10 day eating CLEAN & LEAN Challenge Wrap Up !

September 26, 2011

Toughen Up: Challenges!, Yummy Stuff

My 10 day eating CLEAN & LEAN Challenge Wrap Up!

Eating clean & lean is all about fueling your body with proper nutrients for optimal health, performance, and overall well-being, while enjoying the large variety of healthy and delicious food options out there.

I know that this might be easier said than done, but with time, patience, and a touch of self-lovin’, you can develop healthy eating habits and revamp your lifestyle for the better.

12 TIPS on following a Clean Diet

  1. Experiment with new healthy and delicious ingredients and recipes: Preparing whole foods might require a little extra work in the kitchen since our goal is to use a minimum amount of pre packaged & processed foods. Learning how to cook from scratch can be a fun and rewarding experience. There are numerous books, blogs, and websites that can help you get inspired and give you tons of ideas, tips and healthy recipes. Have fun with it!
  2. Grow your own garden or buy local & organic when possible: Last year, I had my first experience with growing my own vegetables. The whole process was fabulous; not only did I eat tons of fresh & organic fruits and vegetables daily, but I managed to cut my grocery expenses in half, and loose a couple extra pounds along the way… If you do not have a piece of land to start your own garden, you can always get creative with indoor gardening. Since I live in the city during the winter, I enjoy growing my own sprouts, they are super nutritious and quite simple to prepare. I strongly recommend to buy local & organic produce when possible, not only will you be doing yourself a huge favour, but in addition, you will encourage the use of farmland for farming in your region. Talk about filling two needs with one deed!
  3. Moderation is key: The secret is not in following a certain diet “by the letter”; you don’t want to end up feeling deprived and frustrated when it comes to food. Instead of categorizing food as “good” or “bad”, put your focus on all the healthy food options you can enjoy abundantly. We all get cravings, even if some of them may not support our goals,  it’s ok to treat ourselves occasionally. The key is moderation, you don’t want this to become a daily habit.
  4. Baby steps grow into new life habits: We are all at a different place in our lifelong journey; this also applies to our diet and eating habits and behavior. A couple of years back, my main focus was somewhat superficial. I wanted to look great and this was my motivation to eat “healthy”. Low-fat packaged foods, and protein bars where part of what I believed was healthy back in the days, along with a lot of meat, “hell, I must need it to grow strong muscles, right?”. Well I have learned a lot since then. What I am trying to say is that we all have to go through our own journey, and learn from trial and error. By experiencing with different approaches and strategies, we end up finding what suits us best at that given time.  For some, adding a piece of fruit to their diet might be a huge step, others might find this easy as 1 2 3.  We have to respect where we are at the present moment, without comparing ourselves to others. Each step we take counts for something and brings us that much closer to out long-term goal.
  5. Stick to real unprocessed food: The whole point of eating clean is to nourish our bodies in the way that we are supposed to. We do so by avoiding foods that have lost most of their nutritious value, foods that are loaded with emulsifiers, conservatives, added sugar, and all sorts of unhealthy additives. Why would we choose to fuel our bodies this way to begin with? Perhaps some packaged foods claim to have a good value of fiber and vitamines which are both essential to good health. Take my advice, and grab a piece of fresh fruit instead! Many people have come to be addicted to processed & refined foods because they are loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial flavouring. It might take a little time to readapt to real food, but with time, trust me, you will start craving more and more whole foods, and be repulsed by “fake-foods”, as I like to call them.
  6. Prepare your meals at home: If you spend most of your time on the go, chances are that you are surrounded by unhealthy, supersized, and processed foods all day long.  By packing your own meals and snacks, you will no longer feel as tempted to grab a “not so healthy bite” on the way to the office. It’s also a great idea to have some ready-to-eat, pre-cut, pre-cooked food in your fridge in order to enjoy a healthy meal while you are running late and have no time to prepare a meal from scratch. Ex. hard-boiled eggs, grilled veggies, pre-cut veggies, washed and cut salad, etc.
  7. Keep your kitchen clean & healthy: If I would have a stash of chocolate chip cookies in my pantry, chances are, that they would all magically disappear by the time you can say “cookies?”. This does not mean that you cannot satisfy your sweet tooth, on the contrary, you should have some healthy alternatives to your favorite treats,  that way, you never feel deprived. Here are some of my all time favorites: nut balls, sliced banana with peanut butter, banana & peanut butter oatmeal, fruit smoothie with nut milk, a piece of dark/organic chocolate, etc.
  8. Listen to your body: Somewhere along the line, we stopped listening to our body signals that naturally let us know when we are hungry and full. This is why I suggest taking a couple of days practicing mindful eating in order to get back in touch with these signals and learn to recognize them all over again. There is quite a difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is partly controlled by a region in our brain detecting how empty out stomach and intestines are. It is a sensation that makes us want to eat: growling stomach. Appetite on the other hand, is a desire or interest for food, it is linked with the sight, though, and smell of food. It can override hunger and satiety.
  9. Do not obsess over your diet: Eating clean & whole foods should be fun, exciting, and pretty rewarding. Initially, you might need to get a hold of portion size, or nutritional values of certain foods for example. But once you learn the basics of eating healthy and whole foods, you should relax and enjoy the ride. Calculating every nutrient, calorie, or macro-nutrient  ratio will only accumulate stress in your life.
  10. Fill up your fridge with fresh fruit and veggies: I’m sure that you can find out the pro’s of this one on your own… 😉
  11. Remind yourself of the many benefits that come with eating this way: Remember how real food makes you feel and look, how it naturally heals your body and mind, while giving you energy and mental clarity. What are your reasons?
  12. Enjoy the journey folks! We learn, we fail, we grow, we succeed… enjoy the process of it all!

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4 Comments on “10 day eating CLEAN & LEAN Challenge Wrap Up !”

  1. Tammy Says:

    These are some great tips. I’m currently working on eating healthier and no longer being under the control of one particular diet or certain food rules that are not realistic or sustainable for the long-term. I feel like these tips are perfect for someone like me who is currently going from the SAD to a healthy lifestyle. 🙂


    • myfitstation Says:

      Thanks Tammy! For me, this is the only approach that really works and makes me happy.I NEVER deprive myself, you can check out my recipes and you will see many tasty deserts and snack, wich I incorparate in my diet everyday. Of course, it’s important to have a hold on your portion size, with practice, this becomes easier and you start enjoying the quality of your delicious foods instead of the quantity… Enjoy your journey 🙂



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    […] With a flood of information sucking in our attention every time we log on the web, it can get quite challenging to find balance in our fitness journey, and getting quality information regarding diet, fitness, and nutrition. With so many fad diets being advertised and spread online, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed with the overflow of data and contradiction as well. There is an abundance of misleading information out there, and although I won’t be getting into details about fitness nutrition in this post, feel free to check out some of my previous articles related to healthy and balanced nutrition: What’s in My Fridge?, 12 Tips on Following a Clean Diet. […]

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