Eat Clean with Meredith Guidelines for the Busy Clean Eater
Before we dive into this topic, I would like to say that I have been eating “clean” for years. It is easy for me. I don’t crave sugar and “bad carbs” because it is a LIFESTYLE for me. I do not particularly agree with dieting (most of the weight is gained back anyway right?.) I do agree with a jumpstart elimination plan where I might eliminate certain foods from my diet. These jumpstarts are perfect for after vacations, after holidays, or when I feel like I have reached a plateau.
Side Note: As I’m sure you have read on my blog, I have recently tried my first Whole30. I personally had a hard time with this, not with the food choices but with my blood sugar. I have had significant hypoglycemic episodes which has lead to severe anxiety. With that being said, that is just my personal experience (many people have had great success with this and that is fantastic.) I did learn several concepts from Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the authors of It Starts with Food, that I will continue to use in my daily life. Another amazing author that I follow is Tosca Reno. She is the author of The Eat-Clean Diet and The Eat Clean Diet Rechanged.
Moving on .Based on my personal experiences with nutrition and based on my research I have devised my own guidelines for the “Busy Clean Eater” These guidelines and principles are perfect for people that are busy, active, and love food! I hope you find these clean eating guidelines easy to implement into your life.
Guideline #1: Eat MORE frequently during the day! Eating smaller meals 5-6 times a day is ideal! Your last meal should be a least 3 hours before bed.
Guideline #2: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast is my favorite meal! No time for breakfast .finding a healthy protein bar or a smoothie with protein is better than nothing at all.
Guideline #3: Prepare all meals for a week in advance! If you have the luxury of cooking twice a week that is fine. The point of this guideline is to guarantee you will always be prepared with clean snacks and meals. I am also going to recommend finding a well-insulated cooler that goes with you everywhere. I personally have a large purse and always have at least 2 clean snacks with me at all times!
Guideline #4: Avoid artificial foods and sugars! Good rules to go by: If there are ingredients listed that you can’t pronounce then it’s probably fake. Another rule is: If it is in a box with more than 2-3 ingredients, stay away! this also includes sodas, artificial sweeteners, and other sugar loaded drinks with added colors and juices! Obviously there might be some exceptions, but as stated previously these are good rules to go by.
Guideline #5: Limit fruit intake to 1-2 servings a day! Despite that fact that fruit is all natural, it is still sugar. If you do use a piece of fruit for a snack be sure to add some protein and fat with it. My go-to snack at work it 2 hard boiled eggs with an apple.
Guideline #6: Eat healthy fats! Research is now showing us that healthy fats are NECESSARY for good health and longevity. Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, glee, avocados (my personal favorite), and nuts (almonds, cashews, etc).
Guideline #7: DRINK WATER! I feel like this is a no-brainer. We should all drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day. Make the time to drink your water!
Guideline #8: All meals should consist of a healthy fat, a clean carbohydrate, and protein! Healthy fat was discussed in Guideline #6. If you are eating a snack obviously your portions will be smaller than if you are eating a meal but whatever meal you are eating, it should always consist of all three components. Like I stated previously, my go to snack is 2 hard boiled eggs with an apple. An example of lunch might be 1/2 cup of brown rice with mixed veggies and 4-5 oz of chicken.
As always I am available to help you incorporate these guidelines into your daily life! Please feel free to ask me questions.
Stay tuned and check out the RESOURCES page to find food lists and more info!