I’ve never been a breakfast guy. Meals have always been important— in that I love to eat; timing has never mattered, I’ve always been willing to skip an average non-exciting meal in favor of the idea of a more interesting one later in the day. Into the life of such a one as myself, my specialist tells me I should eat clean, and that I would be better off eating 6 smaller meals rather than 2 or 3 larger ones.
In the first place I’d never heard the concept of clean eating, although I find out I’ve been doing it in most ways for most of my life.
“Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.”
We’re already partly to our goal. We avoid processed foods. I’m not great about the amount of fresh veg we eat. I try to keep a lot of veg in our diet but I also have had better luck controlling my weight by staying on the hi-protein/lo-carb diet — so veg sometimes get lost in the mix. We used many of the right oils — but I do love my butter and cook with it shamelessly. I could reduce our alcohol intake but right now I only average 1 drink per day so that would pretty much turn me into an abstainer, as compared with a more-controlled user. Sugar might be my big sin — I like desserts, we don’t eat a lot of processed foods with sugar already in them, but I’m not bashful about adding sugar when I bake — at all, ever. Salt? Yeah — there is that… Whole grains we are already including in our diet. I try to keep fruit IN my diet and that protein thing — the cutting down on meat — well, not so much. The whole control over refined grains depends on whether or not I want great that moment! Others would add to the list limiting the number of ingredients in a dish/meal to 7 or fewer. Not hard for us to do.
But there’s this big thing hanging out there. More Smaller Meals!
How am I ever going to do that?
They keep changing what Clean Eating is supposed to be, but here’s one version of the Mantra
1. Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize processed foods.
Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package, and although there are always a few exceptions to the rule (like a bag of fresh green beans), the majority of your foods should be fresh.
2. Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, you can up your intake of whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
3. Include some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.
Most of us typically do well with carbohydrates and fat, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day, like at breakfast and lunch. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together and space out your protein.
4. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This is easier than you think, particularly if you’ve cut out processed foods, which are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients.
5. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
This usually pans out into three main meals and two or three hefty snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and overeating. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so energy doesn’t lag.
6. Don’t drink your calories.
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, or my personal favorite, unsweetened tea (any flavor). Other clean drinks: low-fat or skim milk and 100 percent fruit juice diluted with sparkling water.
7. Get moving.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.
cookinglight dot com
I hate when someone keeps moving the targets without telling you!
And if you read that carefully, you’ll notice that nowhere in that Clean Eating check list did it say anything about eating more small meals. No where. That’s something Doc just threw in to challenge me. How do you do that?
To me, meals need to be interesting. There has to be a reason to stick calories in my mouth. I have struggled with my weight enough years that if I’m going to have to watch how much I weigh I’m going to want the calories I consume to bring some enjoyment to life. And frankly, 6 snacks a day just doesn’t cut it.
Or at least not the way I think of ‘snacks’, or ‘meals.’ Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time trying to figure out how to do that.
RV Living Helps
The idea that I have a small kitchen in Serendipity does make some things a little easier. Small kitchen, limited work space — it’s not so easy to make a large batch of pierogi or Golabki. That’s a fact of life. And downsizing recipes to accommodate a smaller RV kitchen is OK but it challenges the serious foodie. After all, how can you have a good Polish “meal” when all the calories you are meant to eat at a sitting are contained in ONE menu item. One Golabki, or three Pierogi, or 1 chunk of Polish Sausage…. Makes for a less than satisfying meal, doesn’t it?
I’m working my way through this landscape filled with culinary landmines! It’s not like I can get an explosive sniffing dog to sniff out the dangers along my life-changing route. A container of yogurt just isn’t the same — and I’ve got to find some viable alternatives that work for me.
Ok — we both know that I’m mostly playing around about this. I’ll figure it out. I’m serious about learning to be healthier. But I did want to illustrate one very simple reality about changing your life; it doesn’t happen by mistake, by accident, or without thinking about it. You have to make up your mind to change, and you have to do whatever it takes to effect change. And that’s where I am right now. You can picture me with culinary roadmaps spread out across the lounge and me trying to make heads or tails out of them. No quick solution GPS gadget here. The only way to figure out this route is to trudge on through, come up against a few low overpasses, get stopped by a few highway low weight limit signs, and have a few roadside breakdowns along the way. I’ll figure it out. Just like everyone else who faces a mandated major change in life. It’s just life. We can whine about it. We can joke about it. But what matter is that we find a way from point a to point b.
I hope you were able to laugh along with me a little here. We have another couple weeks here — I keep saying that as if it’s a known thing but we won’t actually be sure about that until after the next doctor early in December. So, in the meantime we’re working on following directions. I haven’t been this careful about trying to follow someone else’s directions in maybe a quarter century when I was still working for someone else.
I should comment, perhaps, on my concept of publication days…
I’m sure most of you have realized that I do not write in real time; there is almost always a time lag involved. Posts are typically written 5 or 6 days before they publish. I attempt to compensate for the delay by giving you a clue within the text of the blog as to what day it might be when I’m writing that post.
There are a few reasons for this — and I’m not trying to evade other RV’ers who might want to meet up with us.
- For one thing there are days when I don’t write at all — travel days are the most common example. I don’t want the pressure of no-post-for-today to color my writing.
- Then there are days when I might write two posts or even three — depending on my inspiration that day. If there are things on my mind I write them when I’m thinking about them.
- But most importantly, I rarely want my exact presence on any given day to become an accepted public fact. In terms of personal security, telling everyone that you aren’t in your RV is a good way of inviting theft. There are times when we are camping in remote locations and it’s just not a smart idea to assume that the whole rest of the world are honest and wish one well. I don’t try to tick people off but sometimes I just do. 🙂
On the day I’m writing this post I happen to be 6 days ahead. Occasionally I’ll fall down on the writing job and the calendar will catch up with me. But usually I keep myself a personal privacy cushion. I’m sure you all understand. When we were working for the Forest Service our campsite was behind a locked gate — we didnt’ have problems with people wandering into the yard where we were living. But in a public campground one doesn’t have that luxury and a little privacy is a good thing.
If you are interested in meeting up with us, just drop me a note, or comment to any post and I’ll make arrangements with you personally. Peg & I are always glad to meet new friends-we’ve-never-met-before! So, don’t hesitate. And just understand that we just take our privacy and security seriously. Thanks for understanding.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.