Clean Up Time: Eating

It’s been a busy week already and its only Tuesday!  I’m in spring cleaning mode; we’re getting ready for a garage sale this weekend with some friends, and starting a month challenge of clean eating.
Today marks Day 2 of clean eating.  I’m trying this “diet” where you eat foods as close to nature intended them.   To me it’s not a diet, but a new lifestyle with more energy and a healthy soul.  I think I’ve always liked to eat healthy, clean eating just forces me not to take shortcuts or ignore the rules when a box of Oreos is brought into the house!
My friend and her family have convinced me to give it a try.  Her father, who already exercised moderately with no real weight loss, was able to shed 30 pounds in about a month by cleaning up his eating habits.  Way to go Mr. Merritt and Molly!
There are lots of resources about clean eating, Tosca Reno has a series of books, and there are many blogs that dedicate themselves to clean eating recipes.  I suggest reading some, The Gracious Pantry is my favorite, if you want to try eating clean.  There is a wealth of clean eating recipes out there as well.
 To me, clean eating is not about depriving yourself of anything, but choosing better options.  Clean eating to me can be summed up in 3 main ideas:
1.       Reduce/eliminate white sugar and white flour. 
Both of these ingredients are heavily processed and don’t offer much nutrition.  Whole wheat pastry flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa, lentils, agave syrup, and honey are some good substitutes. Alcohol is broken down into sugar by the body, so for now I am foregoing it, although I don’t plan to give it up forever J
2.       Eat food as close to whole or natural as possible.
 For example, fresh squeezed orange juice is better than reconstituted “fruit drink” or fat free greek yogurt over processed light varieties with aspartame. If it has the words “reduced fat” or “light” on the box, or a laundry list of ingredients, skip it!
3.       Drink plenty of water, as many ounces a day as half your body weight.
This isn’t a problem for me, I like being hydrate, and get cranky when I’m not.  I also like naturally sweetened ice tea or “spa water” instead of sodas or juice. Having a bottle with ounces measured on it helps too, I know I need to drink at least two Nalgines full of water a day.

I’m hoping to shed 5-10 pounds in a month or two..but more importantly I’m hoping to make this a life long goal.  There is a whole bag of easter candy that I haven’t touched..already a victory in my book!

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