Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean

7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean
Can we go one week without processed food?

I challenge those who are willing to eat clean for one week starting Sunday, August 5, 2012.
During that week stop by and let us know how you are doing, what you have changed and how you feel.  I will be posting tips to help us along the way.

For those new to the terminology, clean eating is the practice of eating whole foods.  Foods as close to their natural state as you can get them like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats.  Here are a few steps to make your week a success:

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned or processed products. Processing fruits and vegetables reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals.  In a pinch if you must choose a processed vegetable or fruit, frozen is always better than canned.  Read your labels and make sure there are no additives.

Balance protein and complex carbohydrates.  Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, avoid over processed grains like white rice.  Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible, as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying which will add extra fat.

We are aiming to remove refined sugars from the diet, so avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks.  Choose water, seltzer water, tea or juice your own fruits and vegetables.

Trade bad fats for good fats. A key aspect of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.

5-6 small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Clean eating also includes cooking healthy meals; packing healthy meals when you are on the go; healthy choices when dining out; drinking a lot of water; eliminating alcoholic beverages; always start your day with breakfast.

Many of us want to lose weight or improve our overall health.  The biggest challenge in improving your health is cleaning up your diet.  A huge portion of the American diet consists of processed foods and breaking away from that can be difficult.  Eating clean can be a major transition for a majority of people due to addictions to sugar, white bread, and fast food. It takes discipline in order to make eating clean a habit but it is possible and has so many long-term health benefits.  Eating clean can be difficult but it is not impossible and soon it becomes a part of your life.



  1. We are two days away. Has anyone shopped or planned any meals for next week yet? Sunday breakfast will be our first clean meal, any ideas?

  2. We begin tomorrow! Is everyone ready? I went shopping today, I found a avocado and cucumber salad at Fairway Supermarket. I may not make it until tomorrow. What did everyone else get to start off their week?

  3. Updates on the challenge at http://www.facebook.com/cravewhatsnatural.