I decided to write about clean eating today. No this is not one of those fad diets you hear about online daily. It’s an actual way of life and less like a diet. My very first recommendation is to do each one of these steps one at a time. Trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming. I started this lifestyle many years ago and have not abandoned it yet. Anyone who has attempted this knows first hand how horrible you feel when you eat something out of the norm from your healthy lifestyle. It’s actually a very simple concept and doesn’t consist of any kind of magic pill or crazy exercise regime. Clean eating is just that, clean, simple ingredients. The very first thing I did, which helped make this successful, was to cut out all white sugar. I know it sounds like the end of the world, but it saved my life. The first thing you need to understand about sugar is what it does to your white blood cells. If you were to look under a microscope at your white cells after ingesting white sugar, you would see slow, lethargic cells unable to do their job. Picture Pacman half asleep and unable to open wide enough to gobble that stealth-like ghosts. So what you say? Well, the white blood cells are what attack all the bacterial and viral invaders in your body. It takes over five hours to reverse what you have done by ingesting sugar. If you want to fight those bugs and get better in a timely fashion, you need to cut out the sugar. Cutting it out of my house made the temptation easier to resist. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s a piece of cake, no pun intended. Fact, It’s hard at first, but gets easier as time goes on. My advice to you is to read the ingredients. There is sugar in many things bought at the store you wouldn’t even think were possible. For example, when you see a label that says “low fat,” what do you think they use in place of the fat they take out? YUP, you guessed it, sugar. Your body is going to go through some crazy withdrawals and you may feel a little bit of depression along the way. I know I did. I am here to tell you that it’s possible, overall better for you and your body will thank you in the end. I have more energy, a clear mind and more control over my health. It feels so nice to not have something controlling my cravings anymore. Oh and added benefit, I’m hardly ever sick anymore.
One thing you should keep in mind doing this is you can still have sweetener in your coffee and you can still have treats as well. I ended up cutting out my vanilla creamer which initially I thought would be devastating. It wasn’t. I use a dash of half and half, a small squeeze of blue agave and a dash of vanilla. I have found a plethora of recipes with substitutions that are healthy and taste great. It’s not even difficult to make, in fact, it can be easier with fewer ingredients.
Not once have I felt like I was missing out on anything. You know the saying “you are what you eat.” That is true in many ways. I feel more on top of my game, clear-headed and actually a more positive person. Not from adding any magic diet pill or supplements, but only from cutting out glucose which spikes and drops causing mood effects, sleepiness and lethargy. Sugar also comes in a secondary form such as carbohydrates like pasta, bread, white rice, and potatoes. Your body breaks these down into sugar that can also spike your glucose levels. So while you are cutting out sugar, it’s a good idea to also cut these things as well. I have taken a liking to brown rice and sweet potato crackers in place of empty carbohydrates.
I find it easier to try new things with a buddy system which helps keep you on track and can motivate in a positive way. Again, I don’t recommend adding the gym, or anything else to this beginning. After a few weeks, you will begin to feel more energy and may be ready to start adding movement to your life. I recommend a brisk walk to get your heart rate up or quick short sprints. It doesn’t take hours in the gym to get results. In fact, that can have adverse reactions by making you sore and want to give up. Start with baby steps and add as you go.
I will add more about clean eating and exercise on future blogs. I believe you can do this. Please leave any comments or questions that come up. I would love to hear from you.