Food….how I love thee!! Yes, I am a foodie. I LOVE food, all kinds of food. I adore pizza, chocolate chip cookies, french fries, cheese enchiladas….and the list goes on. Problem is, if I ate every food that I adore on a regular basis, I would not fit into my jeans, I would have constant heart burn and I would not have the energy for my workouts which I adore just as much as my food! So, I am learning to channel my clean eating foodie, instead!
Over the past year I have been on a journey to becoming a “clean eater” What is clean eating you ask? Well, the simple answer is that you basically try to eat food as close to its’ natural form as possible. This means no packaged or processed foods. How do you know if a food is clean? A good rule of thumb is that if it has more than a few ingredients or if you are unable to pronounce the ingredients you should probably not eat it. If you want to learn more about clean eating, this website(www.eatcleandiet.com) has a vast amount of information just waiting to be read! Now remember, I have previously stated that I am far from perfect and yes, that includes my diet. I am still on my journey of clean eating and while I am getting close to the destination, I am only about 75% of the way there.
I have however, discovered some foods that have made the process a little easier and I want to share them with you. These are the foods that I have on hand at all times and usually consume on a daily basis.
- Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk– Why is this so special. Let me count the ways! It only has 35 calories for a full cup of yummy, creamy goodness. I use this in place of water in my oatmeal and protein shakes. Let me tell you, it can turn an ordinary protein shake into a thick glass of delicious dessert.
- Dannon/Oikis Plain Greek Yogurt– If you haven’t tried Greek yogurt, please do. It is high in protein and has a smooth and rich texture. I used to eat regular non-fat yogurt but there is NO WAY it even comes close to being as good as Greek yogurt. Trust me on this one! To avoid added sugars I skip the flavored or fruit on the bottom containers and stick to plain. I like to top mine with fresh berries and a couple tablespoons of organic granola. If you just cannot handle it without some sweetness, try adding a drizzle of honey or a packet of Truvia. By the way, a 5.3 oz container has only 80 calories but a whopping 15 grams of protein. Yes, please!!
- Organic Baby Spinach– I know, I know….you are wondering who adds Spinach to their list of favorite foods but it is so versatile and it loaded with good for you nutrients. My favorite ways to eat spinach: sautéed and mixed into egg whites for breakfast, added to marinara for an extra veggie punch, as a topping on a sandwich or as your bed of lettuce for a salad. My absolute favorite: made into a green monster protein shake. Grab a handful of spinach, stick it into a blender with your almond milk, protein powder and frozen banana or berries and mix. Voila! I promise, you cannot taste it….my kids LOVE it added into their shakes! That says something.
- Quaker Oats– Good old fashioned oats!! I love eating oats for breakfast, especially during the Fall/Winter months but I don’t discriminate, I will eat them any time of year! My current favorite way to eat them: cooked with almond milk, ½ scoop vanilla protein powder, ¼ sliced banana and a TBSP of almond butter. Oh yeah, hearty goodness that will keep your tummy full for hours!
- Bananas/Apples/Berries– Okay, I know that is technically three different foods but since they are all fruits, I am going to lump them into one. Nature’s candy, full of sweetness but without all the guilt.
- Sweet potatoes– If I had to pick only one starch that I had to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it. Yes, I love bread and pastas but you sure cannot turn those into fries, especially not wonderfully seasoned sweet potato fries!! Not to mention the nutritional value of sweet potatoes. One little sweet potato gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin A, E , B6, iron, potassium and fiber, What’s not to love!!
What are some of your favorite clean eating foods?