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Tonia 11-11-2013 11:27 AM

Clean eating questions
Morning! I have about 100 pounds to lose and am going to try clean eating before exploring surgery (don't want to have surgery, but running out of options). So...I have a couple of questions. On a clean eating diet is:

1. Protien powder ok? I don't eat much meat - I like turkey but I don't think I can eat it ALL of the time.
2. Artificial sweeteners...truvia?
3. Breads. I know it is discouraged but some sites say only whole grain...what exactly should I look for?

Thanks for your help!

Exhale15 11-11-2013 11:51 AM

Hi Tonia,

The best resource I've found on nutrition, and it's totally free, is PCRM - Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine. They support a nutrition plan that's without any animal products, but if you wanted to add lean animal protein to what they suggest, you'll get 'clean eating'. What I admire about them is that they provide tons of information, recipies, etc. with no charge - unlike other 'experts', they have medical/scientific backing.

I know lots of folks don't like the 'v' word (vegetarian/vegan), but you can take from the site what you find helpful and go from there.

Good luck to you !

nelie 11-11-2013 12:59 PM

I know there are a million different forms of clean eating with their own rules. I follow a whole foods diet and don't try to be 100% in everything.

For protein powder, it isn't a whole food but I do include it because it is one of the only ways I will eat breakfast. Green smoothies are whole foods and you can do things like add hemp seeds and chia seeds to smoothies, again both of those are whole foods and contain protein.

I don't think really artificial sweeteners are whole foods, even stevia as it is processed and eaten in a way you wouldn't naturally. If it helps you though, I don't see why you couldn't add it.

As for bread, my own rule has been 5 ingredients or less for the most part except I like sprouted grain breads and they usually have a mix of grains and possibly lentils so tend to have more ingredients than 5. I think as long as you look for a whole grain bread, you are doing well but again it really depends on your own personal way to follow your diet. Ezekiel breads are an example of sprouted grains but there are others. I'll admit that I rarely eat bread though myself.

emilym 11-11-2013 06:37 PM

Hi, Tonia!

I'm in the same boat you're in - 100 lbs to lose and sort of considering surgery but not really wanting it. I went to see a psychologist to help me decide if I wanted to have surgery or not, and she recommended a book called "The Science of Skinny" (by Dee McCaffery). It's a very factually-correct and informative book about how food affects the body, and it's full of good advice for eating a clean, whole-foods diet. I spent a month following the guidelines in that book, and I lost 15 lbs. during that month. Now, I do my own thing while sticking to a few general clean-eating principles, and I've lost 32 lbs in total.

Clean eating really has worked wonders for me! It's changed my biochemistry and my tastebuds. My mood is better, I have more energy, my taste in food has changed. I don't love vegetables, but I can tolerate them better than I used to. Fruit used to taste sour; now it tastes sweet. I've lost all cravings for fast food and "junk." So, it's worked well for me and the 32lb weight loss is only one of a whole host of benefits I've experienced.

Anyway, your questions:

1. Protein Powder - hemp or whey protein powder. For a while, I was using an organic protein powder called "Tera's Whey." Seriously though, I don't think you need to stress about getting enough protein in your diet. Most Americans eat way, way too much protein and very few people living in our society are in any remote danger of protein deprivation. If you're eating nuts, legumes, grains, you'll be getting plenty of protein. I don't like to eat meat either, so I've been eating a mostly-vegan diet. I occasionally eat plain yogurt, fish, and eggs, but I get most of my protein from plants. I do hard workouts, and I feel fine, and I've been gaining muscle, so I don't believe that protein should be something to stress about if you're trying to get in better shape. If, like nelie, you don't like to eat protein-y foods at breakfast, protein powder is a good option but generally, I don't think it's necessary for most people.

2. Truvia isn't as un-processed as it could be. I use stevia drops called "Sweet Leaf drops" and the bottle was expensive, but it lasts a long time and I don't use much of it. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever! An important part of this process, for me, was giving up sugary, sweet foods. I'll have dessert once a week, and when I do have desert, I like to use real sugar like maple syrup, or raw honey, or molasses, or raw cane sugar, or fruit. Generally speaking, though, I think it's been important to my weight loss to eat significantly less sweet food.

