In any fitness regiment, the most important, and often least considered, element is the diet. And by diet, I don’t mean a fad diet saying you can’t eat any carbs ever, or you can only eat cucumbers for the next 30 days, or shakes for every meal for the foreseeable future.
None of these are sustainable over a long period of time and oftentimes they don’t even address the actual root of a bad diet. A wise woman once said to me, “You can’t outrun a bad diet,” meaning that no matter how dedicated you are to working out, a bad diet will thwart your results every time. So what can we eat to supplement and enhance an active lifestyle while at the same time being fulfilling and full of freedom? Short answer: clean eating.
What is clean eating?
Clean eating is the basic idea of eating food as close to its natural, raw form as possible. This does not include boxed, bagged, or packaged foods. It also excludes processed foods as they contain a TON of unnecessary sugar, salt, saturated fats, all the unhelpful stuff.
Imagine your grocery store. Now picture the perimeter of the store. All the produce is there, (fresh fruits and vegetables galore), raw, fresh cuts of meat, the eggs, the spices; the stuff that you could eat from nature without having to add preservatives. The purpose of eating clean is to eat for nourishment and fuel.
Clean eating powers the body more efficiently. The fibers in fruits and vegetables keep the metabolism working longer. Fresh meat contains protein to help build and replenish muscles. Healthy fats that run the cells smoothly are found in eggs, nuts, seeds, and more. Essentially, the more naturally colorful the food is, the better.
From personal experience, after clean eating for two months then dipping my toes back into the processed food world, I felt sluggish, out of focus, and noticed I didn’t perform as well in the gym.
Balance in Important
Of course, life is about balance. If you discover that you’re drinking a soda or two everyday, replace them with Zevia, Bubly, or La Croix. If your meals are mostly microwaved from a box, start weaning yourself off your sugar/salt addiction by replacing a meal with chicken tacos, with fresh veggies, or any number of delicious, fresh meals. Eventually, work your way into the 80/20 realm where 80% or more of your food intake is clean food and 20% or less is your treat food. This way you can satisfy your cravings but you take in much more quality sustainence. Meal prepping is invaluable in this.
Clean up your act! Eat clean! (Insert cheesy wink here)
Want More Info/Help with Nutrition?
Clean eating is a great place to start, but if you want more information or a more specific plan and some accountability Icehouse does offer Nutrition Coaching. To learn more with a free Intro call, snag your time here to see if we can help: https://meetme.so/IcehouseNutritionConsult