Operation Skinny Jeans: Clean Eating for Beginners

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Clean Eating for Beginners

First thank you to everyone who applied for my 7 day jumpstart! I will be going through those tomorrow and picking my 10, but I will definitely do it again so I will keep your info if you didn't make the first round.

And also, my Diet Bet starts today! I have lost a lot of my weight thanks to diet bets. If you need some motivation, this is a great place to find it!

One of the questions I get most often (besides how do I get started) is how do I eat better. Guys, lets be real, this is the HARDEST part of this whole thing. We grow up eating crap, processed foods, microwave dinners, we crave the stuff. I am no expert on clean eating, but I have learned a little bit along the way. 

I remember when I first heard of the idea, I thought it was absurd. I was NEVER going to stop eating processed foods. Those were my life! I didn't know what else you COULD eat if it wasn't in a box! So I know what you are thinking. Its scary and not comfortable but you'll see- its so worth it. 

Here are some quick and easy steps that will help you clean up your diet without scaring you off. 

1. Start slow

Don't feel like you have to go all in on day one. Jumping into something too quickly is a sure fire way to fail. been there, done that. I can't tell you how many times I have said "On Monday I am eating clean 100% FOREVER!" and come tuesday I am knee deep in a carton of Ben and Jerry's. 

BE REALISTIC. You need to transition! Just like you wouldn't straight up switch your dog to new food, you shouldn't overhaul your diet if you want to succeed. 

Aim for 50/50 in the first week or 2, 75/25 (clean/not) in the next couple weeks, then settle right around 80/20. No need to go beyond that. We are living our lives here. You can eat 20% stuff you want to eat. 

2. Prepare prepare prepare

I should get it tattooed on my face, but a failure to plan is a plan to FAIL. Clean eating isn't hard, but its not necessarily convenient. If you aren't prepared, you will fail. Welcome prep days into your life. They will take like an hour,  2 tops, and you will thank yourself later. Prep your fruits, veggies, breakfasts and lunches and make a menu for what you are having for dinner. Don't make this harder than it already is. If you have snacks and meals ready to go, you will eat them instead of running through McDonalds drive through. FACT. 

3. Don't beat yourself up. 

Seriously. This is your life. Not a competition. So you ate some pizza, whatever. Its part of the 20%. Just make a better choice next time. You are never going to be 100% perfect. Even the most incredibly dedicated people I know slip up. But they don't turn it into a binge! They MOVE ON.

4. Pinterest is your best friend. 

Don't know where to start? Pinterest is the answer. Seriously. Clean eating tips, guides, shopping lists, recipes, you want it they got it. 

5. Have fun. 

Real foods are delicious. Maybe not oreos dipped in peanut butter delicious, but close. Eating clean doesn't have to mean eating bland. Seasoning is your friend. Make good food and you will want to keep making it. And enjoy the savings on your grocery bill! Those processed foods add up fast! 

So that's what I have for you. If you have been thinking about dipping your toe in the clean eating water, do it! The water's nice :D 

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  1. Haha, nothing will ever taste as good as oreos in peanut butter. Pinterest is such a good source for information!

  2. That is a really great idea to start slow. I like the idea of doing 50/50 and then moving to 75/25 the next week. Also, I know planning is my biggest weakness. I know being prepared would allow me to be more successful and leave less room for mistakes.

  3. So true!! I started changing my diet by eating a whole lotta frozen meals that rhyme with schmean schmusines. At that point, it was the only way I KNEW I could stay within my points/calories, because I knew EXACTLY the calories/points of everything I ate. Fast forward a year and a half and I've gradualllllly gotten myself to much cleaner eating. Whole foods are so much more filling than frozen meals-- even if they're less convenient :)

  4. Great tips! I am transitioning back into healthy eating and it is hard some days. Mostly because I want a dinner that is convenient, not one that takes 45 minutes to cook. But I do love the taste of fresh ingredients over processed crap any day!!

  5. I think my biggest adjustment was going to the grocery store once a week. I used to go once every two weeks and planned out my meals out of a box/can for that long. It always was a little more expensive at first but if you pay attention to what fruits/veggies are in season locally, you can meal plan around that and save a little money. Salad in a bag is like $4 and you can spend $4 and make your own salad, enough to feed probably 6 people instead of just one.

  6. Love these tips!!! It's really the hardest for a serial dieter to transition from microwave healthy choice meals to eating real food all the time. But guess what--it works--and you feel better! Great post girl!!

  7. As I have learned to simplify and clean up my plate, I have learned that it does not have to take 45 minutes. Most fish week cook up in less than 10, and veggies usually take about 10 to 15. I try to mix up a salad to last a couple of days, and cut up produce (various celery, broccoli, cauliflower) so at dinner time I just throw it on to cook. Also a crock pot can be a best friend! If it is just you, get a mini one and cut recipes in half or freeze them for your own tv dinners. Things like rice and grains are what take longer, and I believe those are technically not clean.

  8. I love these tips! My mom fed us clean growing up, so it isn't something I necessarily think about too often, but all of this is spot on!


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