Greetings! My name is Maria Romaine “Like the Lettuce”! I was thrilled to hear from my Oakley sister about guest posting on her blog. The topic of “Clean Eating” couldn’t have come at a better time. I live in Indianapolis and work 40 hours at Angie’s List as an advertising sales consultant followed by teaching 6x a week (Spinning, Turbo Kick, STRIDE) and running a personal health and fitness business online. On my weekends I thoroughly enjoy competitions or active adventures, and most consistently participate in Triathlons. I’m trying to illustrate that even though health and fitness is a true passion of mine, I’m incredibly busy and have time as an obstacle just like everyone else.
Growing up I always knew the right thing to do, and was incredibly active, but by not eating clean, I carried an extra 20-40 lbs. Yet ever since I started implementing the right steps and sticking to them no matter what, I’ve felt the best, achieved the most, and really am happy with what I see in the mirror and feel in the stretch pants. I love Amanda’s challenge and can touch on her recommendations through the examples I implement in my day to day life. Be realistic, set goals, write them down, and make them happen.
1. Avoid processed foods/sugary treats - Better stated CHOOSE whole foods
I’m definitely not perfect, nor 100% clean…I lean towards 80%, but I do aim to choose whole foods as much as possible. I have been ordering from Green Bean delivery which delivers local fresh food to my door every 2 weeks. That way I have something coming to me and I’m forced to use it all so that it doesn’t go bad. I have never been more creative or discovered more tasty things than when I started having new and fresh items delivered to my door for my cooking/eating pleasure. Squash, Zucchini, Celery, Corn, Black Beans, Tempeh, Artichoke burgers, etc, etc.
2. Consume healthy fats - avocados, fish, nuts, oils
When I go out to eat, there’s always a fresh salad to order. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance when asking for what you want. If it’s important to you, it’s important to you right?! I aim to eat as many fresh veggies as possible, a sprinkle of dressing if need be, incorporating lean meat and good fats like avocado, olives..
I’ve found that you crave what you eat. Once you are eating clean, you won’t have the desire to dive in to powdered sugar or double dunk your veggies in ranch. You’ll appreciate the real thing.
3. Drink water, water, water
This is crucial. Especially with the active lives many of us lead. I constantly get up from my desk to guzzle water and on top of that any green tea I can get in is a good thing. When I’m focusing on being clean I really avoid sodas, alcohol, too much caffeine, and absolutely anything carbonated. If I’m being 80% clean, I enjoy a treat from time to time of my diet soda. Normally this is when friends are out drinking, Id rather pick the lesser of two evils and not mix my diet soda with booze.
4. Choose organic or humanely raised animal products as much as possible
It’s much easier to control this if you do the grocery shopping yourself and do your research. Taking the first steps is always the toughest. But once you are better aware, the more your world will open up with great options and the habits will stick, this lifestyle will be easy and the alternative will be the tough one.
5. Slow down and savor - Food is to be enjoyed, so let’s do that!
This couldn’t be more true. I like to go to healthy restaurants with my friends and significant others so I can absolutely sit down and enjoy my food. Too often our meals happen in front of a computer, tv show, etc. If you sit and just eat your food, the flavors will explode and take on a life of their own. I know this for a fact. Every time I sit, look at my food with the light on, don’t have any distractions, the meal is incredibly satisfying and I’m not looking for another snack afterward due to not enjoying my food.
Most of the time our schedules don’t allow for eating clean to be easy. It takes a lot of focus and preparation, but over time these healthy habits become your default. Stick with Amanda’s challenge and you’ll crave what you eat- you’ll lean towards clean at least 80% of the time- if not more.
Thanks to Maria for giving us her thoughts! I think anytime someone has transformed their life through creating new habits we can learn a lot from them! Make sure to check her out at www.mariaromaine.com.
I am grateful for tools that make preparing meals easier, so I have one less obstacle to reaching my goals.