchy, creamy, etc.)

Sweets! Search for recipes using alternatives flours (e.g. almond or coconut). Plan for some banana or zucchini breads or muffins using fresh bananas and zucchini. Use honey or coconut sugar instead of white or brown sugar. ENJOY!

I would love to hear about any improvements you’re feeling after less sugar and less processed in your diet. Are you noticing less ups and downs in how awake or sleepy, energetic or lethargic, alert or foggy you feel?

Keep moving forward,

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