You may know that I, Little Sis have had 3 High School Asian boys living with me for the past two years. In short my husband and I did a host parenting program. We decided after two great years that it is now time for us to stop doing that and enjoy us together, and start working on our own family!!
Anyways, what's this got to do with Clean Eating!?!? LOL Well when you have 5 people in your house, you buy food that stays under your budget. We didn't buy horrible food, but we shopped at Sam's, and knew exactly what we got each time. Not a lot of thought going into it. I mean I would meal plan but that was just to help with the budget. (meal planning on a budget post here) I didn't think much about how we were eating health-wise as a family. I mean I would try to buy veggies, and fruit, but usually bagged, steam-able veggies or something.
Anyways, now that it is just my husband and I, I have decided to start taking control of what we are eating and make changes! I am not doing this to be a part of some Gluten Free or Paleo fad that is going around. I have read some about Clean Eating, and will continue reading more, but I understand the importance of eating more natural food, and less processed food. But believe me, this is no easy task! I was raised on processed food, I love McDonald's, so this will be a challenge, but one I am ready for and excited to take!
One of the best things I read before starting this journey into Clean Eating is to think of it on an 80-20 scale. 80% Clean eating, 20% not. And I don't think okay I'll buy this and then splurge for my 20%. No the 20% is to help me, I am not doing this to punish myself, but because I want to. So the 20% really does help! I mean I am not going to clear out my cabinets and waste food that we already have. But from now on I am striving to buy more "Clean" foods, so that's the 80%. I'll explain more below with my first Clean Meal!
But first, a few things I did to start my Clean Eating. Find a local Farmer's Market. I swear my city is WAY behind on health initiatives! But they still have a small Farmer's Market. So I went. I didn't need a ton because I had already gotten some fresh veggies from my Dad's garden, but I did get these two things.
Or maybe this is your chance to start your own garden! If you have the time and resources that could be fun! Just enough to feed your family!
Anyways, I bought fresh Kale & Cucumbers. Here's what I use them for:
Cucumbers-I literally slice up and dip in ranch. (Guess I need to look into buying organic ranch :-) But I eat it for lunch, dinner, snack. I am not a HUGE Veggie eater so I take what I can get. I will eat baby carrots with this too!
Kale-You wash it. Thoroughly dry it. Then lay it on a baking sheet, sprinkle Olive Oil on it and salt, and bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and you get crunchy Kale chips. The first time I had them I wasn't in love, but I tried again and am liking them. The only bad thing is that Kale is a taste that stays in your mouth for a while :-)
NEXT: I went shopping at our local Natural Grocer's store. This is newer to my town, but most town's have something similar.
Here's what I got!
So here I am talking about EATING CLEAN, but maybe you don't even know what that means....
Yeah neither did my husband....In the middle of Natural Grocers my husband said...."What does ORGANIC even mean...!?!?!"
By definition, Organic foods are, "foods that are produced using methods of organic farming – that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives."
Basically Clean Eating is eating food in it's most basic form, not processed or full or synthetics or chemicals.
So fresh food is one of the best things to have, or cage free products.
So now....for my first ever Clean Meal.
Here is where I explain more about the 80-20 part. I'm telling you, have this in the back of your mind and you won't set yourself up for failure. If you have the mindset of going 100% Clean, then when all your friends go to eat, you are depressively declining because of your choice to be healthy. NO, go eat with your friends! It's a choice, not PUNISHMENT! (just don't go out to eat every night) hahaha Make good choices! This blog post was amazing at describing this. Her point of view was based on her young daughters and not wanting to put a misconception of food into their minds that could later lead to eating disorders. It's a very interesting read!
Our first official "Clean Meal." I used the All Recipes, Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup.
Anyways, I made the Kale chips I mentioned above, but used my Wal-Mart bought olive oil. I made guacamole with organic avocados & the Organic Blue Corn Chips that I bought. In the soup, (which tastes way better than it looks here), I used mostly fresh stuff, but the enchilada sauce I had bought a while back so I used it, and it wasn't organic. Things like that. If I already have it, I'm going to use it. And I still felt GREAT about myself because I had set the 80-20 expectation up for myself, so I was okay that it wasn't all PERFECTLY CLEAN/ORGANIC FOOD!
Anyways, I will continue to update you on how things are going. A few things I have planned for the coming weeks it to share with you about fresh fruit frozen treats I have made, and about a Gluten Free Cooking Class that I went to!
Here's to CLEAN EATING!! #theSuellsEatClean (had to make my own hashtag) :)