“You can’t out run your fork”, “Abs are made in the Kitchen”
The last and arguably the hardest thing one needs to do to become a mother in love with fitness is to fully commit herself and her family to a clean eating lifestyle. That means 80% of the time your meals and snacks are clean and healthy and the remaining 20% is your chance to indulge or engage in what many like to call cheat meals.
I am not going to sugar coat this, committing to eating clean is hard, especially if you grew up eating “dirty”😉! I went through phases of denial, “I can eat whatever I want because I work out”, to downright anger “This sucks! Why do I have to give up my 12 inch steak hoagies, fries and Pepsi”. It’s not easy, but it is something anyone can do. It literally took me 5 years to get where I am now. It was slow progress, but it was progress none the less. Even an inch forward is still forward. All it takes is 21 days, 21 days of clean eating and it will become a habit. It doesn’t mean you won’t fail, falter or waiver but no matter what happens you will always go back to what you know is right.
How Does The 80/20 Rule Work?
What greatly helped was when I looked at it like this. I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 snacks daily. I eat 6 times a day, 7 days a week. That’s 42 meals per week. If I commit to eating clean and healthy 80% of the time that means of those 42 times I eat, 34 of those times I eat clean and that leaves 8 times I can indulge and have a “cheat meal”weekly. Now that is totally doable. I didn’t feel as restricted and felt empowered when I looked at clean eating this way.
What Is Clean Eating?
Clean eating means different things to different people. But put simply, clean eating means eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. For example, one would choose to eat a raw apple rather than an apple fritter. The raw Apple came right from the tree. The apple fritter went through an entire process with added sugar, preservatives, and additives. The raw apple is more healthy than the apple fritter because it’s as close to its natural state that you are going to get.
Clean eating =a plant based diet. Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables should be the base of every meal and snack. I try to eat a fruit with breakfast and every snack. I try to eat a vegetable with every lunch and dinner. One rule of thumb that helps is to fill half your plate with a fruit or vegetable.
Limiting or even eliminating overly processed, fast and fried foods from your diet is an important aspect of clean eating. You must limit and possibly eliminate McDonald’s, Burger King, soda/pop and fried foods from your diet. But remember the 80/20 rule. There is still room to indulge in these meals if you so choose.
Clean eating also means clean drinking. Take your weight in pounds, divide by half and that’s how many ounces of water you should drink daily. Take note of how much juice, soda/pop, speciality coffee drinks and hot chocolate you are drinking.
When you eat clean you will cook most of your meals at home and you will begin to make your foods from scratch. Homemade pancake mix, homemade granola bars, homemade biscuits have become a staple in my home. No more Bisquick, Aunt Jemima, or Pillsbury. To eat foods as close to its natural state as possible means you will have to avoid the drive thru window. If you want French fries, well you will cut up the potatoes and fry them at home using only 3 ingredients rather than eat McDonald’s fries which has 19 ingredients.
As mothers, we do most of the grocery shopping and cooking. We have great influence when it comes to what our children eat and drink. We have the power to raise healthy kids who enjoy fruits, vegetables and will grab the water instead of the Capri Sun. We have the power to break generational curses that are a direct result of a poor diet. We can raise children who will never have to take metformin for diabetes or water pills for high blood pressure.
A poor diet negates the work done in the gym. True results will not be achieved if changes aren’t made in the kitchen as well. This fact we can not escape. A mother in love with fitness is a mother who strives daily to make healthy food choices for herself and her family. A mother in love with fitness doesn’t doesn’t give up on making eating clean an integral part of her life even though she fails. She never gives up. She realizes that when the sun rises, so does her commitment to try again 😊