My question for you is, how can I start to eat "cleanly" without getting so hungry that I lose my way? I have young children who are reasonable eaters and a husband who eats anything. I feel great when I eat well and want it to be the way we generally eat. Where on earth do I begin?
You are not alone in your request to eat better for 2016 as it seems to be common question over the last couple of days. It is not as hard (or as boring) as you think it is and it is pretty easy to start.
Step number one is get rid of all the junk that you have in your house. Right now. Either put it in the food waste bin or give it to your husband (which could be considered the same thing probably) and start fresh. Begin with picking one healthy meal you are going to cook for your family that week and then think about how you could turn the leftovers into a second healthy meal. Once you have decided, head to the grocery store and do your shop. Try cooking chicken breast fajitas one night and then the next night turn the leftovers into a pizza and serve it with a salad. Another trick is to invest in a good quality slow cooker and prepare healthy meals for the family that basically cook themselves.
Switch rice to brown rice, barley or quinoa (you won’t notice the difference) and if you are cooking pasta try quinoa pasta and add in as many vegetables to the dish as you can. Prepare at least one dish each week that contains fish as well as one dish that is strictly vegetarian. Have crispers full of ready to grab fruits and cut up vegetables and other healthy snacks available such as hummus, baby cheeses, yoghurt, larabars and almonds. If you are a baker, switch from white flours and sugars to whole wheat or quinoa flour and raw sugars. Baking is a great way to provide healthy and tasty snacks to your family.
Your kids can also benefit from eating “clean” so start to introduce to them healthy food options, in hopes that they won’t miss the not-so-healthy snacks you rid your pantry of. Of course it is ok to have foods that are considered not good for you, or too high in sugar, but only in moderation. Where they become a problem is when they become our only source of calories and when we forget to eat the good stuff. Get in the habit of providing a healthy snack to your kids and then if they finish that they can have a small “treat”. This is a trick I learned from one of my best friends, who is an amazing full-time nurse and mother of two.
Get your family into the habit of starting each day with a healthy breakfast, which will benefit all of you and ensure that everyone is full of energy before they head out the door. One day you can make smoothies that are full of nutrients. Try out this recipe to feed a family of four:
2 cups of frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons of hemp hearts
¼ cup regular fat/high protein yoghurt
1 spoon of peanut butter
½ an avocado
a handful of frozen kale
2 scoops of vegan protein powder (Vega Vanilla or Chocolate is my go too)
and water for your base.
Blend and viola, a healthy and energizing breakfast that is easy to drink on the go. Eggs are a great option too and if there is time, try making healthy pancakes that contain oats and top them with vanilla yoghurt rather than syrup. You are more likely to eat better for the rest of the day if you start with a healthy breakfast.
Clean eating does not mean you have to portion out chicken, broccoli and sweet potatoes into ready to go containers nor does it mean you have to eat the same thing every day. It does mean, however, that you are going to have to plan your days in advance so you have healthy meal options readily available. Keep away from the thing we know we shouldn’t eat (these foods are usually found in packages) and stick to those foods that we know we should. Good luck!
Attached - Dakota Johnson leaving the gym in Los Angeles earlier this week.