In a modern age where even “organic” foods aren’t truly organic, we as a populace are trying our best to find ways to eat healthy. There are tons of ways that the idea of healthy eating can go. Most ideas stem from a fad diet that takes a single way of eating and says that it is the best way to lose weight or gain muscle. However, in most cases, these different diets end up being detrimental in one or more areas of health. Whether that be from lack of a specific vitamin or mineral. Or just straight lack of nutritional value.
The fact is, as our world changes at a too fast pace, many of us succumb to the need for fast services such as fast food. Be honest, when you shop for groceries and are on your way home what seems more appealing. Making a meal once you’re home or stopping on the way at a fast food place to get a quick meal.
What if I told you that there is a two step process to help you quit this habitual cycle? It’s not a full proof method; however, it can work if you work with it. That is to say, you put in effort and stay determined even when it seems like the habit will never stick. What are the habits? Clean eating and meal preparation.
What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating, like most dietary changes, revolves around the foods you eat. The goal is to take away as much processed product as possible and instead replace it with whole foods and bare to the bone ingredients. For some this form of lifestyle change may mean a reduction in gluten or dairy. For others, this may mean pulling away from the nightly routine of stopping at a local fast food place for dinner on the way home.
So, what’s the first step to a clean eating diet? Meal planning.
Meal Planning Made Easy
For most, meal planning can feel like an overwhelming, overbearing chore. However, when you take the idea of meal planning and pair it down to what it is, it’s actually quite easy.
For starters, you don’t have to overcomplicate it with intricate recipes and complicated ingredient lists. You can literally take some of your favorite meal ideas, write them on a piece of paper, create flash cards, or use popsicle sticks. Picking at random every week. You could even assign meals to different numbers, put those numbers in a generator and plan your meals that way. Basically you’re just trying to make it fun and inviting. This is because our minds like instant rewards when learning a new habit.
The second part to consider when making clean eating a habit is to know your meats.Here’s a little cheat sheet for how long different meats can last in the refrigerator and freezer before it’s cooked. This can be a game changer when planning.
|Ground Beef||3 to 5 Days||4 Months|
|Chicken||2 Days||3 Months to 1 Year|
|Pork||3 to 5 Days||4 to 6 Months|
|Fish||2 Days||3 to 8 Months|
One thing to keep in mind is that these are general numbers and if you’re wanting a more specific idea don’t be afraid to look it up for yourself.
Now, once you have an idea of the meals you’d like to have throughout the week, next comes the clean eating aspect. In other words, how do you know what’s clean and what’s not? A huge hint, if it has five or more ingredients that you cannot pronounce or have no idea what it is, it’s probably not on the “clean eating” foods list.
Meal Prepping for the Week
This is where it can get a bit tricky. You’ve got your plan and you’re prepping for the week. You have three options here, you can prep and freeze, then thaw to cook as needed. You can prep, cook and freeze, then thaw to warm up as needed. Or, you can thaw, cook and store in your fridge. The latter of these options would end up dependent on the meals you make. But, for good measure, here’s some more information on how long the different meats last in the refrigerator and freezer once cooked.
|Ground Beef||4 Days||4 Months|
|Chicken||3 to 4 Days||4 Months|
|Pork||3 to 4 Days||2 to 3 Months|
|Fish||3 to 4 Days||3 Months|
So, the general consensus is that if you’re planning to eat your meal in 3 to 4 days of making it, no freezing is necessary. However, if you’re looking to eat a meal further out in the week, you may want to freeze and thaw as needed.
Basic “Clean Eating” Food Starter Pack
Okay, so you’ve got your meals chosen and have figured out how to prep them. How do you know what’s clean and what’s not?
Well, aside from the ingredients ideal, having a general idea of basics is a plus. That being said, we’ve compiled a short list for each category (i.e.; meats, vegetables, fruits) to look for when shopping for a clean eating lifestyle.
- Any/All fresh fruits
- Canned, Frozen, or Dried fruits with no sugar added (check your labels)
- Any/All fresh veggies
- Frozen or Canned veggies with no sauces or salt added (check your labels)
- Single ingredient grains (i.e.; brown rice, quinoa)
- Whole wheat pasta
- Popcorn (check your ingredient list)
- Plain yogurts
- Cheese (check the labels)
- Any/All meats (check the labels)
- Seafood (i.e.; salmon cod)
So, now that you have a general understanding of what to do for clean eating, meal planning, and meal prepping. What else could you possibly need? The answer is simple, peptides. These compounds occur naturally within the body. However, over time we tend to make less and less of them. That’s where Paradigm Peptides comes into play.
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