Clean Eating Nutrition Plan!

Most of us have heard the term clean eating.  What does that mean? Should we wash our hands before we eat? (yes of course!) But it's much more than that!

Clean eating means eating foods that our grandparents would have eaten.  Unprocessed, not treated with chemicals or grown with genetically modified technology.

A healthy nutrition plan is made up of:

  • green, leafy vegetables
  • colourful fruits and vegetables
  • lean, clean protein sources such as chicken, fish & eggs
  • nuts, seeds & legumes (beans)
  • superfoods such as cholerella, spirulina, kelp and more
  • pure water - how much water? LOTS!!!

Women over 40 share diet tips and ways to lose weight fast like they have stock in the company!  Check your latest Facebook feed and I'm sure you'll find at least 4 different "shares" of the latest and greatest way to lose weight. 

Let's stop and think for a minute...

Do you know that 80% of what your body looks like is a direct result of what you put in your mouth?

That's a strong statement... but it's true! It doesn't matter how much exercise you do, if you are feeding your body 'junk',  you will not achieve the results that you are looking for.

The truth is, we are a nation that is overfed and undernourished. Think about that for a moment.

We can go to the grocery store 24/7 and buy whatever food we want. However, the quality of the food that we are putting into our bodies is much lower than it was 50 years ago. Think of all of the processed, sugary, salty, packaged foods that we give to our kids in the name of convenience!

Can Clean Eating Make Me Healthier?

Our bodies make new cells out of the nutrients that we provide from food. So does it make sense that if we are eating a diet rich in processed, salty or sugary foods that our bodies are making our new cells out of those same poor ingredients?

Look at the picture above.  NONE of these foods existed like this 100 years ago! 

It's no wonder that our country is suffering from: name only a few.

 Your Daily Nutrition Plan

I am a supporter of eating 5-6 small meals per day.  How many people do you know that skip breakfast?  Do you realize that by skipping breakfast and hence not "breaking the fast", that you are slowing your metabolism down immensely?

Don't we want to be revved up calorie burning machines?  That doesn't happen when you skip meals!

Here's my typical day of eating clean:

  • 7:00am  - Breakfast of a healthy smoothie and steel cut oats with granola, almonds and natural honey
  • 10:30am - Snack of Greek yogurt with a small handful of almonds or other nut
  • 12:30pm - Lunch of spinach salad topped with organic carrots, red peppers, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries & feta cheese. Dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • 3:30pm - Snack of organic tortilla chips with salsa
  • 6:30pm - Dinner of grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes

You may want to add a healthy smoothie to your day as well.  Check out my recipes and feel free to play with ingredients to make your own.  Just be careful not to make them too sweet and sugary!

The Importance of Protein for Women

As you can see from my typical day of clean eating, there is a protein source at every meal  (except the listed afternoon snack choice). 

Protein is essential to help build and repair muscles - among other things.  In my years of nutritional coaching, I have noticed that women over 40 in particular, usually do not eat adequate protein.  They tend to fill their snacks with crackers and cheese.  Sound familiar?  Although cheese is a source of protein, it shouldn't be your primary protein source in a day!

How much protein do I need?

There are a number of ideas on how much protein we need for healthy eating.  I tend to go with the standard of calculating with your body weight as a base.

It says you need: 0.8 grams of protein for every 1kg or 2.2lbs of body weight. 

That means that a 150lb person would need 54.5g of protein in a day.  Since there are 4 calories in every gram of protein, that would mean that (4 x 54.5 = 218.16) 218 of your daily calories should be coming from protein.  I personally tend to think that is a little low since it only amounts to about 10% of your calories coming from protein (based on eating 2000 calories/day).  However, it gives you a basic guideline to follow. 

What are the benefits of juicing?

Juicing is another idea that has gained a lot of attention over the past few years.  Have you heard of Joe Cross and his video series "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead"?  It's an awesome documentary that explains the benefits of juicing.  Essentially you are able to ingest a lot more fruits and vegetables and the nutrients are available for your body to use right away. 

5 Tips to Design your Clean Eating Nutrition Plan

  • 1/2 of your plate should be vegetables
  • add a protein source EVERY time you eat - chicken, fish, meat, eggs, beans, quinoa, yogurt
  • skip the sugar!
  • up your water intake to 8-10 glasses (2-2.5litres)
  • include a healthy smoothie as part of your day

I hope this gives you a guideline on how to improve your nutrition plan!  There are tons of books out there to help you along on your journey as well.  Check out the ones I recommend on my Reading List page!

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