Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fresh and Clean

Alright folks, this is not my usual blog post. 'Cause...it's not about decorating. But it is about my life and this is my blog so I guess it fits : )

Yesterday I took the plunge on something I've been thinking about for 6+ months...eating clean. As in, I made a week's meal plan, went to the store, and bought organic things. So we'll see how this goes.

I've known for a long time the health benefits of eating less processed foods and adding more fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and whole grains. It's not like I don't know how important that is, but I felt overwhelmed at the thought of trying to eat totally clean. Not to mention, my life has had some drastic changes the last six months. I've taken on tons of added responsibility and hours at work, plus started a business. But really, that's lead me to where I am. About 12 pounds above where I need to be, with no real plan or control over what I'm eating. And in the busiest months, I've even started eating fast food 2-3 times per month. That doesn't sound like a lot but it's movement in a direction I just don't want to go.


So today I decided to do things differently...but in baby steps. I'm not a terribly disciplined person. I think I like to have fun a little too much to be one of those people who religiously only eats carrots and kale or something. But, I can do better that what I'm doing right now. It's all about healthier choices to lead to a healthier me. And let's be honest, life will still be busy. I'll still be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I just want to be a skinnier, healthier chicken : )

The thing that really pushed me over the edge was this blog post by a friend I went to high school with. She changed her lifestyle and has seen great results. Somehow it helped that I know her. That an actual real-life person I know and talk to has seen results made a difference to me (not some skinny model or gimmicky TV guy). Her story is pretty cool, and I figured if she could do it, so could I.

Let me say this up front...I am NOT going for perfection. Or even totally and completely clean eating. I'm going for mostly clean, more healthy and overall better choices. I'm NOT going to starve myself, I'm going to eat as much as I want of things that are good for me. I'm not even really doing this to lose weight, although I bet if I stick to it I will. I am doing it for health reasons - to live longer and avoid health problems and diseases later in life. I'm also doing it because every time I think about having kids, I always think that I would want them to eat clean...well I better figure out how to do that before they get here!

Here are some of the changes I hope to make over the next few weeks. I know that I WILL mess up. I WILL have weak moments and things won't be perfect. But I'm trying to make slow, gradual changes that I can work into a lifestyle.


{haha- most bread is totally not clean or really that healthy, but I just thought this picture was pretty : )

Healthy Changes

1. Meal Plan - every single meal and snack. I'm terrible at this. We'll see how it goes. Right now my meal plan is in a google doc which should make things easier since I can access it anywhere. And for now my rule is going to be if it's not on my scheduled plan, I cannot eat it. (I got a lot of ideas and tips right here if you'd like to do this too.)

2. Eat Breakfast - if you know me, you know I'm not a breakfast eater. But, I think I could sip on a fruit smoothie or handle a scrambled egg before heading out the door. I think it'll help my metabolism and also my mood in the morning (which is a serious problem - to say I'm not a morning person is putting it lightly : )


3. Replace milk and creamer with almond milk - My vice is highly sugary coffee every morning. I don't drink pop, so this is my "thing." I'm going to try to wean myself off the creamer and use unsweetened almond milk in its place. I'm also going to try to slowly do without splenda in my coffee. I know it won't happen overnight, but I'll get there.

4. Cut out the CRAP (carbonated beverages, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and colors, processed foods) At the store I bought organic cherry tomatoes instead of cheese-its (tear), pears instead of peanut butter sandwich crackers, and natural almond butter instead of sugary processed Jiff. I also learned to check labels on everything because you would be shocked how many things have added sugar (think pasta sauce, canned veggies, etc.). The carbonated beverages won't be difficult without pop, except I have to admit I have gone a tad bit overboard on the beer lately. Since work has been so stressful, I often indulge in a beer after work (the hubs likes one too so it's just easy to sip one together). This habit just isn't necessary. I'm not saying I'll never have a beer again, but do I need one 5 times a week? Absolutely not!

5. Get Educated - I've learned a lot from this site and a few others, but I would like to keep learning more about whole foods, how to eat clean and prepare healthy meals, and the health benefits of it all.


Next on the agenda: exercise. This is more of a schedule issue than anything. I'm going to work on the eating thing for a few weeks before I dive in to a regular exercise routine, because I don't want to bite off more than I can chew at one time. It's all about baby steps!

So there you have it! I hope by putting this out there for the world to see there will be at least some sort of accountability : ) After thinking about it for so long, I feel like I need to finally take the plunge. And it's been six months since the big changes in my life, so even though my life is busier, those six months gave me time to adjust and now take on something new. If you're interested, I'll keep you posted. I have to admit this is certainly not my passion the way decorating is, so this will not turn into a foodie blog, promise. But I'll give updates as I hit milestones along the way.

Now, wish me luck...I'm gonna need it : )

{live beautifully}
Courtney

PS - Pictures from here


3 comments:

  1. Good advice! We could all use your advice. I for one will try the almond milk for my coffee.
    Thanks have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, Courtney! I'm excited to hear how this goes for you. I think we all have good intentions with our habits, but when life gets crazy it's hard to stay on track. The beginning of the school year is always hardest for me, so I totally know how you feel! Good luck with everything and keep us all posted! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been trying to eat more clean lately too. I really like this blog: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/
    The recipes are easy and don't have strange ingredients. :)

    ReplyDelete

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