Friday, May 10, 2013

Clean Eating and Tosca's Rules

So there is a lot of hype right now about what we should eat, how much we should eat, when we should eat, if we should eat all organic or if it is a waste of money, if GMO's are safe or not and I could go on and on. There are so many differnent opinions that it makes my head spin just to start to sort them out.

One thing I have found that makes the most sense to me is Clean Eating. Now I hate even calling it that, does that mean that eating anything else is dirty? (Cue Christina Aguilera song now in my head.) But, when I look at what this way of eating is telling me, it just makes sense. Eat real food. Food as close as it can be to the way it was when it came out of the ground. Eat lettuce and apples and strawberries and beans. Don't eat chemicals, preservatives, things you can't pronounce (unless it is an exotic fruit or veggie) and don't eat overly processed flour & sugar (my Achilles heel.)

I have borrowed and read The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno twice now.  And although she does like to talk about how awesome and healthy she is (and put in  lots of pictures of herself) what she is saying (once you weed through all the narcissism) that we need to eat real food. And the idea of eating "clean" or eating real food isn't her idea. She just got great results and published a bunch of books about it. According to Reno, she borrowed the idea of clean eating from the physique industry. In the book, In Defense of Food, Micheal Pollan says there has been a push back against processed foods from the beginning. Either way, there are plenty of people talking and writing books about clean eating, even if they don't use the term "clean."

Tosca Reno claims that our physique is 80% nutrition, 10% training and 10% genetics and we need to focus on what we are putting onto our plates and into our mouths. (And she isn't the first person I've read that makes this claim.)

So here are her rules:

1. Eat more 

Aim for 6 small meals a day. Ideally this would be breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and an after dinner snack (and my Mom used to tell me snacking was bad...) but it can be adjusted to meet individual schedules. I typically don't ever eat a after dinner snack. We eat dinner late (close to 7 because of my husband's job) and I'm not hungry again before bed.

2. Eat Breakfast

Every day. Without fail. Within an hour of waking up. (I used to skip breakfast and drink about 2 gallons of coffee instead. I started with doing a smoothie or shake in the morning. After some time, my body got used to being fed first thing and I actually wake up hungry now. )

3. Lean Protein plus Complex Carbs at Every Meal

This one is hard for me. I don't eat meat often so I try to throw some beans on my salad or almond butter on my toast. But I also don't worry about it too much. Even veggies have protein.

4. Eat Enough Healthy Fat

This rule might be my favorite because it means I can eat some avocado every day! (I have an obsession. Avocado toast is my favorite breakfast.) Or olives (because I love those too!) Also using healthy oils (I really limit this though based on other books I have read who claim oils for cooking are also processed and not as healthy as we want them to be. And if I do use olive oil try to get cold pressed olive oil.) 

5. Drink Water

Lots and lots of water. 2-3 liters of water a day and sometimes more. 

6. Pack Your Snacks

Since we don't really know what is in all the foods that we order out, we need to get in the habit of packing healthy snacks or meals. This can be as easy (an apple and a handful of almonds) or as complicated as you want to make it. In the long run it should also fatten up your wallet since you won't be eating out as much. 

7. Depend of Fresh Fruits, Veggies and Whole Grains for Complex Carbs

I know it has been toted for a while but all carbs are not bad. If you lived through the low carb craze, this can be a hard thing to wrap your brain around. How I make it easy? Fruits, veggies & grains  = good. White rice, flour, bread, pasta, sugar, processed = bad. And I don't sweat it. 

8. Stick to Proper Portion Sizes

So overall her rules are pretty easy. I honestly feel so much better since cutting out processed foods. I can taste the flavor of fresh foods so much better than I could before. I have more energy. I don't feel sluggish in afternoons (or even when I wake up before my coffee!)

I am always running clean eating groups on Facebook.  Or check out my FREE clean eating bootcamp. If this is something you are interested in message me on Facebook. We share tips, tricks, recipes and generally keep each other on track. 

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