Since I’ve cut back quite a bit on my activity levels (hello 4 rest days last week!) and I have a Labor Day weekend on the lake in Minnesota looming, I’ve decided that I need to clean up my eating habits a bit. Any runner knows that it’s a little too easy to justify eating a cookie here, some chocolate there, because “Hey, I just ran xx miles.” Well, I no longer have that excuse. (Though I did run a full 6.75 miles last week.)
There’s a reason why I said I’m cleaning up my eating “a bit.” I don’t know about you but when I read about a “clean diet” that includes protein brownies, or look at eating plans that specify every piece of food that can pass your lips, I get overwhelmed. I don’t want to have to figure out how to make my brownies healthy with brown rice flour, agave nectar and greek yogurt. I don’t want to weigh and measure every thing I eat. (Some people do, and more power to them.) For me, food freedom is where I’m happiest. I’m a big fan of Intuitive Eating, if you can’t tell.
So the main thing I’ve done to clean my eating habits up is to be mindful of what I eat. No eating food just because it’s there and it’s free. I can get into a habit at work of eating whatever someone brings in – donuts, cookies, cake, etc. – just because it’s available. But I want everything I eat to be intentional chosen – it should be either nutritious and filling, or amazingly delicious.
Balanced with that, I’m also focusing on getting the majority (like 95%) of my daily calories from actual good-for-me food. I’m not specifically focused on cutting out sugar, refined flour, saturated fat, sodium or what have you. I just want to get more bang for my buck.
The main result of these two ideas taken together has been a severe decrease in my consumption of ice cream, cookies, chocolate, wine, etc. And I’m down a couple of pounds. Maybe it’s because my appetite has decreased from not working out as much, or maybe this whole ‘clean eating’ thing actually works (note the sarcasm), but I’m not complaining.
Do you “eat clean”? What does it look like for you?