John and I tweak our nutrition and fitness according to our current goals and fitness plan. Because of that, providing a strict "do this, don't do that" type of guide doesn't make sense. We are in a constant state of "plan, do, check and adjust". Though this is true, we don't drastically change what we are doing. It is just a slow nutritional evolution.
At a basic level, we eat clean at least 6 days per week. Then, 1 day/week, we allow ourselves to have a cheat meal that does not fit into our daily plan. Typically we will go out and have Mexican or Thai or Sushi rolls. And we don't forgo the margaritas or wine!
What do we consider clean?
To be more specific
A little over a year ago, we decided to do the Paleo 30 day challenge. On the Paleo Diet, you eat animal proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. You do not eat any grains, legumes, processed foods, sugars, items that contain gluten (wheat products), or dairy.
After the 30 day challenge, we added in select items: non-gluten grains (select oatmeal, quinoa, rice) and dairy (greek yogurt, aged cheese) . By doing this, we were able to see if those foods caused any digestive issues.
Currently, we follow more of a "Primal" diet. That is very similar to Paleo, with a few additions (some healthy grains/dairy as mentioned above).
Eating organic is very important. However, I will be honest and say we do not always eat organic. We do make an effort to do so as much as possible though.
There are so many chemicals that our bodies are absorbing constantly throughout the day. Anything we/you can do to reduce that will significantly benefit your health.
If we do not buy organic, we wash all our fruits/veggies thoroughly with a citrus produce wash. Currently, I use the one pictured at the right. We selected this wash for no other reason than it has good ratings on Amazon.
Meats, Eggs, Fish
This is important for multiple reasons:
1) The fatty acid profiles of free-range/grass-fed meats and wild caught fish contain more Omega-3s. As a modern society, we get far too many Omega-6s in our diets, so trying to consume as much Omega-3s to balance that out is important. John and I also take a supplement called "Super Omega-3" on a daily basis. This helps to balance our fatty acid ratio.
2) Commercial meats are raised in crowded, unsanitary, sick environments. Because of this, it is necessary to pump them full of antibiotics. On top of that, they also inject hormones to make them grow fatter, faster. No wonder why our society is getting sick and fatter, faster. Have you ever heard the saying "you are what you eat"? Well, it's true!
3) The commercial meat industry is horrifying and the cause of some of the worst animal cruelty you could ever imagine.
Quote from "Food Inc"
On a side note, the disaster at Fukushima has made us take a closer look at any Pacific Ocean fish we are looking to consume.
Genetically Modified Organisms
We believe that GMOs are extremely dangerous for our health and the health of the entire planet. So, we do our best to avoid eating them.
This topic is very complex and there is way too much that is not yet known. However, the short, few studies that have been done have not proved to be very promising.
Quote from "Seeds of Death"
If you don't know what the heck I'm referring to, start learning about them by visiting NonGMOProject.org.
"Gluten Free" can be another confusing topic (not because it's confusing, but because the marketing departments like it that way). If you are purchasing items in a package and it is marketed as "gluten free", most of the time, that is not a health food item and it will not be included in our "clean" category.
I will say that we do have gluten about 1/mo. when we are eating out and enjoying a cheat meal. In that case, we take a digestive enzyme. I was hesitant to share this because I don't want you to think you can just take the enzyme to avoid all the negative health issues from gluten. But, you are a big boy/girl and you can make your own decisions.
First, there is no reason to want to eat any food that is made low fat or fat free. You DO need fat. We actually make sure we eat fat (good fats: coconut oil, EVOO, wild salmon, nuts, avocado, grass-fed meats, etc.) with each meal. You need it for your health and to lose weight. On top of that, if it is labeled "fat-free" there are additives that are put in its place. Additives, such as sugars, artificial sweeteners and/or other chemicals.
This also goes for products labeled "sugar-free". In its place will be artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. These will show up on nutrition labels as the following terms: Acesulfame potassium, Aspertame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Erythritol, Hydrogenated startch hydrolysate, Isomalt, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol.
Now I know what you are thinking, and no, you are not totally screwed!
John and I did not change our nutrition over night. We started this process about 7 years ago. I remember trying to learn everything and almost having a nervous break down.
However, if you are ready to kick it into high gear, I would like to encourage you to take the 30 Day Challenge. It will change your life!