It’s January and it’s time to be good.
Collectively this family has eaten it’s way through a barrel load of chocolate, dozens of LARGE kettle crisp packets, and an excessive amount of sweets left over from our endeavour into ginger bread house decorating. That’s not including the three multiple course Christmas dinners! Rosalie’s new favourite words are ‘Biz-Kit’ and ‘Choc-Lit’. I have developed a tyre around my middle and I can no longer take a selfie without my 2nd chin making an appearance.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
It’s time to eat healthy and CLEAN again. This isn’t a diet. It’s how we eat. Monday to Friday anyway, we are still rather partial to the odd saturday night takeaway!
‘Clean eating’ is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Basically it means that you eat raw and unprocessed foods. Food that doesn’t have added chemicals or preservatives. It sounds complicated, but really it’s just about eating simply.
You just need to think about what your eating. Food is fuel at the end of the day. Whether your following an intense training program like my husband, or developing at a super fast rate like my toddler or just bumbling along trying to juggle every day life like me. You want your body to be working at it’s best so that all those things you gotta do become a little bit easier. By choosing wisely what foods you put in your body you will find you, feel better, sleep better, and lose weight too. That’s not my main incentive for eating healthily but it’s a benefit I’m pleased to enjoy.
I thought I’d put together a list of my top tips for Clean Eating. By making just a few changes to the way you shop and eat you too can jump on this band wagon.
1. Buy fresh. Choose items without preservatives or any added ingredients. We do not buy any ready meals or processed foods. The only things we buy in a tin or carton are chopped tomatoes, tuna and kidney beans.
2. Salt. Table salt is the devil. It is basically a chemical that has been man made. Buy Sea Salt or Rock Salt. This is formed naturally and has a lot more benefits for your body.
3. Freeze. Just because your buying fresh doesn’t mean you can’t freeze things if you need them to last a little longer. Eating fresh is always going to be the best way to eat your food but there is hardly any loss in nutritional value through freezing.
4. Go brown. We have switched all our pasta, rice and noodles to wholewheat varieties. These are less processed and much more easily digested by the body. They have much more goodness left in.
5. Meat. We buy all our meat from the Butchers once a month. Cheaper meat from the supermarket can contain added water and chemicals. We buy in bulk so it is cheaper and freeze our meat so it lasts us.
6. Sugar. I try and limit my sugar intake and use honey as an alternative. I now always have honey in my coffee. I do still have sugar in my tea as I haven’t managed to wean myself off that yet. I have cut down from 2 sugars to only 1 so I am getting there. It is better to use sugar than a sweetener as sweeteners are again completely man made and full of rubbish! They have been linked to all sorts of cancers.
6. Fat. Switch the cooking oil you use. We use coconut oil for most cooking whether we are cooking meat or veg. If a recipe requires oil I will use coconut oil regardless. Coconut oil has lots of added health benefits and does exactly the same job. I actually prefer the taste of coconut oil now.
7. If it’s bad, Don’t buy it! We don’t have any crisps, chocolate or sweets in the house because if it’s there we will eat it. Don’t tempt yourself.
8. Don’t sweat it! If you have a bad day, don’t worry about it. If your going out for lunch or you really fancy a packet of crisps. Go for it! Don’t beat yourself up about it. This is a lifestyle change so one or two days is not going to make much difference. We tend to eat what we want at the weekends and are only strict with ourselves during the week. That’s what works for us.
Below is this week’s meal plan to give you some meal inspiration if your starting out. These are simple, clean meals that I can make quickly after a day at work or looking after my pickle. They are easy, very easy! Sometimes I scour Pinterest to find a new recipe to try but most weeks we have our staple dinners.
Tuesday: Chicken and Spinach Pasta
Wednesday: Beef Stir fry
Thursday: Burgers and Mediterranean vegetables
Friday: Steak and Chips
Saturday: Nick’s mums
Roast DinnerYou can take a look at our weekly food shop to see the ingredients I bought for these meals over on my Youtube channel here.
julia Pa5th January 2016 at 8:46 AM
Totally agree with don't buy the bad stuff. It's much easier to go for something good for your body if that's all you've got in!
Sarah Cantwell5th January 2016 at 9:05 AM
Definitely! We don't want to make it any harder for ourselves. That'd be torture xx
Alice & Amelia New Young Mum7th January 2016 at 2:21 PM
Totally on the same page with you on this. I do love my baking though so I'm hoping if I can eat well during meals the odd baked treat will be ok!!! 🙂 Great tips xx
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:31 PM
Definitely ok! That's what Cheat days are for xx
Rebecca7th January 2016 at 3:40 PM
What a great blog post, i'm totally with you on this! We're still trying to get down all the treats left over from Christmas and then we're back on the wagon! Less sugar will be a big one for us this year, I am rather bad with my fizzy drinks! x
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:34 PM
Its so hard when you have a lot left over, you end up gorging on chocolate just so it's all gone. We had a few bits kicking about so I manned up and threw it all away. It was mostly the ones that noone likes anyway! Xx
Claire Witt7th January 2016 at 3:41 PM
Great post! Love the meal ideas to 🙂 Himalayan pink salt is amazing would definitely recommend..
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:35 PM
Jules mentioned that too. I've never heard of it. I'll definitely look out for it in the supermarket xx
Lamb & Bear7th January 2016 at 9:18 PM
Your weekly meal plan sounds amazing. I need to try honey garlic salmon! Being pregnant I'm struggling with cooking healthy every night, mainly because I'm too tired by the evening – I'm trying though! Xx
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:38 PM
There is nothing like pregnancy tiredness. I never feel like cooking in the evening either so I always choose recipes that don't take long or that you just have to put it in the oven. I'm a very lazy cook xx
Jodie Fisher7th January 2016 at 9:48 PM
I'm not worrying about healthy eating. I'm controlling my portions 🙂
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:41 PM
That's another good tip that I forgot to add! You never need to eat as much as you think you do. I cook the same as I did when it was just the two of us but now Rosalie has half my dinner. Ha ha! I don't notice it though so just goes to show I was probably over eating before xx
Amanda Jenner7th January 2016 at 10:55 PM
This is a fab post. We are making a real effort to eat clean as well. Have you come across the Hemsley sisters? They talk a lot about good fats and use Ghee for cooking. It makes a nice change from coconut oil which i find is better for baking and asian style food, rather than roasts for example. Some great tips here
Sarah Cantwell7th January 2016 at 10:58 PM
Thanks Amanda, glad you've enjoyed the post! 🙂 I've heard of them but not got there book. I may have to invest. I've not tried ghee so I will try and find some so I can give it a go. Thanks for the tip xx
Oh so amelia7th January 2016 at 11:19 PM
Great tips! I really need to eat healthier this year. I find its all down to self control with myself and can easily be distracted by a chinese takeaway haha! xx
Zoe Lester8th January 2016 at 1:01 PM
Great post and lovely meal ideas. I keep meaning to eat healthier but always tempted at the stores so now we are back on the map (new build) I've decided to go back to online shopping.
Sarah Cantwell8th January 2016 at 1:38 PM
I am a lot less tempted by things if I shop online and so spend less but I do forget stuff and then I have to go in store anyway! X
Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid8th January 2016 at 8:26 PM
I have always wondered what "clean eating" meant, but it seems that I already do this anyway! Aside from the weekend takeaways of course 🙂 Your meal plan sounds delicious!
Sarah Cantwell10th January 2016 at 2:36 PM
It's so easy, once you start making the changes you don't even notice and it just becomes how you eat. Everyone deserves a weekend treat! 🙂