so, i'm jumping on the cleaner life bandwagon! my goal is to follow heather's guidelines where i can, and try to eat as clean a diet as possible. i'm not necessarily going to eliminate all of the items on the "no-no" list, but where i can't or don't want to i will cut back on them.
i want to use this challenge to help me think more about the types of food i'm putting in my body, and to help me to make better choices.
here's the general idea behind the challenge:
- soy, tofu, soymilk, soy products
- artificial sweeteners
- non-organic dairy products (or dairy products in general)
- non-organic produce
- white flour
- white sugar
- pre-packaged or processed foods
- organic dairy or nut milk (i.e. almond milk)
- natural sweeteners (honey, agave syrup)
- whole wheat flour/grains
- fresh fruit, fresh produce
- eliminate artificial sweeteners and use honey, agave syrup or stevia ONLY
- use almond milk instead of skim milk
- buy organic dairy products, like greek yogurt and cheese; reduce my intake of these items
- eat only whole wheat past and cous-cous- NO MORE WHITE PASTA!
- eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
- reduce my consumption of pre-packaged and processed foods, such as pretzels, certain granola bars, crackers, cookies, etc. (i definitely won't eliminate these items, i enjoy them, so i will try to eat less of them)
- eat more natural snacks, such as dried fruit and nuts
- drink more water! (this one wasn't on the list, but i've been slacking in the hydration department, and need to pay more attention to this)
- start drinking more tea and less coffee; if i do drink coffee, no artificial sweeteners, and limit it to 1 cup a day
- reduce my consumption of meat (this wasn't necessarily part of the challenge, but it's something i've been thinking about a lot lately, and i think it fits in nicely!); eat fish instead of meat, if anything
- increase my consumption of legumes, and incorporate new healthy grains into my diet, such as qinoa and polenta
- stopped using splenda and other artificial sweeteners
- purchased honey and agave syrup to use instead
- switched from skim milk to almond breeze
- purchased organic greek yogurt
- purchased lots of fruits and vegetables for the week, many of which were organic (although not everything was!)
- haven't eaten meat since wednesday!
- purchased whole grain cous cous and pasta
- made quinoa for the first time last week!
i'm definitely not perfect though - i bought non-organic cheese this week, and some non-organic produce, including strawberries and bananas (yes these fruits represent some of the dirty dozen). i also bought pretzels, some fig newman's cookies, and i still have some crackers from the past few weeks too.
but, that's ok! i'm happy with the progress i've made, and i'm sure i will make additional changes in the coming weeks.
i also need to remember that balance is important. even if some of my fruit and veggies aren't organic, they still may be a better choice than some other things. and, i don't want to deprive myself of the things i really enjoy, but i want to to try and enjoy them in moderation.
i just finished reading food matters by mark bittman, who is a chef and food columnist for the new york times. this book has helped to think about eating more cleanly and naturally, and it really goes along with the principles of the cleaner life month! look out for a review of the book coming soon!