Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clean Eating

So.. what exactly is clean eating and why am I doing it?

Clean eating can mean different things to different people. To me, clean eating means choosing to eat as many whole, unrefined foods as possible. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are staples, while processed foods, junk foods and excess sugars are not. To be clear, clean eating is not a diet, it's a lifestyle choice.

So why am I doing it? For many different reasons! Our bodies weren't made to eat the processed crap that most of us eat on a daily basis. Can you pronounce the ingredients on a pack of Cheetohs? Odds are, probably not. The benefits of eating clean are manifold and include increased energy, clearer skin, shinier hair and better sleep.

Although I haven't been perfect, I have been doing well in my efforts to eat clean. I've been trying to drink lots of water and have been eating five to six mini-meals throughout the day to keep my metabolism going and to keep me from feeling hungry.

Here are some of my favorite meals from the past couple of weeks:

Breakfast:


I. Love. Waffles. (Does anyone else think of Donkey's line from Shrek?... "In the morning, I'm makin' WAFFLES!")

Anyways, I love waffles, but I'm a busy girl and don't have time to whip up waffles from scratch every morning! Which is why I live by these {Kashi 7 Grain Waffles}. These waffles are the best in the frozen food aisle because A. they taste amazing, and B. they are 100 percent whole grain and have 98 percent simple ingredients.

My favorite way to eat them is with a tablespoon of peanut butter, banana slices and a drizzle of organic honey. The peanut butter gets all melty from the warm waffle and it is simply amazing!

I also love topping waffles with a 1/4th cup of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt mixed with a half tablespoon of honey. Add some fresh berries and granola and you're good to go.


Lunch: 

Lunch is usually a little harder for me to eat healthy since I only have an hour lunch break. I'm often tempted to run out and pick something up from a restaurant. Being prepared with a healthy lunch is key!

I love a good Strawberry Spinach Salad like the one below. Made with spinach, sliced almonds, strawberries and feta cheese, this salad is a winner! I usually top it with {Brianna's poppy seed dressing}, which is all-natural and SO delicious.


I also love mixing up a big bowl of healthier chicken salad (using Greek yogurt, grapes and pecans) at the beginning of the week. Instead of putting the chicken salad on sandwich bread, I buy a big head of lettuce and make lettuce wraps. SO yummy! For one of my favorite chicken salad recipes, try {this one}.

Dinner:

One of my favorite meals as of late is baked spaghetti squash! I love spaghetti squash because it's easy to cook for just one person. I can cook half of the squash and refrigerate the other half for later. For those of you who haven't had spaghetti squash before, it's amazing! When baked, its flesh falls into strands that look just like spaghetti noodles.

I love love love {this recipe} from Skinnytaste, which calls for mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce and chicken breast.

{source}

If I'm cooking for a few friends, I love {this meatless recipe} for spaghetti squash which contains feta, black olives and tomatoes. You can add grilled chicken if you want more protein!

For a quick meal, I also love Amy's frozen organic meals. Yes, they are processed, but they tend to have very few ingredients, lots of veggies and are completely organic. If you're going to have a frozen meal, Amy's is the way to go!

My favorite is Amy's {Brown Rice & Vegetable Bowl}. SO flavorful, healthy and ready in minutes.


After dinner, I generally HAVE to have something sweet to satisfy my sweet tooth. I'll have a scoop of {frozen yogurt} or I'll use my Yonanas machine to make {frozen banana ice cream} and top it with peanut butter or dark chocolate chips.

To keep on track, snacking throughout the day is essential to keep my blood sugar level and to keep from starving. (Keep an eye out for a "favorite snacks" post coming next week!) I also like following clean eaters on Instagram to give me motivation. One of my favorite healthy eating accounts is {kissylipsandacarrot}.

I'm actually thinking of starting a separate instagram account for my clean eats. What do y'all think?

And is anyone else doing the whole "clean eating" thing? I'd love to hear your favorite meals and recipes!

