This month I am challenging you to 21 days of clean eating! September is a great time for a challenge because I find we often need that extra little push to break us out of those bad habits that might have crept in over the summer. I’m also loving the idea of “sober September” to go along with this. It’s time to get back on track!
This month I would like you to really notice and learn about what ingredients you are eating on a daily basis. What exactly is in that bottle of salad dressing that you use almost every day or that peanut butter that you put on your toast. I will help you go through your fridge and panty, clean it up and restock with clean alternatives.
When you switch to a focus of eating clean, you won’t have to count calories or fat grams and you will still lose weight…along with having more energy and a better, more stable mood! You will also likely notice a difference in your child’s behaviour when they are consuming less artificial additives and refined sugar.
When you eat processed and low quality ingredients your body has to use up so much more energy to process that food…along with adding inflammation to the body. When this occurs, it inhibits your ability to lose weight because it is so overburdened.
This will include really cutting down or eliminating refined sugar, additives and preservatives and swapping out bad fats for good fats.
- Fridge and pantry clean-out (scroll down to “swaps” for some ideas on what to trash and what to stock)
- Focus on ingredients rather than calories and fat grams
- Change your mindset – don’t be afraid of fat, our body (hormones, metabolism, and especially our brain) needs that fat.
- Restock (check out my pantry staples in the Mama Recharged Kitchen Guide here).
- Pantry tour – take a tour of my pantry here (this is my first ever video so it’s a bit rusty -and long- but what I have stocked in my pantry hasn’t changed).
- Choose your favourite plan from the Membership, grab your groceries (or order online) and get started!
- Prepare kid (and mama) approved snacks – check out the ebook here.
- Feel lighter and happier!
- if you like your coffee with sugar, slowly decrease the amount of sugar you add in, and/or replace it with a good quality stevia. Just know that not all stevia is created equal. Your taste buds will adjust and you will start to enjoy it with less and possibly eventually no sugar. I used to love a good amount of cream and sugar in my coffee but now, after slowly weaning it out, I actually prefer the taste of it black.
- replace your margarine with butter (preferably organic and grass-fed). I buy this brand from Superstore. It costs more but is worth it!
- swap light or regular peanut butter with 100% pure peanut butter or any other pure nut or seed butter (almond butter is my favourite). Just be sure to refrigerate since they don’t contain preservatives. In the case of light peanut butter, extra sugar is added. The fat from nuts should not be feared but sugar should be. Light and regular peanut butter contain many inflammatory ingredients. Here is what is in kraft light peanut butter. Ingredients: SELECT ROASTED PEANUTS, SOYBEAN OIL, CORN MALTODEXTRIN, SUGAR, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COTTON SEED AND RAPESEED OIL), SALT, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES.
replace your store bought salad dressings with a simple homemade oil and vinegar. If you aren’t quite ready to give up on store bought dressings, look for one that contains olive oil as one of the first ingredients. Skip the “light” because they usually just replace the fat with sugar. Tip: it’s important to have some fat with your salad because vegetables contain fat-soluble vitamins. Without the fat, you will be losing out on absorbing those vitamins.
- if you enjoy crackers to snack on, swap it in for better quality crackers like Mary’s Crackers or these homemade sea salt and garlic crackers.
- swap out your usual processed, packaged snacks like granola bars, crackers, chips, etc with whole food snacks like a homemade trail mix of your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruit, or celery with nut butter or veggies and hummus, peanut butter balls, for example.
- swap out your canola, corn, soybean, or vegetable oil or any hydrogenated oil for better oils like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil. The “bad” oils listed above are PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids). They are unstable and oxidize easily, creating free radicals in the body…leading to inflammation and eventually many serious health issues. They oxidize so easily that by just sitting on a grocery store shelf in a clear container will cause oxidization.
- cut out deep fried foods, instead you can pan fry with coconut oil or quality butter. Coconut oil is stable at high temperatures. The oils that are typically used for deep frying are not stable at high temperatures and will cause free radicals in your body.
- swap refined grain products (noodles, bread, cereal) for whole, unrefined grains like oats, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, or even popcorn.
- swap out cheese slices and cheese wiz with good quality, full fat cheese (be sure to omit if you don’t feel well on dairy).
- swap store bought seasoning packets like taco seasoning with a homemade seasoning mix. I love this taco seasoning recipe.
- swap your flavoured coffee creamer for cream or a milk alternative like almond, coconut or hemp milk. The flavoured coffee creamers are one of the worst offenders (many containing trans fat). No level of trans fat is good and it’s scary to think about the amount you would consume over a year. My personal favourite is the coconut milk that comes in a black carton (in the ethnic food aisle).
- swap breakfast bars or cereal with an omelette or eggs and sautéed greens (be sure to eat the yolk too!) or green smoothie.
- replace light yogurt with plain greek yogurt (can add maple syrup or raw honey or fresh or frozen berries, granola). Don’t be afraid of yogurt with a bit of fat, it will help with the glycemic load and keep your blood sugar level more stable and keep you more satisfied.
- replace canned soup with homemade soup. Make a huge batch to eat through the week or freeze in small mason jars or ziplock bags.
Let’s make this month a great one!