I’ll be the first to admit, completely changing your diet habits is hard. It really is. Everyone has favorite foods, favorite treats, and to discipline yourself enough to where you can walk right by those things… it’s tough! But if doing it for ME wasn’t reason enough, I’ve found myself in a job where someone’s life could depend on me and my health. And that’s a heavy load to carry.
Yes, I’ve changed my exercising habits and yes, I’m still getting there. But what you put in your body, is just as important as what you do to it physically; so here we start the attempts at clean eating. Marshall actually started with the initiative for this one, and he’ll tell you; I wasn’t thrilled about giving up that mac n’ cheese! But the benefits outweigh everything here. So let me share a little bit of how we have changed our diets, and some tips and tricks for an easy start.
First and foremost, alcohol. YOU DON’T NEED IT. A beer or a glass of wine here and there? Sure. But save your liver and your bank account and just stop.
Basically, all we drink is Water. Ideally? 8 glasses a day. We each usually have a water bottle on us that we refill throughout the day. Now of course, we drink OJ in the morning, and every now and then some sweet tea. But your go-to drink should be water.
Oh and we do drink milk, but we drink soy milk!
2. Sugar and Salt.
I used to drink all sorts of iced coffees and way more sweet tea than I do now. SUGAR OVERLOAD. I’ve almost completely cut coffee out, and like I said, that sweet tea is occasional. At first I thought I was going to die. Literally die. No coffee? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Give it a few weeks, you too can get yourself off the caffeine crack and save yourself loads of sugar every day.
Salt. If you’re gonna use it, use sea salt. But let me say this first… there are plenty of other ways to add flavor to your food (we like hot sauce)! Lowering your salt intake can literally save your heart. I’ll tell you right now – eating out is pretty much eating salt by the spoonful. Cooking fresh meals at home will help. But really, just do away with the salt shakers!!
3. Bread and Pasta.
We have mostly gone from bread to whole grain tortillas. Not only do you save on calories, but you save on extra and unnecessary everything.
Also, we decided that we won’t cook pasta at home anymore. We were doing this 2-3 times a week and then eating the leftovers the next day for lunch. You don’t need that much pasta! So unless it’s a special occasion or we’re eating out, we’re cutting back on the pasta.
4. Processed vs. Fresh.
The easiest way to do this? Stay on the outside of the grocery store, don’t walk through the inner aisles. When we go to the store, we start with all the fruits and veggies we’ll need for that week. Then onto the meat (I’ll get to that in a minute) and then onto things like the OJ and milk. If we go into the aisles it’s for protein snack bars, dog food, or household cleaning supplies. Yes, really.
Everything in the aisles is unnatural. If it’s wrapped up in plastic, odds are it has some crazy amount of preservatives in it that make it last longer on the shelf. Yes, we’ve ended up going to the store more often, but we eat fresh foods, and it’s totally worth it!
General concept “If it doesn’t mold in about a week, probably we’re not eating it.” (Fresh food molds and goes rotten! There’s a reason those potato chips still are still crunchy 2 months later!
Alright. Here’s where most of our friends are absolutely dumbfounded. We don’t eat red meat! I’m serious! We steer (haha pun totally intended) clear of beef, pork, and fish (unfortunately I’m allergic). This leaves us chicken and turkey.
Why? Red meat just isn’t as good for you as chicken and turkey. Yes we love steak and yes I love a good burger, but a chicken sandwich and a turkey burger can be just as tasty. So no, theres no bacon, ribs, or tilapia in this house!
Eggs. We do eat fresh eggs, but we also mix in egg beaters, to avoid too much cholesterol.
I know that’s a LOT to take in. So here’s what we’re eating today.
Breakfast: Glass of OJ and a fruit smoothie (soy milk, banana, raspberries, and some peanut butter)
Lunch: Spinach and turkey in a whole grain tortilla, 2 hardboiled eggs, a bottle of water, and a granola bar.
Dinner: Potato and onion casserole, with zucchini. And Marsh will probably have a beer.
In short: we’ aren’t perfect eaters. And secret – we splurge! We do love some things we shouldn’t eat. And yes you will find us eating those things. But we needed to make a change from eating those things every day, to eating them as a treat.
I know that was a lot to read and take in. If you made it this far, props. And of course, let me know if I can help you eat better :)
Leave a comment if you have any questions!