Love, Cait

24 comments:

  1. Love this and clean eating. So many people don't realize how bad some foods can be.
    Have you seen the documentary hungry for change? It really got me into clean eating

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  2. Love this! Do more!

    xoxo,aHc
    wonderfulseabreeze.blogspot.com

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  3. I totally agree! We are pretty clean eating people as well! soo yummy and healthy too!

    http://scaifebabywatch.blogspot.com/

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  4. I love this! I've never heard of "clean eating" before but I am definitely determined to incorporate it into my lifestyle. Thanks so much for sharing all these great recipes :)

    AKB
    asouthernbrunette.blogspot.com

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  5. We are gluten free at our house because of issues that I have but we add the no processed clean eating motto. I make everything that comes in a can or bottle for scratch. IE cream of whatever soup, enchilada sauce, spice packets, dressing, ketchup. I can feel the difference

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  6. I made those boats for my family a few weeks ago! I loved it and so did they! Skinny Taste is my favorite website for meal planning. Way to go on your clean eating! www.styleoyster.blogspot.com

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  7. I've been trying to eat cleaner as well, I will have to try these meals!

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  8. Corey and I started eating a lot cleaner when we were getting ready for the wedding and I really love it. I feel SO much healthier. I am going to try that chicken salad with greek yogurt and the spaghetti squash recipe. These look great! xo

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  9. Yes! I started clean eating last year, fell off the wagon, and got back on this year! I even took it a step further and try to base what I eat on a "yeast free" regimen. No dairy, yeast, bread, sugar or alcohol. Lots of lean meats and veggies. It leaves me feeling full and it's almost impossible to feel like I overate. I really love it!

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  10. My fiancee and I started the Paleo diet which is very similar to your plan! You really do feel so much better eating foods that are not all processed! The spaghetti squash recipe sounds delicious! I cannot wait to try it!

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  11. I eat very similar waffles every morning too! I grew up eating very healthy but then this thing called college got in the way haha! Charlottesville has so much great food to offer! I'm really hoping to get back on the wagon post grad!

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  12. Love this post! Amy's is one of the best brands! I agree, even though it's processed, it's as good as you are going to get for frozen. Their spinach lasagna is amazing! I was going to ask you how you stay full by just eating the spinach salad with no meat (I don't eat meat and that wouldn't feel me up) but I guess it's because you eat several meals a day?

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  13. I absolutely love this!! You inspired me to (attempt) a clean eating habit at school today ;) I would love if you made a separate Instagram account ;)
    xoxo,
    cYa
    citrusandstyle.blogspot.com

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  14. I try to eat as clean as possible as well. I'm definitely not perfect but I always try! I make the EXACT same salad for lunch at least 3 or 4 times a week haha..sometimes I change up the strawberries for dried cranberries and light balsamic! I definitely need to try that spaghetti squash recipe - it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing these meal ideas!

    go for the glam

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  15. i love the idea of eating clean as well! it's much less about calories much more about eating food that's not processed. I absolutely hate having to pack a lunch bright and early before work at 7 AM, so i need to find things that are quick to fix and healthy too!

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  16. We're definitely into clean eating, love Kashi's non-GMO products!

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  17. I just recently started to do clean eating as well! I'm not being super strict, but I figure consciously making the decision to eat less process foods will help in the long run. I did this a few years ago and was very strict about it for a month. It was amazing what I difference I saw in my energy level and mood. Now that I blog about food, I don't want to limit myself too much. After all, everything in moderation is ok. :) Keep posting clean recipes you love, please! I love finding new ideas and recipes!

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  18. I have been wanting to try spaghetti squash but wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. I love these recipes. Thanks!!

    P.S. I love your dishes. :)

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  19. Yummy... I started on a clean eating kick... and then Easter happened. :) haha! My entire grad school class was sitting in lectures downing the chocolate bunnies and peanut butter smidgens, and my sweet tooth got the best of me. :) However, I am continuing with my smoothie quest and am having fun trying new and healthier ways to incorporate them into my regular day. Have a fabulous weekend girly! You look fabulous in all your photos recently. And your bedroom pics are gorgeous... I think we would get along quite well in person because we have VERY similar decorating styles :) haha!

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  20. yes! clean eating instagram account! i have recently started this lifestyle change as well - and this post was very motivating and inspiring! will have to try that Amy's meal, and why haven't i thought of putting peanut butter on waffles yet? i have waffles almost every morning - that or Kind bars. i love the buckwheat berry waffles from this article - so yummy! http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshoppin1/tp/Gluten-Free-Frozen-Waffles.htm

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  21. check out So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice cream...it's only 100 calories and has 0 g sugar and is dairy free!

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  22. I need help eating clean! I would for sure follow a separate Instagram account for that. And I'd love more tips on your blog!

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