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Clean Eating 101 - Part 2


Clean Eating 101 - Part 2


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!



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. 


Clean Eating 101


Clean Eating 101


Are you eating clean? Do you want to eat cleaner? Maybe you want to learn to eat cleaner, but you are not sure where to start?  This Clean Eating 101  blog post is just for you! I've got a lot to say on this matter, but I'm going to keep it simple and straight forward. In this post I am going to talk about why we want to eat clean in the first place. It sounds good, right? But what are the actual benefits of cleaning up our eating? Secondly, I'll cover the basics of clean eating so that you have a clear understanding of what it means & what kind changes you would like to make.

Next week, I'll publish part 2 of Clean Eating 101 where I'll talk about practical ways you can incorporate more clean eating into your diet. What are the action steps you can take to really create change? Be sure to check back next week!


There is hundreds of reasons, but here is just a quick dozen for you to ponder:

1. You are what you eat. Literally. The nourishment you put into your body is like the building blocks for your cells! These cells that make up your body is what perform all of the amazing functions that you want your body to be able to successfully manage! 

2. Giving your body the nutrition that it needs to function properly gives it the ability to heal itself, be free of disease, and feel good. 

3. It keeps you feeling more satisfied & nourished. If you are giving your body the proper nutrition of healthy whole foods, you are less likely to over eat and/or want to reach for junk foods. 

4. Helps to maintain your blood sugar. Maintaining your blood sugar affects how you feel from moment to moment! Are you familiar with the term "hangry"? I'm sure you can find it in the urban dictionary, but people use this term to describe their mood when they feel angry & hungry. "Hangry" is generally a result of your blood sugar dropping. 

5. Makes it much easier to loose and maintain a healthy weight. Eliminating processed foods and sugary drinks can go a long way here. 

6. Can cause clear skin! Remember, your skin issues have a lot more to do with what you put on the inside, than what you put on the outside. Your new skin cells are created from the inside, and having healthy looking skin starts with great nutrition & clean eating!

7. Can cause improved energy levels. We all want to have great energy right? Nourish your body with the right foods, and you will have plenty!

8. Can cause improved mood. Feeding your body good, clean nutrition helps you to feel better, gives your brain cells what they need, and can also help to balance hormones which greatly affects mood. 

9. Can cause reduction of headaches. For many people, the added chemicals and preservatives in processed foods can be the source of nuisances like headaches. Speaking from my own experience, I had debilitating migraines from the time I was 6 years old into my early 20's. The cleaner my eating got, the less I had them. At age 39, I honestly don't remember the last time I had a migraine. I also know someone that gets a migraine if she ingests anything with red food dye. If you struggle with headaches or migraines....eating cleaner could help!

10. Can help keep you regular. Our health starts in our gut, and healthy, daily, bowel movements are so important. It's how our body gets rid of waste! Not properly eliminating can cause a whole slew of health concerns. Eating lots of whole clean foods with good fiber content helps you to keep much more regular, which supports your health and level of comfort greatly. 

11. It positively affects the environment. We all want to do our part to keep the planet that supports us healthy right? Supporting clean, organic farming practices, and less processed foods and factory farmed animal products can go a long way in this.

12. The ripple effect! If you are eating good & feeling good, you are more likely to take care of yourself in other ways, and create a feeling of wellness will spill into other areas of your life! The ripple effect also spreads out to your family & community as you set an example of healthy eating for all of those around you!


Now, let's talk about what it really means to 'eat clean'? If you google 'clean eating' you will get endless results to read. I've created a simple list here for you of my 9 top ideas to keep in mind when you are trying to eat cleaner.



  • Think about eating as close to the source as possible.
  • Maximum nutrition when it is closest to the source - fresh & local is best.
  • Some processing is okay. An example would be oats, you can’t just eat the oat plant & digest it.
  • Try to eat a rainbow of colors! Eating a rainbow means that you are nourishing your body with a rainbow of different phytonutrients.
  • Whole foods fill you up and fuel you, unlike empty calories.
  • High fiber content keeps your digestive system in tip top shape, which is essential for optimal health & wellness.


