I made it! My 30 Days of Clean Eating have come to a close! I survived on clean foods for an entire month, and I really enjoyed it. It was not the hardest thing I have ever done, but there were challenges I had to overcome and lifestyle changes I had to make. There were times when I really just felt like eating a cupcake or Chik Fil-A, but I was able to resist! Surviving without added sugar or highly processed foods has left me feeling energetic and happy. I truly think that this way of eating could work for anyone looking to clean up their lives or even lose some unwanted pounds.
Throughout my 30 days, I learned several lessons. Here are my top 5 lessons learned:
- Always be prepared. I can’t stress this enough. If it weren’t for my weekly meal planning sessions, trips the grocery store and farmers market and always having snack food with me, I am pretty sure I would not have made it through this experience. So my biggest piece of advice would be to plan your meals. Knowing what you are going to be cooking for lunch and dinner every day makes sticking to the clean eating plan so much easier. Meal planning is one aspect of clean eating I plan on sticking to.
- Fruit makes a great dessert. As I have said countless times before, I have a massive sweet tooth. Discovering what most people probably already know, that fruit makes a great dessert, was big deal for me. And switching from ice cream and Nutella to apple sauce and oranges has been great for my health and energy levels. So be sure to keep your fruit bowl stocked! With that said…
- Eating healthy = better sleep. I know this has to be because I stopped eating sugar before bed, but I have been falling asleep so much faster than normal during my 30 days. It used to take me forever to fall asleep; I would just toss and turn for at least an hour before falling asleep. Not anymore! This is probably my favorite benefit of my clean eating.
- Snacking is important and encouraged. With a clean eating diet, being a snacker is a positive thing. There is no shame in eating every couple of hours. In fact, it is good for you and your metabolism. And it keeps you full throughout the day so you are less likely to get so hungry you make some unhealthy eating decisions. You just have to make sure you are making smart decisions about what you are snacking on, like eating heart healthy nuts instead of salty potato chips.
- Finding foods you love that are healthy makes clean eating easy and fun. Experimenting with foods I don’t normally eat has been another fun part for this experience. There are some foods I have rediscovered and fallen in love with, like sweet potatoes and almonds. I even ate brussels sprouts a time or two, which was a surprise even to me! So if you are thinking about eating clean, make sure to find foods you love to eat so your lifestyle change is that much easier to maintain.
With all of those lessons learned, I really loved my 30 Days of Clean Eating! It is a way of eating and living that I plan on trying to keep up with as much as possible. I am thinking of doing something where I eat clean during the week and have a little wiggle room on the weekends. After all, no one is perfect, and enjoying a cupcake or a few french fries every once in a while is not the end of the world.
Thanks to those who followed along with me! I hope my journey helped to shed a little light on clean eating and maybe inspired a few of you to give it a try. Now I am going to treat myself to a glass of wine and something sweet, but it is back to eating clean tomorrow!