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Clean Eating 101 - Part 2

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Clean Eating 101 - Part 2

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Last week I published the first part of Clean Eating 101, where I discussed why we want to strive to eat clean, as well as what it really means to eat clean. If you missed this blog post, you can read it here: Clean Eating 101.

Today is part 2 of Clean Eating 101 where I'm going to share with you some practical ways to actually start eating cleaner. It's one thing to know what it means to eat clean, and know why you want to do it, but the 'how' part is the really important one right? If we want to make actual changes in our life, having strategies on how to create the change is important.

When making changes with your diet, I have one big piece of advice: baby steps. Making small changes a little bit at a time is much more sustainable than trying to make a lot of big change all at once. Take a suggestion or two from this blog post and start working on them. Celebrate the small changes you've made, then add more positive change! Learning to eat clean isn't something that happens over night. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process! You'll be surprised how big of a difference a small change can make. 

Wishing you Wellness!

Shelly

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11 practical Ways to Start Eating Cleaner:

1. My TOP suggestion for really making change: Once per week purchase 1 whole food that is new to you. There are a plethora of fruits veggies, grains, beans, nuts, seeds out there to try to experiment with. Maybe it is as simple as trying a new fruit or roasting a vegetable that is new to you, or maybe you are trying out a new dinner recipe, or have found a simple great way to prepare that new food online. Just get yourself trying 1 new whole food per week. Even if you only like 1/2 of them, at the end of a year, you will have 26 new whole foods in your diet! 

2. Reference the Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen list HERE to understand when its really important to buy organic and when it's not as important.  Be sure you are buying organic when it comes to the dirty dozen list, as these are the foods that are most heavily laden with chemicals. 

3. Give yourself permission to play in the kitchen and be creative! You might mess up sometimes, or not like something you create but that’s okay! The more you play, the more comfortable you get with cooking from scratch, the easier it will get, & the more you will eat whole healthy foods!

4. Find healthier substitutions. Take a look at your diet. What do you consume regularly that you know is not great for you? Seek out healthier substitutions to start adding in, so you are not feeling deprived. 

5. Read Labels! If you can’t pronounce or know the origin of the ingredient, then find another option.

6. Give your taste buds a second chance! (or a third, or fourth) Some foods that are really good for us are a matter of acquired taste. Sometimes it takes the right preparation. Our tastebuds change over time.  Keep trying things over & over. 

7. Remember that the more fresh foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. The more processed foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. Be patient as you transition to eating cleaner, you will learn to love it more & more the longer you stick to it. 

8. Try to do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store. Shop local farmers markets. Join a CSA. Grow some of your own food if you are able. Learn to shop & acquire your food differently. 

9. Keep Healthy snacks like nuts & fruit always available & with you so that you are less tempted to grab something processed. 

10. Remember 80/20 rule. It's not what you do ALL of the time, it's what you do MOST of the time. If you can eat really clean 80% of the time, then feel okay with indulging a bit sometimes. Aiming for perfection in anything can lead us to feel disappointed in ourselves. Don't expect perfection of yourself in anything, including how you eat. Allow some flexibility. 

11. Don’t drink your calories. Pay attention to the ingredients & sugar content of your drinks. Drink mostly pure, clean water. 

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Amaranth For Breakfast

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Amaranth For Breakfast

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Home cooked meals with friends are priceless for me.  Besides it being good quality time, It’s often how I get turned on to new favorite foods! It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of eating your same favorite foods all of the time, until they are no longer favorites and you are just bored with them. I don’t believe we should ever be bored with food. There’s too many amazing options! Spend time with your foodie friends in your kitchens, and their favorites can quickly become yours & vice-versa.
I credit my friend Nikki for turning me onto amaranth, which was a staple food for ancient aztecs. It’s currently one of my favorite breakfasts, and I want to share it with you!
Like quinoa, amaranth is often referred to as a grain, but technically is a seed. Also like Quinoa, it’s a great source of protein, including two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine, making it a complete protein.  Amaranth also provides your body with iron, magnesium, B-6, calcium, and fiber. It’s a great gluten free choice for people avoiding gluten in their diet, and is easily digestible to boot!
My latest favorite breakfast is cooked amaranth with peanut butter, banana, a touch of maple syrup, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
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 1 & 1/2 Cup water to 1/2 cup amaranth
Cooking time 20-25 minutes
For breakfast, I like the amaranth to be a porridge consistency, so I use 1&1/2 c water to 1/2 cup amaranth. Feel free to add a little more water if you want it even more porridge like. You would use a little less, if you are wanting to have a fluffy grain as a side dish.
Combine amaranth with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for up to 20 minutes, until water is absorbed.
When the Amaranth is done, I stir in a spoonful of peanut butter, add some sliced banana, and a sprinkling of cinnamon of you like.  It is delicious! The combination of the amaranth & peanut butter is deliciously creamy. Since I think bananas are the perfect combo with peanut butter and they add some sweetness,  my mouth is really happy! If you have a sweet tooth, adding just a touch of maple syrup is delicious too.  This is a hearty breakfast packed with protein, and a  bowl of this will easily keep me satisfied until lunch!
I’m a huge fan of the peanut butter & banana combo, but feel free to experiment with almond butter or other nut butters, as well as adding any other fruit, dried fruit, nuts & seeds, or cinnamon.
Enjoy!
Shelly

Amaranth breakfast with peanut butter, banana, maple syrup, & cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts
Amaranth grain, cooked
Amount Per
1 cup (246 g)
Calories 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.9 g 6%
Sodium 15 mg 0%
Potassium 332 mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 46 g 15%
Dietary fiber 5 g 20%
Protein 9 g 18%
Calcium 11% Iron 28%
Vitamin B-6 15% Magnesium 40%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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