Over the past 8 months I have tried really hard to clean up my eating because I knew I wanted to get off of my Crohn's Disease medication so that I could nurse my baby. The result has been AMAZING for our family's health! We are still learning and have a ways to go-- but I wouldn't go back for anything!! I am medication free, we have both lost weight, we are healthier, and just plain HAPPIER! Of course not all of the credit can be given to eating clean, but it sure helped a ton ;).
I used to think that "one day" I would eat clean. I thought it was some big mystery and complicated thing to undertake. WRONG. It's really simple and it is what YOU decide it is. Eating clean is, simply put, eating LESS CRAP and MORE of the GOOD! Now what is the "crap" and what is the "good"?
Artificial Sweeteners and Flavoring
Processed and Fried Foods
Fruits and Veggies
Pretty simple! Trust me, we still eat an occasional dose of crap ;) but when we do our guts are NOT happy about it! It's amazing what striving to eat clean will do for your body if you let it!
SO- Now I'm on a mission to HELP YOU see that eating clean is POSSIBLE! (Enter this 7 day blog series...printable, videos, tricks, and tips.)
First I will share just a few things that I have learned on my journey to eating clean-er. (No, I am not perfect and will never claim to be!!)
-You DON'T have to have perfect fresh veggies and fruit ALL month and at your disposal to eat healthy.
-We are less tempted to eat out and eat junk when we are stocked up on good food and food we LOVE to eat.
-You don't HAVE to plan out every single meal when you meal prep and when you have heathy things on hand that you can throw together quick.
-Buy things you like, but don't be afraid to try something new! A lot of the foods we eat now we didn't eat a year ago and we love our food.
-Use seasonings, spices, herbs, onions, garlic, shallots etc. when you cook. They are SO GOOD and make eating clean yummy and FUN!
-Make small changes here and there. We didn't revamp our diets completely. We started by switching things out one thing at a time.
Examples of small changes we made over time:
Alright, enough rambling and on to the good stuff.....
Before I do my big shopping trip I BRAINSTORM. I have tried planning specific meals for every single day of the month but honestly, that just doesn't work for our family. We change plans last minute, get a craving for a different food, and just don't stick to a set "plan". SO this is what works best for us.
First, I think about what we are going to want to eat that month. It's pretty much the same from month to month depending on the season, but sometimes there are things we like that aren't a part of our usuals. I ask my husband if he has any special meal requests. Then I make a grocery list based on my meal ideas, what we need etc.
Here is what our typical meals of choice look like:
Eggs & Oatmeal/Toast
Omelet with spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms
Salad loaded with veggies and chicken
Steamed veggies with protein (chicken, fish, pork) and carb (rice, noodles, potatoes)
Homemade freezer soups (Chicken Rice & Bean, Chili, Chicken Taco, Salsa Soup)
Wraps/Sandwiches (Chicken, Tuna, Turkey)
Chicken pasta with broccoli/mushrooms
Tacos (chicken, ground venison with toppings)
Rice Bowls (chicken or venison with veggies)
Mac & cheese
Fruit (dried and fresh)
Toast and Homemade Jam (low sugar)
Don't get me wrong, we branch out and cook some of my yummy "pins" from Pinterest now and again, but having a few staple meals make for nearly effortless planning and execution!!
Now for the Grocery List. This is what our list typically looks like. I am not perfect and often forget things or have to go back and grab something at the store mid-month, but this is usually what we get at the start of each month with a trip to SAM's Club and a run into WalMart for the things we can't get at SAM's--and it gets us by all month with usually only 1 additional SMALL trip to the store (usually for milk since we have a milk-a-holic toddler in our house!!). Some of the items we don't need to get monthly because we still have left over (for example fish-we only go through about 1 bag every other month and things like brown rice/canned tuna we have a bunch in storage so we don't buy it every month).
Feel free to print and use these images to help you get started.
OUR GROCERY LIST:
A couple of other items we like: Whole Wheat White Flour (can be found at Wal-Mart), Plain Whole Wheat Flour, Honey, Raw Stevia (for baking or flavor), raw nuts, pure vanilla extract, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
BLANK GROCERY LIST:
My CHALLENGE for YOU- choose one item you use daily (bread, peanut butter, oil, yogurt etc.) and substitute it for a cleaner version next time you go shopping!
Watch for the next post in this series:
Meal Plan Madness: Hot Meals (Video Included)
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