Clean Eating Challenge

The clean eating challenge is far from a new “fad diet.” It is a lifestyle and way of watching what you put in your body. Clean eating is making sure the food that you eat is as natural as possible. The good news is you don’t have to go broke doing it. Making simple changes one step at a time can improve your diet and your life!

Eating clean is easier than you think. It doesn’t really have anything to do with calorie counting or portion control because it isn’t a diet. What it does is teach you to be mindful about what you put in your body. The clean eating challenge focuses on eating foods that are real, whole, and as natural as possible. The challenge steers you away from packaged and processed foods and works to get you eating organically as possible, even if one food at a time.

Here are helpful tips on how to do the clean eating challenge without breaking your bank. 

What’s Clean Eating Challenge Good For?

The clean eating challenge is a way to incorporate all real foods into your diet. There’s Buzzfeed two-week clean eating challenge, 7-day clean eating challenge and also 30 day clean eating challenge. It is designed to help you feel better, give you energy, and even help you lose a few extra pounds in the process. It focuses on low-carb eating and gluten-free while adding in healthy fats, fresh organic produce, and lean proteins. It takes away all processed food and everything you eat will be made in your very own kitchen.

Even though it may seem costly, we have included helpful tips to get you started and menu plans. The challenge starts any day of the week and keeps you eating every 3 to 4 hours and cuts off food two hours before you go to bed.

Tips for Clean Eating

1.       Don’t Skip Meals or Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is a big “no-no.” Breakfast sets the tone for your metabolism during the day and gives your body the energy it needs to go through the day. Eating smaller meals more often keeps your blood sugar in a good range and keeps your metabolism where it needs to be to burn calories.

2.       Drink Plenty of Water

Reduce sugary and caffeinated fluids and give your body water. You need 4 to 6 glasses of water every day for proper hydration. This will also keep you from unnecessary snacking. Water also helps flush out the toxins left over from eating processed and fast foods.

3.       Keep Your Snacks Clean Too

If you clean up your eating for meals, don’t put nasty things back into your body at snack time. Even if you’re busy, keep healthy snacks ready for on-the-go.

4.       Watch Out for Sugar

Refined sugar isn’t good. It contributes to inflammation, weight gain, and blood pressure issues. Processed foods used a lot of sugar for flavor and quick satisfaction to make up for missing nutrients. Watch for hidden sugars in foods sold on store shelves. Find things with natural sugar or eat fruits.

5.       Shop the Perimeter of The Store

Only go into the aisles for your staples. Stay away from aisles that contain processed and packaged foods. The perimeter of the store is all of your “fresh” foods and produce and really all you need to make a good and healthy meal.

6.       Eat Protein with Your Carbs

Eating carbs by themselves causes a spike in sugar and then insulin and puts you on a sugar roller coaster. To slow the burn of carbohydrates, eat them with a protein every time. This will help you feel full, improve your moods, and maintain your energy.

7.       Take Baby Steps

Clean eating doesn’t necessarily mean going all “organic.” It just means eating food that is as fresh as possible and made from scratch. Going organic is even better and you can do this a little at a time. To save money, you can choose to only buy organic fruits and veggies that you eat the skin.

One Person’s Experience and the Results

“We recently completed the two-week clean eating challenge and we found it to be tricky, but we made it through. We started out feeling hungry all the time and we really craved carbs and sugar. By the end of the first week, the hunger started to go away. Week two we felt a little cranky, so we tried a “cheat meal.” It tasted like chemicals and grease so we knew we were on the right track. The food prep can take up a lot of time, but we figured out ways to save time. By the end of the challenge, we couldn’t even think about eating processed food anymore. We loved the challenge.”

Here’s one video which shares tips and tricks for 30 day clean eating challenge, as well as shopping tips:

Clean Eating Challenge Sample Menus

Here are some great recipes and ideas for a meal plan for your first week. You can find many other menus and recipes, but this sample will help you see you can eat great food during the challenge:

Breakfast

  1. Sunshine Eggs
  2. Fruit
  3. Herbal Tea with Honey

Sunshine Eggs Recipe

  • 2 Eggs
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Purple Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Sauté Peppers and onion in 2 tbsp. Olive Oil until tender. Crack in eggs and scramble until done.

Lunch

  1. Tuna Bowl
  2. Kale Chips
  3. Iced Tea with Lemon and Honey                  

Tuna Bowl Recipe

  • 1 can Tuna in water/drained
  • Chopped Celery
  • Chopped Onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt
  • Mix together; yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss tuna with celery and onion then mix with dressing. Serve with kale chips that you make ahead by drying in your oven.

Dinner

  1. Pea Soup
  2. Salad
  3. Flax Milk

Pea Soup Recipe

  • 1 Small Bag Frozen Green Peas
  • 1 Small Avocado
  • Squeeze of Lime Juice
  • Salt
  • 1 c. Water
  • Simmer peas with avocado, lime juice, and water with pinch of salt until cooked. Puree in blender and enjoy.

Snack Ideas

  1. Carrot Sticks and Hummus
  2. Berry Smoothie
  3. Apples and Sunflower Butter
  4. Flax Milkshake
  5. Frozen Berries
 
 
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