Wednesday, September 14, 2016

10 Tips for Clean Eating Without Wanting to Die

I recently finished Whole 30 and it was haaaaaard.
(Spoiler alert: I accidentally cheated with corn.
I even read through all the rules and for some reason it 
didn't click that corn was a no-go.)
You see, I'm a sugar fanatic. I used to dump several spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee every morning. And I could not for the life of me finish a meal without craving something sweet after.
So for me, this was more of a sugar detox.

Honestly, lunch was the hardest. I normally ate a turkey sandwich so that was out.
And there's really nothing to snack on.
So I found a few helpful tricks to help me eat clean for a whole month without wanting to die.

1. Make eggs your best friend.
You might get sick of them, but they are a great source of protein to fill you up.
Learn to make them every which way and love them.
I would make deviled eggs without the mayo and I thought they were super good.

2. Learn that nuts and fruit taste like candy.
When you're not eating refined sugar, nuts and fruit together begin to taste like the sweetest candy on earth. They are delicious and that became my go-to side and snack!

3. Make lettuce your bun.
You'd be surprised how much you can still eat when you ditch the bread in favor of lettuce.
So my normal turkey sandwich became a turkey, pickle, mustard, lettuce wrap.
We only grew one thing this summer and it was lettuce and our leaves were huge and perfect
for bun substitutes.

4. Make it easy on yourself
I was totally fired up to do this clean eating for a month. I filled up my Pinterest board and was pumped to make these new meals. But man oh man, it requires so much more chopping and prepping and kitchen time than I was used to. And some of the meals I wanted to make I knew my kids wouldn't touch and I am not in the business of making two dinners.
So I found a rotation of family friendly meals and I carved out some time to prep before hand and it made it so much more manageable for me.

5. Sweet potatoes are everything.
Plain, made into baked fries, mashed, loaded with meat. They are everything.

6. Coffee with almond milk is better than no coffee.
So the biggest thing I took away from this month of clean eating was it transformed the way I take my coffee. Almond milk was tough for me, I don't love the taste of it.
But it was better than no coffee at all. And it really did help me change how much sugar I was taking in every day. I switched back to regular milk in my coffee and it's amazing.
Coffee with a splash of milk is the new me.

7. Make these Zucchini Taco Boats
This recipe was my absolute favorite. I made a huge batch and
we ate leftovers for lunch. I just omitted everything that was non-compliant
and it was still so delicious.

8. La Croix. 
I felt mediocre about it before. And now I'm a full-fledge fan.
When you can only have coffee and water, you'll take what you can get.
And the carbonation helped me feel full during my normal snack-time.

9. Breakfast for dinner
I quickly learned that instead of thinking of tradition breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was easier to think in terms of protein, fruit and veggies. So we ate a lot of breakfast-y type foods for dinner.

10. Make it fun.
Clean eating requires a TON more prep work and kitchen time than I'm used to.
But I would schedule out time and put on some tunes and go to work.
I also went above and beyond to make some fun date-night meals for Josh and I.
This date night salad was definitely as good as it looks.
That homemade cilantro lime dressing is the key!

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