Clean Eating Kitchen Makeover

Ready to clean up your diet? Then it’s time for a kitchen makeover!

It’s time to make changes, not only for your own health, but for your family as well. Today we’re going to start in your kitchen! If you have food that isn’t good for you, it’s far too easy to grab it when hunger strikes.  SO, here’s the plan! Grab a bag and GET RID OF IT!! Chuck it, donate it, whatever! Bye bye ramen noodles! Any food that’s keeping you from your health, fitness and/or weight loss goals is out of your house! I hope you didn’t just go shopping yesterday, but this is such an important step!

Clean Out You Pantry, Refrigerator and Cabinets

 

Start by going through what is already in your kitchen. Open that fridge, read the nutrition labels of everything on the door. Condiments, salad dressings, drinks, sauces, jams , peanut butter etc. If there’s a list of more than 2 or 3 ingredients, especially stuff you can’t even pronounce… then it should go in the bag! Your body wants and need REAL FOOD not a chemical shit storm of food like substances! That stuff is no good for you and your body doesn’t know how to digest it. If your body recognizes what you are eating like fruits, veggies, fish, nuts etc. as fat, carbs and protein, then it knows how to digest and use the food for fuel and energy.

One of the biggest culprits to be on the lookout for is added SUGAR! And surprise surprise most things will have it. Food labels can be tricky too. Did you know there are at least 61 different names for sugar? Here are some to be on the lookout for:

Agave nectar
Barley malt
Beet sugar
Black strap molasses
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Caramel
Carob syrup
Coconut palm sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Corn-syrup solids
Crystalline fructose
Date sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Dextrin
Dextrose
Dried oat syrup
Evaporated cane juice crystals
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
Golden syrup
Gum syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Inverted sugar
Malt syrup
Maltodextrin
Maltose
Maple syrup
Muscovado
Palm sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Simple syrup
Sorghum syrup
Sucanat
Sucrose
Treacle
Turbinado

Added sugars are everywhere! Food companies think they’re smart, but we as consumers need to be smarter! They add sugar to things we wouldn’t even think to look! Even health food stores have items that look healthy and come in fancy packaging, which lead us to believe the food inside must be healthy — or at least better than the bag of chips ahoy cookies we used to buy. Buyer beware! Just because something is called a agave nectar does NOT mean it’s healthy.

You want to stock your kitchen with whole and fresh foods, which means no pre-packaged foods. Go through everything! Chances are, if it came in a package it’s not considered clean. It’s also time to replace certain condiments and ingredients for other clean substitutes.  Do not be fooled by labels saying “fat-free”, “sugar-free, “zero-calorie.” These products are filled with unhealthy and processed foods and chemicals that damage your body. Foods that you probably once thought were “healthy” like fiber bars, protein bars, sugar-free items, fat free foods, cereal, canned foods or  soups (some exceptions like canned beans, diced tomatoes with no added sugar or canned albacore tuna packed in water are ok). For the most part though, anything that was processed and made in a factory is getting the boot!

 

Don’t feel guilty or bad about ridding your home of this stuff, be happy! You are taking charge of your health! You are preparing to fuel your body with better food choices! I’m here in your corner cheering you on! These foods will only tempt you. Now let’s be clear…  I believe in balance so I’m not telling you you’ll never be able to have a cookie again, but for the sake of this process… TRUST ME on this! This is a journey not a destination.

 

Our goal will be to have snacks and foods that are healthy for you, readily available. Studies have shown that a majority of our food is eaten simply because it is placed in front of us. We mindlessly eat because it’s in our environment and easy to access. This adds unnecessary calories to our diets that we can control. To solve this problem we’re going to have healthy, clean foods and snacks prepped and ready to go so when hunger strikes we don’t derail.

 

Time to hit the market! Keep in mind while you’re at the store, shop outside the grocery aisles. This is  where all the fresh foods are. In most grocery stores, the produce, deli, meat, dairy, organic and fresh bread sections are on the outskirts of the store. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be.

Once you get home from grocery shopping, sort out your foods and snacks in individual baggies or containers. Place a handful of nuts in baggies. Wash and cut up fruits and veggies. Put them in containers or bags. Place these things right where you’ll easily seem them. When you’re hungry you’ll probably be more likely to grab something that is in the front of the pantry or fridge.

 

You can put fresh fruits on the counter in a fruit bowl. Protein is important tohelp you build lean muscle and it help keep you feeling full longer. So, take some time on a Sunday and boil eggs, bake/grill chicken, pork, fish. Make tuna in advance. Plain greek yogurt is an easy grab that you can add your own fruit to. Having things ON-HAND and ready to go sets you up for success. You don’t want to be left scrambling and starving! NEVER a good combo! That can  lead to drive-through visits, eating empty-calories mindlessly and sabotaging your hard work.

You’ve Got This!

Clean eating will have many beneficial long term effects. Remember there is no “quick-fix” on the road to better health. Give yourself some time to adjust to this new clean eating lifestyle. Every BODY  is different. What works for someone else might not work at all of you. Start to become more aware of how your body reacts to certain foods. Eat more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

-Amy

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