Guest Blog: Clean Eating with Amy Marolf

The 10 Commandments of Clean Eating

Amy Marolf Fitness

I get asked all the time about clean eating and am a firm believer that this clean eating lifestyle isn't about depriving ourselves of all the good stuff! You really can have your cake and eat it too! Whether you rock your clean eating like a champ every week, or you're new to this way of living, here are my top 10 tips to remember when you decide to eat and cook clean! 

1. Approach your meals and eating habits as your lifestyle.
When you really value something as a way to make your life better, generally speaking you will approach it with a sense of commitment and a can-do attitude. When you look at your meals and eating habits as a way to make your life better rather than "some new diet to try for 30 days", I bet you'll find that you're more committed and chances of your success will sky rocket! 

2. Eat ALL the fresh fruits & veggies!
For a good, well-rounded (and delicious) meal plan, it is super important that you get a lot of great variety! Dark leafy greens are a must every day, as well as seasonal fruits and veggies are a great way to get this awesome food group incorporated into your diet.  I try to eat a veggie with every single meal! For daily fruit, I usually stick to low glycemic fruits such as green apples and berries. Do this and I bet you $1 you'll be feeling fantastic from the inside out!

3. Shop with a list. 
Be on a mission! Having a list (whether a physical list, or a mental one) it keeps you on what you need, and helps to keep those impulse temptations to a minimum (how did that bag of strawberry licorice get in my cart!)! Not to mention it can be a huge money saver because it keeps you to buying what you need rather than what catches your eye! Win, Win! 


4. Be prepared.
When you are prepared you will have the most success in sticking to your goals and crushing them. This means meal prep! This means scheduling your training times like they are an important business meeting (because they are)! You know yourself best, and you know what your weak spots are. When you prepare--you are not going to be able to give yourself an out later on. You will have no excuses when you know you've got prepped, delicious muscle-building foods back at the house. Bonus tip: Buy bags of veggies already washed and chopped to steam in the microwave, buy a rotisserie chicken and pull off all the white meat and always have a bag of frozen berries in your fridge for shakes, salads and snacks! These items require ZERO prep.  

5. Eliminate added sugars.
Albeit, sometimes delicious--these bad boys don't help us accomplish our goals. Keep these guys to a minimum. Find other ways to get your sweet fix. For example, seasonal fruits as well as sugar substitutes such as stevia, honey, and maple syrup are great ways to add a little sweet in your life without getting in the way of your fitness goals! And: READ LABELS! There's sugar in damn near everything. I try to keep sugar to under 7g/serving with anything I buy. 

6. Drink water. 
Water is your BFF! Drink water like it's your day job. Not only does it keep random cravings at bay, it also leads to other awesome perks like healthy, glowing skin! Proper hydration leads to healthy body function, and healthy muscle growth. It's different for everyone, but personally, my goal every single day is to drink 3L of water. 

7. Choose whole grains.
Whole grains are better fuel for our bodies over processed, bleached grain products. Not all whole grains have to taste like sawdust. There are some really great options like this sprouted grain bread that tastes amazing as a base for some avocado and scrambled egg for an awesome protein filled breakfast! And my favorite, Rice Chex cereal, baby!

8. Balance Your Diet. 
Remember, all things in moderation! Clean eating doesn't mean you have to cut out and remove all of your favorites. It just means that somethings you used to eat (and drink - Hello, Wine and Whiskey!) more regularly now become special treats. Clean eating is the farthest thing from deprivation. All that it means is making better choices, but also taking time to celebrate once in a while! 

9. Don't eat foods with ingredients that you can't pronounce. 
Chances are, if you are having trouble pronouncing an ingredient in your food it's probably not super fantastic for your rockin' bod. Pretty much stay away from the processed junk and you'll be good to go! 

10. Keep nutrients in mind, not just calories. 
Remember, when living a clean lifestyle--keeping your body nourished is the first priority! I feel like a lot of the current health culture really pushes calorie counting and cutting carbs. You can eat 1600 calories of  chocolate cake, or you can eat 1600 calories of amazing, filling, and healthy food. It's not just about the caloric intake. Nutrients and food choice play a huge role in goal success! 

Need help with a meal plan? My clients from all over the United States have had incredible success with my 6 Week Get Lean meal plan and my custom meal plans. Maybe you're thinking...I eat pretty darn clean already, but I'd like to learn how to dial it in and lose those last 5lb pesky pounds or talk about how your eating and workouts really do work hand-in-hand with each other when it comes to results, then a 1 hour nutrition coaching session would be the perfect fit for you! Reach out with any questions. Hearing from you all makes me happy! I'd love to help give you the tools to transform your body which in turn, transforms your entire life! It's pretty magical. :)

- Amy Marolf


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