Since making the decision to “live healthy” a couple of years ago our lives have changed. Living clean is a lifestyle choice, not a passing fad, or a diet. It’s changing your whole life…for the rest of your life. And in doing this we’ve found that people are often curious what eating healthy really looks like. Or they wonder when we find the time to workout. Because eating clean and healthy is NOT what magazines or commercials would have you believe. Most “health foods” are marketing ploys and not any healthier than crap foods.
So, I got the idea to walk you through a typical day in the Brown house, food and all!
5:50 AM: The alarm goes off. I get up, put on workout clothes, quick stop downstairs to fill up our tervis tumblers with water and it’s back upstairs for some workout. Depending on the day, it will either be weight-lifting/calisthenics or some high intensity cardio.
6:45-7:00 AM: Post workout, let the dog out/feed him breakfast, make the post-workout protein shake which typically includes
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- 1 scoop protein powder – We buy the Optimum Nutrition brand off Amazon (cheaper) and the flavors vary on our mood
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (for the fat)
- 1/4 c to 1/2 c frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, mango, etc.)
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (for the fiber)
- HUGE handful fresh spinach (Kara does this, but I can’t mentally chug something of that hue)
- A few ice cubes (and one extra for Dash for not barking at the blender)
7:15 AM: Shower – So fresh and so clean clean!
7:45 AM: Out the door to go do the work thang
10:00 AM: Snack time! 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, with your own mix-ins! Fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey and some unsalted pistachios (mmmmmm…)
Noon-ish – One-ish: We have a few different go-tos for lunch. Main thing to focus on is getting some lean protein in there. Typically we alternate between having a turkey sandwich or wrap (with ONE slice of low-fat cheese like swiss, mozzarella, or provolone), mustard instead of mayo, and whatever veggies you feel inclined to have. Cucumber, tomato, lots of leafy green lettuce (not iceburg). For carbs, I may have some baby carrots and hummus or greek yogurt dip.
The other lunch option we do is grilling some chicken to use throughout the week on top of a salad, or a can of solid white tuna. No ranch. No blue cheese, etc. Something nice like a raspberry vinaigrette or a simple balsamic.
After Lunch: Doin’ more of the work thang.
3:00 PM: Snack time again! Either an apple, or some baby carrots and grapes, or 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
5:00 PM: If the weather is nice and not too insanely hot, we’ll either play some fetch with the D-man or take him for a walk (heat-index controls how long the walk will be) and then reward him with dinner!
6-ish: We keep dinners simple so that we can plan meals, control budget, and remain healthy. We separate it into three categories. Protein, veggies, & carbs. For protein, we keep it lean. Either some sort of fish, chicken, or maybe make something with ground turkey. For veggies we rely a lot on leafy greens. They are rich in all sorts of nutrients you need and when prepared right, they are tasty. We typically braise our greens with some onion, garlic, and finish with some sort of vinegar like balsamic, sherry, etc. For carbs, we may have a sweet potato or go-tos like Quinoa or whole wheat couscous. Normally every dinner we make, we make for 4 people so we can have leftovers the next night. Helps us save $$$$ too. We hit up Skinnytaste a TON for recipe ideas because they are fresh, healthy, and delicious! A great place to go if you’re in a healthy recipe rut. Her site is living proof that eating healthy isn’t boring.
Evenings are: Free to do whatever! Eat together, watch some tv, write a blog, run some errands, play some basketball in the driveway, or in our case…yard work, house projects, etc.
If I catch myself craving a late night snack, then I typically grab a palmful of roasted, unsalted almonds and a few chocolate chips (to satisfy the sweet tooth)
And what do we drink? Aside from my morning cup o’ joe (and the milk in my shake), I drink water. All. Day. Long. And nothing else. No sweet tea, no juice, no sugar free drinks, etc. No soda, certainly no DIET soda (just as bad, if not worse).
But when do we cut loose?!?! On the weekends. Look, we are foodies and sometimes you just gotta have something sauteed in butter or covered in frosting. That’s what the weekends are for. So, I may have a beer or two on the weekend and we will find ourselves going out for an ice cream cone after an unhealthy dinner…but it’s okay. It keeps us from going off the rails, knowing that we can indulge a little. All that yard work will burn those extra calories away 😛
So there ya go. Not so bad is it? It was difficult for us at first, making lists, keeping track, learning what to avoid and what’s honestly good for you. With time, it’s become second nature.
Tip for the grocery store…when you find yourself eating clean, you’ll pretty much avoid all the center aisles.