I love writing about wellness and fitness as we head into the new year. I have such a passion for clean eating along with a love of food, so I’m eager to be able to share this passion with all of you. I haven’t updated you in a while on my nutrition plan and how I’m eating so let’s start there!
I am not doing Whole 30.
When January hits you will likely start hearing a lot about Whole 30 and cleansing. I am a big believer in eating clean. Much of my own belief system is in line with the key principles of a Paleo lifestyle, but since meeting with my new nutritionist in April of last year, I’ve been eating with some core values in place- and those values do not align with Whole 30. I’ll explain.
My personal approach to food is that it is the key to a healthy life and that food is our medicine. I love researching to learn how different foods affect us on a daily basis.
The key factor behind so many ailments and illnesses is inflammation in the body, and I strive to eliminate the foods that cause it. I use food to heal anything that is bothering me. Sinus issues? Try Apple Cider Vinegar. Joint pain? Try turmeric. Possible stomach bug? Coconut oil pronto. Food can help us in so many ways.
Detox Fad Diets vs. Reducing Inflammation
I always thought I NEEDED to suffer through some sort of detox to get to where I wanted to be. Since meeting my nutritionist though, my thoughts have changed. Both Mike and I have had great success with our meal plans (him for weight loss, me for added strength and energy) and we are sticking to it this January.
My nutritionist agrees that we should eliminate inflammation in the body- but his belief is that we do this by never spiking our blood sugar. So as of April last year- I eat minimal fruit and it is confined to the morning during my breakfast. Anything else I eat during the day has 7g of sugar or less per meal.
The other REALLY big difference between my plan and Whole 30 is that my nutritionist does not allow flour of ANY kind. With a Paleo lifestyle you are able to get away with almond flour, cassava flour, etc. but our nutrition plan no longer allows that. It is my nutritionist’s belief that any flour is hard to digest- which puts stress on the body.
Mike and I both have loved this plan because we are never hungry, we look forward to what we eat, and there are no detox symptoms (like the crash you feel from Whole 30) involved.
With that said, everyone should do what makes their bodies feel best. Listen to your body and what it needs! My top three principles for clean eating in the month of January are listed below.
3 Principles for Clean Eating
Principle One |Eat five times per day, no more than 7g of sugar per meal
Sugar is thine enemy. It was shocking when I really started to pay attention to how many things sugar hides within. Until we read our labels, there is no way of knowing. I stay away from anything that lists sugar on the ingredients, no matter what kind it lists. (cane sugar, fructose etc.) This includes coffee creamers and sauces, but don’t worry, I have some great hacks ahead! You will be surprised at how your taste buds change over the course of the month if you adhere to this principle.
Great sugar substitutes: stevia, monk fruit extract (my favorite!)
Principle Two| No Dairy
I know it’s strange to think dairy could possibly be bad for our bodies. The truth is, dairy is highly processed, and the various processes it goes through are what ultimately make dairy inflammatory. It wasn’t until I eliminated dairy that I started to see how it affected me when I did eat it. That said, my nutritionist DOES allow hard cheeses, but that’s all.
Great dairy substitutes: Almond milk, coconut milk, Violife Cheese (Whole Foods)
Principle Three | Nothing Processed
This is a tough one for many people, but there is a SHORT list of snacks that are allowed on our plans. This was hard for me at first because I was a SNACKER- but once I started eating five nutrient-dense meals per day- my need for snacks vanished! Some of these are part of our meals during the day, and others are a part of our 5th meal at night. We are also allowed certain protein bars as a meal replacement.
Terra Chips Sweet Potato Chips, Terra Chips, Buddha Pop or Skinny Pop
Approved protein bars:
Julian Bakery Primal Bars, One Plant Bars, Built Bars, No Cow Bars
The plan is very specific for Mike and me, but it works for us and has been a game-changer. Mike is down fifty pounds and over 10% body fat! I lost a bit of body fat but also gained muscle, which was my goal!