3. Bread - 5-ingredient is a good suggestion and so is sprouted grain bread. Sprouted grain bread tastes awful to me, but it is one of the healthiest options. Also, look at the ingredient list! As nelie said, you don't want to see a huge laundry-list of ingredients. I like to go shopping at Trader Joe's (or any health food store near you), and they usually have a good selection of wraps and pita pokkets with very few ingredients. Also, if you like baking, this is the perfect time of year to bake your own bread, so you know what's going in it. I have a bag of spelt grains and I make flour in the blender. Baking is a fun hobby for me, tho, maybe everyone doesn't have time to bake bread from scratch.

I'm not 100% with this, and I know it's probably not 100% "whole foods," but I've been having good success with La Tortilla Factory's Smart & Delicious whole wheat wraps. For most supermarket bread products, you'll want to check that the first ingredient is "100% whole-wheat flour" because sometimes, the "Whole Grain" labels can be sort of misleading.

Good luck!

ShelBl 11-11-2013 06:47 PM

How long has it taken for the cravings for junk to go away?

I was juicing for a while, until my husband went to a nutrition workshop offered through his work and that information said that unless it's all or nothing, juicing usually doesn't lead to weight loss. I have noticed more weight loss in the two or so weeks that I have stopped doing juice, but I'm not sure how much of that is just smarter choices in general or not drinking calories.

I have noticed that I don't feel as good as when I was doing the juice though. I'm looking at ways to eat more clean food and less junk, but I still backslide and do fast food once in a while. How long has it taken before any of you just don't want it anymore?

Tonia 11-11-2013 10:26 PM

Wow! Thanks for the advice! I still have a family to feed so I will certainly do my best to maintain a whole food/clean eating diet.

Congrats on your weight loss, emilym! I may have to check out that book as well...I really don't want surgery so I am really hoping this works!

emilym 11-14-2013 10:45 PM

ShelBl, it happened really quickly. I decided to go cold-turkey on all junk food and sugar for a month and it was pretty hard to do, but I approached it like a personal challenge. At the end of the month, the cravings had all pretty much lost their power over me, which is incredible because I used to be the biggest junk food addict ever, and I never believed I'd be able to kick those cravings.

I was able to go cold-turkey on junk food by doing two important things:

1. I planned every breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack for an entire month so I always knew exactly what I'd be eating, and when. I always kept myself full and satiated, and I never let myself get hungry enough that I needed to "just grab something to eat." It was harder to feel tempted to grab a burger in McDonald's when I knew I had a fully-planned dinner waiting to be cooked at home. By filling up on healthy foods, I didn't have any room left over to eat any junk food. I didn't really love any of the vegetables I was eating, but forcing myself to eat tons of vegetables caused me to not have any room left over for Twinkies and hot dogs.

2. I learned a lot about the food industry, and all the horrible things that food companies do to our food, and what those food additives were doing to my body. I lost my ability to block out the fact that junk food is, basically, toxic rotten nastiness. I couldn't get past these thoughts about all the horrific things McDonald's does to their beef (google "pink slime"), and I couldn't get past these thoughts about the havoc that trans-fats wreak on the human body, and I just couldn't get past these thoughts. I couldn't look at a piece of junk food and think of it as a "delicious, yummy treat" anymore. By educating myself I just came to see junk food as disgusting, nasty, icky, vomit-inducing crap. I literally want to throw up when I think about the stuff that gets marketed to American consumers as "food." Most junk food barely even qualifies as being "edible." This has been a huge, huge, huge source of motivation to steer clear of junk food. I don't even want to put that poison anywhere near my mouth anymore.

So, it took around 3 weeks of going cold-turkey for my physiology to change. My entire system started changing and working differently. I went to an amusement park a month after starting, and I treated myself to a big bucket of cheese-fries, and the cheese-fries didn't stay down for very long. Crazy. My body can't even deal with straight-up junk food after a month of going cold-turkey on it.

Exhale15 11-14-2013 11:37 PM

Love It !

Also, if you think about it, our bodies are just made up of these tiny little cells, that haven't evolved to be immune to all of the chemicals that we take in with all the junk. Those little cells do miracles every day in keeping our bodies going, but they need the right stuff, otherwise they get overloaded with crap and our tissues and organs get stressed beyond what's natural & things get screwed up and we get sick.

Micki k 11-16-2013 09:08 AM

Amen to that! After a hard battle fighting an illness this year I have a new respect for food quality. Reading and educating myself on what really and truly goes into our foods has been an eye opener. I can't put the things I used to into my body without thinking about where it came from and what's in it. Best 'diet' plan I've ever been on. I say that with sarcasm because it's so far from a diet. But honestly I truly think the foods I ate were part of what made me sick. And the foods I eat now are what are going to keep me healthy. "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food".

