So, What Should I Eat?

As a reminder...

What does "Clean Eating" mean? 
It is the practice of eating unrefined & unprocessed foods

As you begin this journey, please remember it will take time. You are going to learn what food ingredients work, don't work or you just don't like. You will discover food combinations you never thought you would like and may even learn you have a food sensitivity. That is what happened to me.

Ideas below for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snack

*Note: I am not a nutritionist but but after various attempts at weight loss, I have found applying the Clean Eating approach to food works. It has been the most effective at sustaining because it is not a diet but a lifestyle that is manageable.

Breakfast Option
Inspired by Be Well by Kelly 
*this is what made Clean Eating click for me

Breakfast is the most important meal of your day. If only I told my high school self, as I was eating chocolate chunk brownies every morning :)
A breakfast smoothie is the easiest way to apply the 4 Principles (Fat, Protein, Fiber, Greens) to keep your body feeling full and balance blood sugar curve.

1.5 ounces Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup Spinach
1/4 - 1/2 cup Mixed Fruit (I did a frozen fruit blend from the grocery store)
2 tablespoons Almond Butter
Type something
1.5 - 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (this smoothie will stay in fridge overnight)
28g Be Well by Kelly Vanilla Protein Powder

In my course, you will be introduced to a variety of smoothies you can make for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. They are packed full of goodies and as stated above, designed to keep you full so you won't snack & keep your blood sugar balanced.

One of the most interesting things I learned about fruit is that you don't want to overdue it. Fruit naturally contains sugar including Fructose. Add too much, and you will send your blood sugar shooting up & then returning with the crash. No more than 1/2 cup single fruit or a blend.

If you are making this in the morning, substitute chia seeds for ground flaxseed. Chia seeds need some time to absorb the moisture. Enjoy!
Lunch Option
Inspired by a local chef

Lunch is probably one of my favorite meals. I think because it allows us to be creative, whereas, with Dinner we tend to make it to last 2-3 days and it's usually to make the family happy as well. Salads can be an excellent meal and when you pair the 4 principles, filling, too! Heads up, you will not be counting calories as is usually the 

2 cups lettuce blend (spring mix & arugula)
1/4 cup strawberries
1 cup diced chicken (grilled/baked/canned)
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/2 diced avocado
2 tablespoons honey vinaigrette
(optional) shaved Red Onion

Note: Wash avocado before. You can tell it is fresh by slightly pressing on the outside. Firm? Not ready. Too Soft? Cut it open and use what is not brown. Easiest way to open is take a knife and slightly push along the long side. Open in half and place knife into seed. Wiggle around to remove (some are easier to remove than others).

Dressing: You can buy a pre-blend at the store but read the ingredients. Stay away from ingredients you can't pronounce and artificial sugars. You also don't need low fat/low calorie. Your body needs it to stay full so we are finding the products that will provide this. Enjoy!
Dinner Option
Inspired by a meal from Rize in Indiana

I'm going to start right here. Please don't be afraid to eat bread. Don't worry about calories, this isn't a diet but a lifestyle you are adapting. There is nothing wrong with bread but I'm going to give you a healthier, easy alternative.

Sourdough or Brioche Bread
Chicken Breast (Added for protein but you can skip)
White Cheddar Cheese

Marinade chicken by drizzling olive oil on top. Blend garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary and a squeeze of lemon. Coat both sides of chicken. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb flavors. If you don't have a grill, you can cook in a pan (medium - high heat). Chicken needs to meet a minimal temperature of 165F.
As chicken is cooking, put 2 tbs of same olive oil in pan. Let pan warm up, add mushrooms, sautéing  in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper. Once spinach is done (see picture), remove pan from heat. Put your sandwich together. Add a slice of white cheddar at the top before the bread.

Add a small amount of butter to a pan (low to medium heat), you can use same pan as spinach/mushroom but clean first. Spread melted butter throughout pan. Put top of sandwich down first, to start melting the cheese. Look for browning on sides of sandwich. Flip to other side.
Pair with Black Bean chips and Enjoy!
Snack Option
Inspired by a local chef

Don't you hate when you get the afternoon munchies, traveling in the car with no exit in site or at the airport but don't want to pay the expensive cost? This nut mix is a wonderful alternative. It is also easy to make, will save you $ and help level your blood sugar.

Note: When buying nuts focus on labels that say "Raw" or "Dry Roasted" The idea is to stay away from products added sugars. You are fueling your body with natural ingredients, so if you buy products that have sugar added, you are going to continue to be on the blood sugar rollercoaster.

1 cup Almonds
1 cup Cashews
1 cup Pistachios
1 cup Pecans
1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts
1/2 cup Brazil Nuts
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate

Mix together. Divide into 6 ounce portions to use throughout the week.

Storage: Store remaining nuts in either glass jars in fridge or original packaging in freezer. This combination is a mix of high & low fat. Storing in glass containers will keep flavor and texture. When your supply runs low, transfer from freezer to fridge. Enjoy!