Today is January 1. The day when millions of folks resolve to eat better, lose weight, stop smoking or get organized. Well, I'd like to be the one to help you do all of that - except get organized, I'm not so great at that!
So, it's Day 1. Grab a notebook or computer (if that's your thing) and start planning. Let's plan out your meals for the week and figure out how to stock your pantry.
Write down your family's favorite go-to meals. Make a Master List of those meals (there should be at least 20 to choose from). Then, every week, peruse your list and make your dinner plans for the week. I've learned that when I meal plan, there's a lot less waste in my fridge and when Thursday rolls around, I'm not stuck with "what's for dinner?"
Your weekly meal plan could be as simple as Monday - Chicken; Tuesday - Pork; Wed - crock pot night, etc...
Then, from there I look at my favorite blogs, Clean Eating magazine, Food Network magazine, All Recipes, Food Network.com, and other favorite sites to find specific recipes for the chicken, pork, fish or vegetarian dishes I'm having that week. It is essential to plan.
On Sat or Sun, I do my grocery shopping for the week and when I get home, I look at my meal plan and wash, prep and cut my veggies for my meals that week. Last week it took me 40 min to prepare all my veggies. I lay out a huge cutting board and colander and wash and chop away. Everything is stored in plastic bags or bowls marked with the meal they are intended for. It makes dinner time prep go so fast!
Now, on to stocking a "clean" pantry. If you are anything like me, and there's a cookie in your house, it's going to be gone while no one is looking! So, I just don't buy them. There's not one bag of candy, cookies or treats in our house. I just can't be tempted. I mean it's ok to occasionally have a treat, but to have them on hand on a daily basis is just setting yourself up for failure. I had a tin of homemade Christmas cookies on the counter (3 varieties) over a 2-week period and I gained a couple of pounds, but most horribly, it was all in my belly! Sugar goes straight to my gut - so gross! So, I started the new year off with a great workout this morning and a run yesterday. That's right, I RAN!! Something I don't normally do unless someone is chasing me or I'm going to miss a plane. I registered myself for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in DC, in March! A huge challenge for me, but I'm very excited. Now, onto the pantry...
Your clean pantry should always contain:
Clean grains like quinoa, wild rice, whole wheat couscous, steel cut oats
ground flax seed
natural peanut or other nut butters, like almond or cashew
BPA-free, Organic canned foods for convenience (like beans, tomatoes)
Cold-pressed olive oil
raw, unsalted nuts & seeds
Spices & herbs
Your fridge should always have:
raw or Organic milk (or milk substitutes like almond milk)
fermented foods like sauerkraut or pickles (and not Vlasic!)
I buy grass-fed beef, pork and pastured chicken. I also buy sustainable, wild seafood.
You can find a complete grocery shopping list on my blog post from Tues, Oct. 4.
In order to lose weight, this is THE only plan you need:
Breakfast - You need to start your day with a protein like an egg or whey protein shake. Some of the specialty food items I eat are purchased on Amazon. You'll find a link to my Amazon store on the left side of my blog under Links.
Snack - nuts or pumpkin seeds, whole fruit
Lunch is usually another protein source with a veggie, like carrots, cucumber slices, edamame, tuna salad, chicken salad, or a wrap with homemade mayo.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day -
Afternoon Snack - frozen organic grapes, crackers with hummus, sliced pineapple, plain greek yogurt with raw honey, green smoothie
Dinner - Time to break out your meal plan - is it Fish Night? To really boost weight loss in the beginning, skip a side of rice, potatoes or starch and add an extra veggie. For example, Broiled Tilapia with roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower, with side salad.
You'll notice there's no muffins, bagels, baked goods or scoops of ice cream here. Not that those are completely off limits for you, but I don't eat them anymore. There's no healthy redeeming qualities about eating a 400 calorie muffin. In order to lose weight, you have to STOP buying these white flour, sugar bombs.
Ok - that's it for now. You've got some homework to do.
Good luck and let me know how it all goes! Remember, you are not alone in this journey!
Until next time, Eat Real Food...Cindy