I am challenging myself and my readers to clean up their diet as a part of the Kohl’s Make Your Move campaign. Make Your Move is about living your best life, sleeping better, eating cleaner and moving more. I feel that in order to make this a long term lifestyle change, you must start by removing the things that are holding you back. This leads me to the next challenge.
You hear the term “Clean Eating” quite often these days. For a long time I thought that Clean Eating was some kind of fad diet. I really didn’t understand what people were talking about.
I’m smart enough to realize that the term “clean eating” was probably whole foods that nourish the body– but was that it? Then last year, my friend Allison had given up drinking Diet Coke, lost 10 plus pounds, had a glow to her and she said she wasn’t getting migraines anymore. This is what got my attention. “Less migraines” I thought. I have suffered from chronic migraine disease since I was 13 years old, this past year I had been getting upward of 21 migraines a month.
I was tired of suffering.
I was ready to change.
I asked her what she was doing. “Just eating clean,” she said. She had eliminated certain foods for a month and slowly incorporated “clean” foods back into her diet. So I asked her, “What exactly does clean eating mean to you?”
She explained that for one month she eliminated all gluten, feed lot meat and eggs, caffeine, processed and GMO foods, dairy products, and sugar (except for a small amount of agave syrup). That may sound like a lot, but after really thinking about it, I realized I could make a lot of meals with the ingredients that she WAS eating. I decided to go for it.
The first week I felt awful -I thought I had been run over by a truck, but I soon realized that I felt so bad because I was detoxing off of coffee. Turns out, you really are addicted to the stuff! After the first week, the pain and uneasiness subsided and I felt this intense energy I hadn’t felt in years. I was down 5 pounds and my migraines were less frequent and intense.
The food I was eating I was serving to my family, and no one knew any different. Sure, I might serve them a little cheese and dairy, but I just took that off my own dish. I replaced milk with almond milk — easy changes.
After a few weeks, my cravings stopped and I was no longer getting 21 migraines a month. I was down to one or two a month, and Advil and rest seemed to clear them right up. No more cluster migraines. My diet and my morning coffee were my biggest migraine triggers, and I didn’t even know. I was walking around with my head in the clouds.
As a bonus, I was down another 5 lbs.
So what’s the secret behind clean eating? There’s no secret at all. It’s about putting food in your body that is whole and nourishing. It is NOT about being extreme, or deprivation, or something that is unrealistic to maintain. It’s about food that fuels your body in a natural way. Removing things that are known to cause inflammation, like white flour, processed foods, feed lot meats and eggs, dairy, white sugar and replacing them with organic fruits, veggies, and a small amount of high quality meat (organic, grass fed, and pasture raised).
The less ingredients the better. Try and stick with mainly plant foods with organic meats once a week or so. It sounds spartan at first, but there are so many delicious recipes out there and tons of ideas on Pinterest. This is not a diet, it’s about putting food in your body that allows you to live your best life.
As I mentioned in my previous Make Your Move posts, first write it down, second declutter, and then eat clean. Start with your home and then move on to your body. Think of clean eating as way of decluttering both your body and your life. Take your toxins and fat to the Good Will and say goodbye to feeling sluggish. Let go of the things that weigh you down and hold you back.
When you are free of those things, your self esteem will soar.
It’s always a good idea to have an emotional reason why you are doing something. You can’t just say, “I want to live my best life.” Sorry, but that’s not enough, you need to pin point an emotional goal, such as, ” I want to feel proud of myself” or ” I want to be a faster runner.” When times get tough, remembering why you are doing this, having a goal to focus on, will be key to your success.
“I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m saying it will be worth it.”
This couldn’t be more true with regard to clean eating. There will be many times when you want a doughnut, and you might even eat one, but I can tell you, they won’t taste as good and will most likely make you feel sick to your stomach. Once you get used to a certain way of eating, your body will tell you loud and clear that the junk food is just that… junk.
Kohl’s is on a mission to inspire you to #MakeYourMove. The Make Your Move campaign is about living your best life, sleeping better, eating cleaner, and moving more.
I feel that in order to make this a long term lifestyle change, you must start by removing the things that are holding you back. And food is a huge factor keeping many of us back.
Tips for Clean Eating
- Start Fresh – Clean out your pantry and refrigerator and get rid of any and all processed food, GMO, sugar, and junk.
- Don’t Rush – Eliminate just one thing such as Gluten. Try it for a week or even month, before getting rid one more thing. Keep eliminating until, your diet is clean.
- Don’t Punish Yourself – If you lose focus and eat something junky, like a store bought tub of ice cream, don’t beat yourself up. Just go back to clean eating the next day.
- Be Clear – Instead telling yourself “I can’t eat that.” Tell yourself “I DON’T eat that.”
- Think Green – Make most of your food plant based. There are far fewer calories in veggies than bread, and if prepared properly can be more satisfying.
- Substitution – Try replacing one meal with a nutrient rich smoothie. Add things like, Almond butter, Kale, chia seeds, hemp seeds and a high quality protein powder.
- Meal Plan – Plan every meal the week prior, create a shopping list, and stick to it.
- Open Opportunities – Try to shop at grocery stores and markets that carry a wide selection of organic, whole, non-GMO foods.
- Gear Up – Have the proper tools in your kitchen, ones that will set you up to create flavorful, interesting dishes. This way you don’t miss your old favorites.
- Inspiration – Find the emotional core to your desire for change and keep it strongly in your mind.
- Get Creative – Challenge yourself to recreate a favorite old dish using only clean ingredients. No gluten, dairy, or feed lot meat.
- Clean Fluids – Drink more water and herbal tea. It won’t take long until you’ve completely forgotten coffee and soda.
Excalibur Spiral Vegetable Slicer
Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini Breadmaker
Yonanas Elite Frozen Treat Maker
Cuisinart 8 Cup Food Processor
Contigo Shake and Go Fit
Camel Back Eddy 20 Oz Insulated Bottle
– all available at Kohls
The term “clean eating” can sometimes get a bad rap. There are critics out there that will say that it’s a way for some to cover up their eating disorders. There always has been and always will be people who go to the extreme in an unhealthy way, the key here is moderation and finding a happy medium. Experiment with what works for you and what doesn’t. How do you feel if you eliminate processed foods? Be your own judge. I just want to end with the fact that I am not a Dietitian or expert. I am one person, explaining what works for me personally. We are all different, and I am in no way saying that these changes will have the same effect on you, but I know many people who have benefited enough from making these changes, and that they will never go back to the Standard American Diet again.
For me personally, it’s also a way to be aware of, and eliminate the garbage and things that way me down in my life. I would no sooner clutter my house with junk than my body. I also do not go to the extreme- I live the 90/10 way. 90% of the time I eat whole, minimally processed foods, and 10% of the time I eat whatever. Everyone needs to find their what works best for them.The Secret Behind Clean Eating @Kohls #MakeYourMove #ad Click To Tweet
My other Make Your Move posts:
How about you, what do you think about the term “Clean Eating?”
What does it mean to you?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.