Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Clean Eating Challenge

I recently completed a 28 clean eating and fitness challenge.

Some of the reasons I decided to jump in and do this are:
1.  My exercise goals and my exercise realities were not in alignment. I would always have plans to go for a walk or work out at my local pole gym, but often found myself getting wrapped up in other things or being completely distracted. This challenge requires a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise for 6 days a week, not much of an effort if you really think about it, and with the community being as supportive as it is I feel like this will be cake. Most days.

2. The food part of the challenge is a “Clean Eating” type of diet. Not diet, life change*.  There are a few variations on the idea, but generally eating clean means avoiding overly processed foods and beverages with excessive amounts of additives, sugar, sodium, dyes, etc. The easiest way to achieve this is to basically skip the middle aisles of most grocery stores. Any food item in its whole state, with little to no processing is fair game. Think produce, meats, eggs, and whole grains. This does require making a lot of meals from scratch, but that’s all part of the fun! Well, for me anyway.

I’ve learned a similar idea about what makes food good for some about ten years ago while taking some cooking classes, it just never really had a name.  What I learned was that fresh ingredients make for excellent meals, when you cook from scratch, you control what goes into your food, and that simple is often better when it come to preparation and presentation.

I remember one of the chefs telling us about the best dessert he ever had in a restaurant. It was fresh ripe fruit, still on the branch, simply presented on a plate.  He was so impressed; it made an indelible imprint in his memory
A lot of people have lost sight of this simplicity and insist upon doing a lot to food, but really if it’s fresh and ripe, less can be more when it comes to presentation.

To be able to achieve this at home, only takes a little bit of cooking knowledge and a little extra time and effort. But its time and effort well spent if it means your food tasty and fresh, you know all the ingredients in it. 

* I say its a life change, since diets aren't forever, and therefore do not yield lasting results.

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