If you are new to this post keep in mind it is a continuation to an effort we are making to lose 5 pounds for the summer! (see previous posts below)
I have tried almost everything to lose weight in the past, Weight Watchers, starvation, crazy protein only diets, countless shakes, counting calories, Mediterranean diet …you name it! They all worked to a certain extent and then I would gain the weight again. It was very frustrating. I was always hungry and I was always moody. With WW( one of the few experiments that kinda worked) I leaned everything was a number and when I would see a banana I would think “2 points.” I would splurge my points in pizza and starve the rest of the day because I had no more points…I was losing touch with myself. Unlike WW, all the other diets had no accountability so I dropped them all. How little did I know the one I have to give accountability for my eating is ME! Dieting, I found, was not going to be the solution for because that meant depriving my body from the food I loved. Deprivation leads to abuse. I had abused enough. Today I can say I have never felt so healthy, wholesome, and light in my life.
I slowly realized clean eating was not a “diet” and I learned it from people that were not trying to sell me food or a membership or anything. It makes total sense and it holds the healthiest most invigorating attitude. As you may know, I am a mother to 5 yummy boys, hence doing anything radical or unhealthy would be foolish because my family really needs me and I need my energy to be able to perform as the best mother I can be.
One of my favorite things about eating clean is that I am never hungry. When you eat “clean” you do not wait until you are starving to eat. Considering you are eating every 2 to 3 hours that makes total sense. This is beneficial because when you are hungry you will reach for whatever if available to eat without thinking about it. Also, when we are hungry we get into a nasty mood and can’t even think straight, let alone get a good workout. Feeling hungry is not fun; trust me…I have fasted enough Yom Kippurs to know that first hand.
Clean eaters consume about 5 meals a day. Breakfast (extremely important) lunch and dinner plus a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. The meals are small but substantial and always combine a protein with a complex carb (see previous posts for food portions etc.)
I wanted to share with you my favorite clean snacks. I keep these snacks close at hand because I am always on the go and need to just “grab” something fast. If that is a cookie on the counter it will be that cookie…but if it is a healthy snack I will certainly make an effort to grab the healthy snack. These snacks make a meal and can be used for lunch or dinner as well. Some of these ideas were taken from Just the Rules by Tosca Reno. Remember food portions are important but don’t use cups and tablespoons, try using your hands like the picture in previous posts.
Chummus and crudités
Sabra makes individual servings of 2 oz. each that are great to take on the go. Those are convenient, but my favorite is Trader Joes Chumus because it is preservative and Tehina free and taste incredibly home made.
Apple and a Handful of Almonds or unsalted nuts like cashews
Trader Joes carries these adorable little snacking apples that are sweet and crunchy at the same time. They also carry individually wrapped almonds and unsalted cashews that are the perfect portion for clean eaters.
Panir O’Gerdu (a fabulous Persian snack)
Two Persian cucumbers sliced with feta cheese and walnuts (add a small whole grain wrap or an Ezekiel wrap to make it into breakfast or dinner)
My favorite is a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 4 oz water (or almond milk), half banana and a ton of ice…when mixed together it feels like you are eating ice cream! Purchase your kosher protein powders from www.koshervitamins.com, I am not involved with this site but I don’t know anywhere else you can get a good kosher protein powder isolate.
Persian Cucumbers and tuna
I know it sounds crazy but I love opening a can of tuna and topping it with sliced cucumbers and a drizzle of limejuice. Yum!
Chopped vegetables (about 1 cup) with 1 cup cooked edamame pods
Feeling Italian or something…
2 slices of either Ryvita or Wasa crackers with 2 tablespoons goat cheese and sliced
tomato and/or greens
Rice Cake fix
Brown rice cakes with almond butter (or any nut butter) and a banana or you can spread the nut butter on a wrap and wrap around the banana.
If you have a little more time…
½ cup non-fat greek yogurt with ½ cup berries (strawberries, blue berries, you name it!) and a sprinkle of flax seed. (add unsweetened granola for a great breakfast)
Mock apple pie
Sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon put in the microwave for 30 seconds and topped with low fat cottage cheese and flax seed. Feels like you are eating apple pie! Add a scoop of protein powder for the perfect after-workout meal.
Home made protein bars or bodybuilding protein bars…yum! Next time I will share a great recipe I “Persianized” from Jaime Eason (my favorite bodybuilding athlete)
Let me know how you are doing…how are you feeling? I know, even after one day of clean eating, I feel like a superstar! It was very hard today because I baked cookies with my kids, I did have a little cookie…yep, I am not perfect but at least I am honest!