7 March 2013

Clean eating.....

Eating clean, there is so much talk about this at the moment and I am excited because it isn't just another fad, yes you can get fitter and shed weight if you eat clean, but what does it really mean?

Our liver is central to the way our body processes food. It helps us metabolise food, synthesise protein, detoxify, and break down the nasties from processed food and alcohol. As it aids in our metabolism (how fast our body breaks down food), it needs as much help as possible. This is where clean eating comes in.

If we are feeding our bodies rubbish such as artificial colours, preservatives & processed sugar, our liver spends most of its time working to eliminate the toxins and break down the nasties - hence why we feel sluggish. What it should be doing is working to break down foods efficiently and quickly, ensuring our bodies are receiving the maximum amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This allows the body to break down the fats, not the artificial and processed preservatives. In a nutshell, processed foods will slow down the liver and therefore slow down your metabolism whereas clean, whole foods make our liver CLEAN, and allows our bodies to realise their highest optimum working conditions.

I always use the car analogy, it just works for me when explaining eating clean to people.  Just imagine you put crappy fuel into your car, and not enough of it, how does the car run, does it stop start and not function properly? This is the same when you don't eat the proper food or enough of it to fuel your body.  Imagine your body is a ferrari, you would only put the best fuel in it right?

Don't over complicate things when it comes to food. If you want to be healthy, feel more energetic and reduce your risk of diseases you really should eat clean and get into the habit of making healthy and smart choices.    Get your mind out of the "I can eat what I want" or "I can't eat that" mentality, you are just in denial and fighting those mean habits.  I guarantee you when you start eating well and making smarter choices you will notice the difference, feel better, look better, sleep better, achieve your goals (not just fitness orientated) and reduce your risks of heart diseases, cancers, diabetes etc. Remember you don't need a family history to be at risk, what you put in your mouth puts you at risk, end of story. 

The idea of eating wholesome fresh foods excites me and we should be educating everyone on how cheap and easy it is to eat healthy fresh foods 80-90% of the time and it isn't a chore or a diet that you must follow, it is really common sense.  If you fuel your body with the nutrients it needs it will function better, pretty simple right?

Concentrate on eating healthy NOT loosing weight! If you eat healthy foods and move your body you will notice a difference, make getting healthy your main focus. Throw away those scales and trust your clothes and even measure yourself to keep track. It takes at least 4 weeks for others to notice and about 6-8 weeks for you to start noticing changes, that isn't a LONG time when it is your LIFE and HEALTH you are dealing with.  Look at older people around you when you are on your way to work, look at your family, do you want to be fragile or strong and healthy when you are in your 70's? Commencing a healthy lifestyle NOW will make big changes to how you will be health wise in the future. 

Social pressure to eat and drink is huge, we need to be more  the NO kind of people and stick to our guns by making smart choices (this is where I am guilty somedays). You can still go out to dinner with friends just ensure you are prepared for when you go out... moderation is truly the key, give yourself some of the yummy stuff every now and then, make good choices and don't feel guilty.  

Learning how to make healthy meals is key, once you are in a routine of making good healthy foods it will just become second nature and you will experiment with other dishes.  MAKE THE TIME, seriously, we are all busy, yes we don't have enough time some days, but you know what you only get ONE LIFE, so take a breath and re-organise your week to make time to shop for good healthy foods, get it delivered and to plan out what you are going to eat. Make it part of your routine. Just like exercising, just do it. Make the time, you don't need hours and hours to eat smart and train smart.  Get the entire family involved.

So what foods are healthy I hear you ask... so many different kinds of breads and milks out there nowadays. So confusing, do you have almond milk, do you have this bread, butter etc.  I say KISS. Keep IT Simple Silly. Try and find out where your local meats are from and buy local produce. Have a look at sugar content in low fat products, look at ingredients and the first three listed make up most of the product, if you cannot pronounce ANYTHING in a food ingredient list, do not eat it, it isn't natural. Fruits and vegetables are so cheap from markets and other fresh produce stalls, find your local market.  

If you eat from this list 80-90% of the time, you will notice a big difference!

Fruits & Vegetables - Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi fruits, apple, banana, green vegetables, mix up colours, the more the merrier for all meals

Meats - turkey, chicken, kangaroo, steak, fish, good quality bacon
Dairy - Eggs, Greek yoghurt, milk if you aren't intolerant use full fat milk products, full fat feta cheese, goats cheese
Nuts & seeds - almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia, natural peanut butter, almond butter, mixed seeds, chia, LSA etc
Protein shakes - low sugar, less processed (pea protein, pure wellness) pay for good protein powders great for snacks and desserts
Grains - I don't eat much grains, they don't work with my body - no wheat works for me (and I recommend to everyone NOT to eat wheat) for me: Rye bread, brown rice, coconut or almond flour
Healthy Fats - coconut oil, avocado, olive oils, flaxseed oil

Don't be afraid to mix up your meals.  Eggs or meat for breakfast is key. Full fat options for dairy, trust me, NO ADDED sugars, your body will thank you for the higher fat options!

Some of my favourite meals are:


Two eggs, one egg white omelette with asaparagus and ocean trout

Scrambled eggs on a slice of burgen rye with avocado and/or bacon
Baked eggs in ramekin dish with homemade tomato and basil sauce
Homemade muesli with seeds and greek yoghurt with blueberries
Protein shake with water, ice, protein powder, flaxseed oil and berries
Kangaroo meat with broccoli and macadamia nuts or kanga bangas and tomato, avocado on rocket
Coconut flour pancakes with berries


Big green salad with tuna/salmon/kangaroo/chicken
Dinner left overs
Homemade Turkey burgers and salad or veggies
Tuna and avocado with brown rice or on rice cakes
Stuffed mushrooms with pesto and vegetables


Beef stir-fry with vegetables (I use the chow mien frozen mix)
Baked chicken breast in marinade (soy sauce, ginger, chilli) with sweet potato mash and greens
Baked fish and greens (same marinade as above)
Roast chicken and veggies (cook in coconut oil)
Turkey mince or pork/beef mince bolognese with broccoli and gluten free pasta or other veggies


Greek yoghurt and berries
Hummus and vegetables
Apple and natural peanut butter
Protein shake
A smaller serving of any of the above (especially for pre or post workout snacks)

Get rid of cereals except homemade muesli (make to your liking) get rid of sugar ladened foods, packaged foods, limit tin foods (check sodium content). 

No white breads or pastas, these foods are NOT good for you. Get your nutrients from real foods.  
Water, water, water, water.......
No diet or non fat products, they are high in sugar
Alcohol is empty calories, limit to a couple drinks a week if you need - no mixers, white wine is full sugar, try clear spirits with soda/lime or red wine
Diet drinks NOT your friend
Fat is your friend, healthy fats.  Read this fabulous post from ZOMT

Enjoy a cheat MEAL (not day) and have something that you enjoy and enjoy it without feeling guilty, there are so many good options, eating a packet of Tim Tams really might not be a good one, but homemade cheesecake or mousse with fruit? Why not.. so many clean eating recipes out there, be smart and read the ingredients.

I love dark chocolate, I do, especially Lindt Mint dark chocolate, that with a coffee or lemongrass/ginger tea at night is my vice a couple times a week... don't go overboard.  Notice what you are putting into your mouth and ask yourself, is this "clean"? has it gone through so many processes to get on my plate? If so, not a good option.

MOVE your body! DON'T OVERTRAIN, you cannot out train a bad diet.  Eat well 80% of the time and move your body 3-4 times a week for 45mins (weights, dance, swim, run) and your body will change, you will get healthy.

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