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My lifestyle of eating clean

I know you’ve heard the words thrown around the internet. With all of the focus on healthy lifestyles and various diet trends, there’s no way you haven’t seen it. But what in the world is “Clean Eating”?

I started clean eating about three years ago and I have loved it! Granted, I’ve gone all over the place on the scale. A lot of health food fanatics will tell you to keep it at 80% clean, but over the past couple years, I have gone anywhere from 40-100% clean.

Barbecue Chicken Salad with Walnuts

The reason behind my clean eating escapade was my goal of losing all of this weight! When I started three years ago, I dove right in and started eating 100% clean and it worked. Within 3 months, I’d lost 14 lbs, but then life happened in the form of an engagement and wedding planning and I fell off the bandwagon. I still managed to eat healthy and kept it around 40-50% clean, but I was nowhere near as hardcore as when I started.

Recently, I started eating cleaner again and I am so excited to be back in the groove! I was telling Bryan the other day that once I started meal planning and focusing on clean eating again, I couldn’t wait to do it more!

May 2016 to August 2017 (-30 lbs and 2 sizes)

So, let’s fly back around to my first question: What is clean eating?

To be as basic as possible, eating clean means eating foods that are as natural as possible. This breaks down to picking whole ingredients for your meals. In other words, I try to stick to the outside of the grocery store and buy the fruits, vegetables, and proteins instead of buying anything processed.

Everyone’s interpretation is a bit different, but for my choices, I will eat pastas and breads as long as they are made from whole wheat or rice flours as these are less processed grains. I also stay away from cow’s milk because I have a mild lactose intolerance, so my pick is almond milk and cashew milk.

Grilled Chicken wings and salad

I have had tons of people ask me what kinds of meals I have on my clean eating plan and my answer is simple: exactly what you have, just with whole ingredients.

I still have spaghetti and cheeseburgers and pizza and lasagna. The only thing that changes for me is what ingredients I use. My spaghetti “noodles” tend to be made from veggies; my cheeseburger is a ground turkey burger with mozzarella cheese and lettuce for a bun; my pizza has a zucchini or cauliflower, or whole wheat tortilla crust; and my lasagna either has whole wheat noodles or is made from vegetables like zucchini.

Zucchini Spathetti with fruit and side salad

Throughout the clean eating process, I’ve decreased my salt and sugar intake, I’ve increased the amount of nutrients I’m getting, and I’m loving cooking so much more! Food tastes so much better when you’ve curbed your sugar and salt cravings and when you’ve spent the time making it from scratch!

For instance, the other day, I made sausage and pepper stuffed mushrooms from all whole ingredients and they were amazing! I made the sauce from tomatoes and seasonings, browned the sausage, sautéed the peppers and onions, and mixed it all together. From there, I washed the mushrooms and removed the stems before stuffing them with the sauce and baking until done. Easy peasy and super delicious!

I even eat clean while out to eat with friends....and personally, whatever I choose ends up tasting better and looking much prettier than what others do....

Quinoa and fruit salad versus fried chicken sandwich

If I can come up with and cook all of these delicious meals FROM SCRATCH! You can too! Stay tuned for more delicious meals! In the meantime, check out some awesome clean eating resources below:

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