Now that we've covered your daytime meals I will wrap up what we've learned so you will be prepared to create many more meals including dinner and beyond.
First, Clean Eating Principles:
- Eat 5-6 small meals every day.
- Eat every 2-3 hours.
- Combine a lean protein and complex carbs at every meal.
- Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
- Never miss a meal, especially breakfast.
- Pack your cooler the night before so you can grab and go in the morning.
- Avoid all over-processed, refined foods, especially white flour and sugar.
- Avoid all saturated and trans fats and replace them with unrefined, cold-pressed fats.
- Plan your meals .
- Consume adequate healthy fats (EFA's) each day.
- Avoid alcohol at all costs.
- Avoid all "junk food" that contains no nutritional value.
- Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins and enzymes.
- Portion control- no more super sizing!
Next, you need to stock up your kitchen with the proper tools to make Clean-Eating a success.
~Nonstick cookware is a must because you won't be using a lot of greasy oils to keep them stick-free.
~Parchment paper is another good way to make your own healthy baked goods without having them stick to the pans.
~If you live in a cooler climate or want to make smaller amounts of grilled food, the George Foreman grill is a must. It makes cooking lean meats and fish a breeze.
~A blender is great to have for smoothies and protein drinks. It also helps in making delicious soups and dressings.
~Sharp knives will make you want to cut vegetables and fruits. If you are struggling to prepare your produce you will be less likely to do it. Get good quality knives, they are a must!
~More great tools include mixing bowls, measuring cups, a dutch oven, cutting boards, microwave, a rice cooker, a crock pot and various sizes of storage containers.
Now that your kitchen is ready, let's go shopping!
The first thing you need is a menu. Write out a menu for the week so you can get all you need at the grocery store.
The next thing you need is a list. It's so much more cost efficient if you have a list and stick to it. Don't buy something because you have a craving. If the there is an item you know you use on a regular basis that's on sale, grab it. Save time and money......stick to the list!
Well, all of your purchases have been made and it's time to prepare your food for easy use.
~Meat can be put into healthy marinades and frozen so they are ready to use at a moments notice. Make sure to trim all visible fat and that includes the skin. A good way to make your chicken or tofu easy to use is to cook it and freeze each piece individually so you can add it to a meal quickly (this is where the GF grill comes in handy).
~Fruits and veggies need to be washed, trimmed and chopped so it can be made into a quick salad, added to a sandwich or used for a quick snack with hummus or nut butter. Like I stated in my lunch post, I swear by my FridgeSmart containers by Tupperware. They are great! Click here.
~Grains like brown rice can be cooked then refrigerated or frozen in single serving portions that are ready to use. Sometimes you don't have 50 minutes to cook brown rice. A good way to store your grains are in Modular Mates or containers like these. I know I sound like a Tupperware salesperson which I am not, I just really like their products:)
Make sure to have complex carbs from fruits or veggies and a lean protein present at every meal. Have a good supply of Clean-Eating foods in your fridge and pantry so you can easily pack your cooler and be ready to go!
I have many dinner recipes throughout my blog and I hope you enjoy them. Just click on the "clean recipes" label under the post and it will pull up all of the clean recipes I have posted to date.
Remember, working counts for about 20% of your physique whereas food choices count for 80%. If you have the eating nailed down, you'll be set for life and all of your hard workouts will shape the lean figure you now have.
I hope you have enjoyed this Healthy You series as much as I have. I know this year will be a fantastic, healthy year full of possibilities!! I would love to hear what you all think, please leave me a comment so I know you're out there:)
Stay tuned for workout reviews, clean eating tips and recipes. I will even be having a workout DVD giveaway for one lucky reader:)