Proper Fueling: A Fit Trainer’s Roadmap to Clean Eating
When it comes to an eating plan for your healthy lifestyle – who cares what you call it as long as you have boundless energy, strong immunity and can do anything your body asks!
The goal is to train your body to derive it’s energy from proteins and fats instead of grains, legumes, processed dairy and other foods that irritate and inflame your body and deprive it of important nutrients.
There is a growing body of research documenting the health benefits of making this switch. In short, the benefits include reduced risk of heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer and diabetes, all of which can be traced to excessive inflammation in your body, high insulin levels, and other processes and imbalances that are too detailed to review here.
Aside from the heath benefits, you will simply look better, feel better and perform better. If you decide to follow the principles of clean eating – do it strictly at first, and notice how it affects you… then “modify for moderation”. Give it a month, document it in a food/ lifestyle journal that you can always refer back to as a study guide. Even better, give that chronicle to a friend to pay it forward
AVOID THE FOLLOWING: “Red Light Foods”
Flours, grains, legumes, processed dairy, processed and refined sugars, corn and soybean oils. Pretty much everything in a bag or box. Remember, if you’re reading the ingredient list and can’t pronounce something – it is probably a Red Light Food. PUT IT BACK!
EAT FREELY: “Green Light Foods” – Protein, veggies, healthy fats
Grass fed and antibiotic/hormone-free meats and wild fish are best, as are organic vegetables. Focus on nutrient-dense veggies (those with dark or bright colors – colors that correspond with specific anti-oxidants). Save the starchy veggies like sweet potatoes or yams for post-workout meals, or to load up on for the tough workouts of tomorrow! Avocados, nuts (walnuts & almonds, not peanuts) are friendly foods – they aren’t going to make you fat with moderate consumption… same goes with fruits, (not fruit juices) like organic apples, and berries.
KEEP A HEALTHY DISTANCE: “Yellow Light Foods”
Some people have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. The reactions can vary from feelings of fatigue or inflammations to a full blown allergic reaction. You are the CFO – Chief Food Officer of your body and need to pay attention to your discomforts and reactions to certain foods such as: eggs, nuts, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers and more. I call these “Yellow Light Foods” and I proceed with caution. For example, I now know that a dose of Tabasco pepper sauce can leave my joints with arthritis-like symptoms. Keep track of your reactions to these foods – this is where your food/health journal can come into play!