/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: Clean Eating Challenge: Eat Like THIS Day By Day

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Clean Eating Challenge: Eat Like THIS Day By Day

What does it mean to eat clean? You hear this term in magazines, on television, with athletes, but everyone has a different version of what "clean" means to them. However, there are tried and true foods that get results, no matter if you want to bulk up, slim down, add lean muscle, or lose a substantial amount of weight. It's how you USE the food that matters. Trying to lose weight? Pay attention to portion sizes. Eat 5 times per day, every 3 hours, limiting calories to 300-400 per meal. Cut back on carbs at night, for one of the easiest fixes. Trying to bulk up? Increase your complex carbs, protein and good fats (such as nuts, avocado and olive oil). Don't laden your body with fatty foods, which are unhealthy. You want to add lean mass, not bulk.

Here's a list of our top ten cleanest foods. Try to incorporate them into your diet every single day in some capacity.

1. Egg whites - fat-free, full of protein
2. Oatmeal - a complex carb, naturally sugar free, lowers cholesterol
3. Greek yogurt - a good dairy source, chock full of protein and lower in sugar than most yogurts
4. Raw, unsalted almonds - a good source of fat and protein, to help keep you full
5. Chicken - a great source of protein that can be used in a variety of ways
6. Salmon - perfect source of good fats; one of the healthiest fish around
7. Asparagus - a natural diuretic, this green is hard to beat
8. Blueberries - a great source of antioxidants, add this powerhouse to oatmeal, yogurts or salads
9. Brown rice - a great source of complex carbs, this grain provides energy and is a better choice over white rice
10. Whey protein  - easily absorbed into the body, high in protein and low in calories, whey is the perfect recovery food after a workout

And of course, WATER is one of the most important components of any diet. Without water, your body cannot flush the toxins from its system - so drink up. Aim for at least 3 liters of water every single day. It makes a huge difference in health, mental clarity and energy level. One of the first signs of a headache is dehydration - so make sure to keep a bottle on hand!

Obviously, there are an abundance of clean foods that aren't on this list: virtually every vegetable and most fruits provide an array of health benefits. Rotating your fruits and veggies is a great way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Experiment with different grains, such as barley and quinoa (which packs more protein than brown rice) and proteins. Tired of beef? Try bison, which is much lower in fat, but still makes for a great burger.

A "great" day in our world looks like the following:

Meal One
3-4 egg whites
1/2 cup steel cut oats with blueberries and walnuts

Meal Two (post-workout)
1 protein shake made with 6 ice cubes, 1/2 cup water
1 banana
1/2 c. greek yogurt
1/3 c. oatmeal
1 scoop strawberry hydrowhey

Meal Three
tuna/chicken/turkey  (3oz.)
1/2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. organic black beans
2 cups leafy greens or steamed veggies

Meal Four
1 handful almonds

Meal Five
salmon or chicken
2 cups veggies

Meal Six (optional)
Greek yogurt pudding made with 1 c. greek yogurt and 1 scoop whey protein powder

I cannot express enough how important having a menu is for the week. If you are prepared, you are more apt to stick to clean eating. If you are going to eat out or you are craving something sweet, try and eat those foods earlier in the day versus at night, when people are the most sedentary. People often fail at night when they have no idea what to eat and they don't feel like cooking, so they order out or eat something quick.

Got questions? Send them our way!

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