I traveled to the US this week spontaneously to visit my family (and surprise my Dad...)
More Dad back story: I did a full surprise for both of my parents 3 years ago and ever since, when I talk to my dad on the phone he asks me..."Are you here?!". The question has become a little ;) old by now, so I was ready to get rid of it by living up to it again...or perhaps continue his questioning forever!
So anyway, as it was spontaneous and there were Easter celebrations the day before, and a presentation I had prepared and shared right before that, I did not make my meal prep for the travel a priority (which I'm usually so proud to bring onboard with me). Thus came the challenge!!!
In General, isn't it frustrating when you're out, need to eat, want to make healthful choices, and feel like you really can't tell which is the healthy choice?!
I feel ya here! A lot of times there really aren't all that many "clean" choices, but you can make it work if you are equipped with the info!
I have some detective skills for you!
One note further: Whole foods/clean eating is all about eating foods as natural and as close to the source that the food came from!
1.) Get away from plastic packaging!
If everything is in plastic, you can probably bet that it has been processed into a preserved state for it to travel to you, stay on a shelf, and feed you eventually.
(Of course foods that keep their nutrients like nuts and seeds are an exception to this)
*Tightly sealed glass jars are a better option and would be more preserving by themselves that they would likely have less need for this.
2.) Check the ingredients
If you only see plastic, check those ingredients! Get away from the "dextrose" and "ose" endings in general, soys like "lecithin", "stabilizers", or those many various "E" numbers.
*You want to see 5 ingredients or less, or at least all that you can pronounce, or know what type of food they are!
I just found this well-animated list:
3.) Go for chewing over drinking
Buying whole fruit and vegetables over smoothies/juices when you don't want to ask what's in them is always your healthiest bet.
I like to ask when I'm out what is in the smoothies I am looking at. A lot of the smoothie is blended but almost always they have a part of juice coming from concentrate.
The fruit juice without its fiber content, while still giving you vitamins, gives a sugar spike in your blood giving a higher ratio of sugar/vitamins. A part of this spike challenges the hormone (Leptin) in your body that tells you you're full!
More chewing = More full
4.) Shredded/Roasted Meats over Sliced.
Sliced meats are highly processed and preserved where as meats that are shredded from whole (or ground at most) are much more likely to be freshly made, depending on the place you are getting them.
5.) Get the whole grain
What I mean here is the actual grains that are cut from the plant!
When pummeled into flours they are not whole anymore, and are the reason for the "low carb" obsession happening now. Flours in the body want to be used right away for energy in your muscles, so they give a spike to your blood sugar but don't give the sustained energy or nutrients that whole grains do. This leads to more cravings and more accumulation of them in our cells. (Also sadly, unless bought from a bakery, I'm afraid breads contain a lot of extras to preserve them.)
*Whole grains stay with you, give you the minerals from their outside layer, and are good for your brain power.
-When clean eating, go for foods you understand and can see their whole!
-Be a detective!
-And most importantly:
Food is not about perfection but to be enjoyed! If you relax with your food, you digest it better, and it can then nourish you!
Eating your foods in their more natural state gives you more lasting power throughout your day and keeps you satisfied/fuller without having to eat every few hours.
Whether you go for strictly whole foods or not...eating, enjoying, and taking time to taste your food one bite at a time will be relaxing and give your body the ease to digest and take it in as nourishment. It will also heighten your awareness and have you eating to nourish YOU before you know it!!!
Going to be working on a series of making my meals boosted from the way they come... Comment below and tell me what you think of this blog and if my series sounds helpful to you!
Photos will be up on Instagram and Facebook for the "Boosted Meals"