  • Read labels, if you can’t pronounce or don’t know the source,  then skip it.    
  • Try to imagine how the ingredient grows as you read the label. If you can't, reconsider.
  • Ignore the health claims on packaged foods such as natural, low fat, heart healthy…. be suspicious of these. Remember that it is It’s marketing, and doesn't mean that product is healthy. It is up to you to read the label, and learn what you want to put in your body, and what is better to skip.


  • Avoid white processed foods, white sugar, white flour, white bread, pastries.
  • Refined sugars provide nothing but empty calories, not beneficial to our health and very addictive.
  • Eat fruit & sweet root vegetables to cut sweet cravings.
  • When you want a treat, use natural, more gentle sweeteners such as stevia, honey, & maple syrup.


  • Learn to cook from whole ingredients, rather than from a box or package. It really can be simple and quick with a little experience.
  • Cook once & eat twice (or more!). Always make enough of something to pack lunches the next day, eat for dinner the next night, or freeze some extra portions. Save yourself time while eating great!
  • Use herbs, spices, & simple condiments to season already really good tasting whole foods.


  • Pesticides have been linked to cancer & a plethora of disease and health issues. 
  • Pesticides are used to destroy the life of insects. What do you think they do to your body?
  • GMO's have not been tested for safety in humans over a long period of time. We are like lab rats eating the GMO food not really knowing what kind of real health repercussions we will be dealing with long term. Many studies are proving that they are harmful to us in a plethora of ways. Avoid the risks!
  • Yes, organic more expensive. Your health is worth it. Your quality of life is worth it.  Medical expenses cost more.
  • Reduce your exposure to chemicals.
  • The environmental benefits are huge to supporting organic!


  • Avoid factory farmed, growth hormones, & antibiotics. Factory farming has some terrible practices in the treatment of animals, and remember that if you are consuming the meat and daily products from factory farms, you are also eating what they were given...tons of antibiotics, and hormones, as well as poor quality, GMO feed. 
  • Organic is better, again limiting exposure to chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
  • Grass fed beef and dairy is best. A cows traditional diet is grass, not grain/feed. When fed natural diet of grass, the meat and dairy have totally different nutritional content, including healthier fats vs. unhealthy     fats.
  • Keep portions small. Americans have a tendency to eat much larger portions of meat and dairy than needed. Always shoot for the largest portion on your plate being vegetables, and keep your meat & dairy portions small.


  • Eating these 3 together from whole foods at every meal will create optimum blood sugar levels that are able to stay level for longer, keep you satisfied longer, and stave off cravings & brain fog.
  • Great protein sources are beans, nuts, seeds, grass fed & free range meats, fish.
  • Great sources of healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts & seeds.
  • Great sources of complex carbs are quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes.


  • Keeping your blood sugar level = making good food choices. 
  • When you wait too long between meals, or eat processed foods that can spike your blood sugar and then send it crashing, we are more likely to reach for sugar, junk food, or caffeine to keep energy up. This can cause a cycle of feeling irritable and tired.
  • Eat whole foods every 3- 4 hours to maintain blood sugar level and mentality.


  • No matter the nutritional theory or diet plan out there, they all agree on one thing: A plant based diet is where it is at! 
  • Micheal Pollan, a popular author who has studied and written a lot on food said that everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."  Words to live by, if you ask me.


So, we have talked about why you want to eat clean, and we've talked about what it means to eat clean.  Would you like some practical advice of how to make is happen? How to make the shift? Next week I'm going to share with you a list of practical suggestions in how to you can start to incorporate the practice of eating cleaner into your life. In the end it's about taking action and creating real change, right?

Be sure to check back next week for part 2 of Clean Eating 101!

Wishing you Wellness!



3 Strategies For Turning Pro at Making Healthy Food at Home 


3 Strategies For Turning Pro at Making Healthy Food at Home 


You are what you eat. Literally. Eating healthy affects every aspect of your health & wellbeing.

Eating healthy is a lot easier when you spend some time in the kitchen preparing most of the food you eat from healthy whole foods like vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.

There’s simply a lot of people out there that either:

 A) Are not comfortable in the kitchen.

