Starting 2012 With a Clean Slate

 Thank you to Cindy, author of our first guest post of the year! Please take a moment to leave her a comment- Comments are better than Christmas Presents to writers!

Since August 2010, I have been eating a “clean” diet of healthy whole
foods with no preservatives, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, food
dyes, msg, and other man-made chemicals that masquerade as food. I’ve
shunned a few prescriptions, lost 31 pounds, dropped 2 dress sizes,
don’t have daily headaches anymore, have tons more energy and just feel
healthier. But, the latest and most interesting news is that my
Hypothyroidism is seemingly disappearing! I’ve gone from .175 mcg to
.125 mcg in the last year and my doctor thinks it’s due to my new
lifestyle! Whoever would have thought that FOOD could cure? Well, I
actually believe that or I wouldn’t be doing all of this.
Today is January 1. The day when millions of folks resolve to eat
better, lose weight, stop smoking or get organized. Well, I’d like to be
the one to help you do all of that – except get organized, I’m not so
great at that!
So, it’s Day 1. Grab a notebook or computer (if that’s
your thing) and start planning. Let’s plan out your meals for the week
and figure out how to stock your pantry.
Write down your family’s favorite go-to meals. Make a Master List of
those meals (there should be at least 20 to choose from). Then, every
week, peruse your list and make your dinner plans for the week. I’ve
learned that when I meal plan, there’s a lot less waste in my fridge and
when Thursday rolls around, I’m not stuck with “what’s for dinner?”
Your weekly meal plan could be as simple as Monday – Chicken; Tuesday – Pork; Wed – crock pot night, etc…
Then, from there I look at my favorite blogs, Clean Eating magazine,
Food Network magazine, All Recipes, Food, and other favorite
sites to find specific recipes for the chicken, pork, fish or
vegetarian dishes I’m having that week. It is essential to plan.
On Sat or Sun, I do my grocery shopping for the week and when I get
home, I look at my meal plan and wash, prep and cut my veggies for my
meals that week. Last week it took me 40 min to prepare all my veggies. I
lay out a huge cutting board and colander and wash and chop away.
Everything is stored in plastic bags or bowls marked with the meal they
are intended for. It makes dinner time prep go so fast!

Now, on to stocking a “clean” pantry. If you are anything like me, and
there’s a cookie in your house, it’s going to be gone while no one is
looking! So, I just don’t buy them. There’s not one bag of candy,
cookies or treats in our house. I just can’t be tempted. I mean it’s ok
to occasionally have a treat, but to have them on hand on a daily basis
is just setting yourself up for failure. I had a tin of homemade
Christmas cookies on the counter (3 varieties) over a 2-week period and I
gained a couple of pounds, but most horribly, it was all in my belly!
Sugar goes straight to my gut – so gross! So, I started the new year off
with a great workout this morning and a run yesterday. That’s right, I
RAN!! Something I don’t normally do unless someone is chasing me or I’m
going to miss a plane. I registered myself for the Rock n Roll Half
Marathon in DC, in March! A huge challenge for me, but I’m very excited.
Now, onto the pantry…

Your clean pantry should always contain:
Clean grains like quinoa, wild rice, whole wheat couscous, steel cut oats
sea salt
ground flax seed
natural peanut or other nut butters, like almond or cashew
BPA-free, Organic canned foods for convenience (like beans, tomatoes)
Unbleached flours
Cold-pressed olive oil
Raw honey
raw, unsalted nuts & seeds
Spices & herbs

Your fridge should always have:
greek yogurt
raw or Organic milk (or milk substitutes like almond milk)
fermented foods like sauerkraut or pickles (and not Vlasic!)

fresh seasonal produce cut & ready to eat or cook;
leafy greens like Kale, Collards, broccoli, zucchini, red leaf and
green leaf lettuce are good choices. Try new veggies you haven’t eaten
before like artichokes, eggplant, Swiss chard, okra, or Bok Choy!
Carrots, celery, onions – this trinity is great to keep on hand for endless meal possibilities

I buy grass-fed beef, pork and pastured chicken. I also buy sustainable, wild seafood.

You can find a complete grocery shopping list on my blog post from Tues, Oct. 4.

In order to lose weight, this is THE only plan you need:
Breakfast – You need to start your day with a protein
like an egg or whey protein shake. Some of the specialty food items I
eat are purchased on Amazon. You’ll find a link to my Amazon store on
the left side of my blog under Links.
Snack – nuts or pumpkin seeds, whole fruit
Lunch is usually another protein source with a veggie,
like carrots, cucumber slices, edamame, tuna salad, chicken salad, or a
wrap with homemade mayo.
– Drink lots of water throughout the day –
Afternoon Snack – frozen organic grapes, crackers with hummus, sliced pineapple, plain greek yogurt with raw honey, green smoothie
Dinner – Time to break out your meal plan – is it Fish
Night? To really boost weight loss in the beginning, skip a side of
rice, potatoes or starch and add an extra veggie. For example, Broiled
Tilapia with roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower, with side salad.

You’ll notice there’s no muffins, bagels, baked goods or scoops of ice
cream here. Not that those are completely off limits for you, but I
don’t eat them anymore. There’s no healthy redeeming qualities about
eating a 400 calorie muffin. In order to lose weight, you have to STOP
buying these white flour, sugar bombs.
Ok – that’s it for now. You’ve got some homework to do.
Good luck and let me know how it all goes! Remember, you are not alone in this journey!

My name is Cindy Santa Ana, and I’m not normal! My kids have never
eaten at McDonald’s, you won’t find any processed food in my house, I
recently lost 33 pounds and dropped 2 dress sizes and I am
single-handedly curing an auto-immune disease! How, you ask? By eating
clean, whole foods and exercising.  This once pop-tart eating momma has
discovered a whole new world of cooking, gardening, and canning, and
hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Cindy blogs regularly at ProcessedLiving,
but you’ll be able to get her great tips and tricks for a healthier,
happier 2012 here at PWC Moms, too!  Be sure to join us tomorrow morning
for Cindy’s first blog post!