 B) Are comfortable in the kitchen cooking the way they always have, which isn’t very healthy, and have no idea where to start to improve on their skills.

 C) Cook a lot of their meals at home, but most is prepared from boxes, bags, cans, & jars of already processed foods, and the thought of preparing meals without those things makes them feel lost.

 D) Religiously follow recipes to feel comfortable cooking a meal, which takes a lot of planning and time.

 Are you one of the above? If so, this post is for you!

 I grew up preparing a lot of convenience meals from already processed foods.

 Before the enormous influx of processed foods on the shelf, and the introduction of the Betty Crocker Cookbook that found it’s way into most kitchens sometime in the 50’s, there was a lot more cooking being done with whole foods. The Betty Crocker cookbook taught us, it’s easy to prepare meals with a bunch of already processed ingredients, right? Marketing did a great job of convincing america to start cooking differently with the influx of processed & convenience food on the shelf and America's kitchens started looking a lot different.

 As a society we've forgotten how to cook from scratch ingredients, and with the introduction of so much convenience food, many people never took on cooking at all. Decades later, it seems we know how to cook from convenience and processed foods, and cooking from scratch with whole ingredients can feel intimidating!

 What has been forgotten is that whole food ingredients can be just as easy, taste a lot better, and from the influx of food related disease, I think we can safely say that it kept us a lot healthier too.


 Here are my 3 top strategies for learning to cook and eat healthy from your own kitchen:

 #1. This is HUGE: Don’t fear failure in the kitchen! Just like anything else in life, if you want to get really good at something you have to practice, and especially when you are starting out, It’s likely that you’ll mess up. Be okay with that! Allowing yourself some room to mess up will allow you to feel more adventurous and try things that you maybe wouldn’t otherwise. As much time as I spend in the kitchen cooking, I still mess up sometimes. It just is what it is! Sometimes you don’t know that something doesn’t work together until it’s done, and you find out. We can learn the most from our mistakes in life, and that same rule applies in the kitchen. If you can learn to laugh off the disasters that happen, then you are more likely to keep being adventurous in the kitchen, and with time you'll become much more pro! Just stating that you can't cook will get you nowhere, except maybe on a run for take-out every night. 

 #2. Once a week, try one new whole food recipe. Follow the recipe, and as you enjoy your meal, think about how you could make it more to your liking. Think about different variations you could make, or how you could incorporate your personal favorite vegetables into the dish rather than the ones called for. Try to choose recipes that have a new grain, or bean, or vegetable to you. This way you are not only trying  a new recipe each week, but you are trying a new whole food to you as well. Even if you don’t like 1/2 of them all that much, after a few months, you would have 6 new meals and 6 new whole foods that you love in your repertoire. Learning to adjust recipes more to your liking by adding your favorite veggies or spices will allow you to create your favorites, which will not only encourage more home cooked food, but it will help you to develop more creativity in the kitchen as time goes on. 

 #3. Once you get more comfortable in the kitchen, begin to experiment more. Use ingredients that you love and combine them with ideas from recipes you've tried. Be creative with coming up with your own combinations of things, and take note of the ones you love. Soon you will begin to feel more confident in whipping things up without strictly following a recipe, and with ease, that you really enjoy!

 I like to think of it like art. Just like a painter knows how his favorite colors blend together and which brushes to use to get a desired effect, Once you have some experience, you will know how your favorite spices blend together, and which grains, or nut butters, or vegetables work well in whatever you are preparing. Experience not only leads you to being a better cook with ease, but allows you to confidently be more creative in the kitchen. Getting to a point of feeling creative in the kitchen is not only fun, but damn tasty!

 I share this writing with you because this is exactly how I began to learn how to navigate cooking most of my meals at home from whole food ingredients in a tasty way that I enjoy. It's taken time to acquire the creativity I've gained in the kitchen, but it was a fun journey that I still enjoy. I still mess up sometimes. I still try new recipes sometimes, but I mostly I now walk into my kitchen confident that I can grab whatever is available and create something tasty & healthy on a whim, and boy is that a good feeling!

Wishing you Wellness!