Exhale15 11-16-2013 04:37 PM

"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food".

Yep, they knew way back then the importance of eating well. I think a lot of us would be healthier, and need less 'health care' if we ate better, and our food sources were considered as part of 'health care....

Pattience 01-07-2014 09:09 PM


Originally Posted by Tonia (Post 4881235)
Morning! I have about 100 pounds to lose and am going to try clean eating before exploring surgery (don't want to have surgery, but running out of options). So...I have a couple of questions. On a clean eating diet is:

1. Protien powder ok? I don't eat much meat - I like turkey but I don't think I can eat it ALL of the time.
2. Artificial sweeteners...truvia?
3. Breads. I know it is discouraged but some sites say only whole grain...what exactly should I look for?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Tonia

I hope to put you off surgery. I know someone who has had it. She wasn't strictly obese enough to get it on medicare but she pressured her doctor. She is still dieting a year later. She has not really lost any weight over all. It may work for some people but does it work in the long term? How many people does it work for in the long term.

Also there are lots of difficulties with it. You are forced to eat small amounts. I think this would be really hard over the long term. Just don't do it. Find healthier and safer ways to lose weight and change your life.

1. protein powder. There is so much protein around in the world i don't know why people need to consume this. Food should taste good but its when it is overloaded with salt and sugar that we tend to go overboard. There are other ways like herbs and spices to make food really tasty. Oops i'm off topic sorry.

Protein - nuts and seeds on your salads. but avoid nibbling on them because its hard to stop. cook with them instead. They really jazz up a dish. Peanuts in rice. cashews in a veggie stew etc. Indians and middle eastern people do a lot with nuts.

Beans and lentils. Learn to cook indian and middle eastern and mediterranean. Mediterranean food is so utterly my favourite but indian bean dishes are not hard and are very tasty when served with rice.

Omelettes. boiled eggs in your salads. frittata.

Milk is high in protein. Cheese but its high fat so use fat in small quantities in your recipes to add flavour. A little bit of fetta crumbled over things, especially salads, goes a very long way.

2. artificial sweeteners. You can lose your sweet tooth at least temporarily. Just quit putting sugar in your drinks. Go cold turkey. Its not that hard. So long as you are drinking diet coke and things like that, i think you will always have your sweet tooth. I tried them for a while, and i got sick of them. Learn to live with less sugar in your diet. Avoid all desserts if you can't control your intake - i can't so i try to only eat them when i'm out with other people and if am offered them, when i'm dieting. i.e. in a controlled setting where i won't lose the plot.

In general i find it easier to keep temptation far away than to be in a state of constant temptation which is what you have to do if you have the stuff around and have to make yourself stick to small portions.

3. Bread. Discover quality bread. Avoid white bread that is sliced sandwich bread or cheap white loafs. Buy bread from a quality bakery. Try all different sorts of seeded and grained breads. Italian white bread is quite nutritious because ether use good strong flour, less refined. Also sourdough bread is a white bread that you can eat. These breads are more chewy and flavourful. Its not really bread that's bad but what you put on it. These other types of bread are much more satisfying. That's why are allowed. They are not digested so fast so you can keep going longer on them and they also provide a bit of protein and other nutritional elements. In the main go for quality and discover the world of good bread.

Defining 01-13-2014 10:47 PM

Um, there have been so many great posts here already, not sure if I can add much...

Protein powder: better than not having enough protein in your diet! Common recommendations have a pretty wide range, but I generally feel pretty comfortable around the 1-1.5g/kg of bodyweight (or 1g/lb of lean bodyweight) for total daily protein consumption. For me, a protein powder helps bring my average of ~70g up to ~100g, which is a better range for me personally.

Artificial sweeteners: most of the alcohol sugars (ie. 'refined' stuff) can actually do more damage to your insulin response than we realize - in some cases, long-term use is comparable to just using table sugar! Pure stevia has a pretty strong licorice flavour. I enjoy using natural sweetener sources in MODERATION (I put that in capitals because I often forget ;) ). Eg. honey, molasses, date sugar, etc.

Bread: make your own! Or try to find a good local bakery that allows their dough to rise naturally (real sourdough) and even better if they grind their own flour! The starches in bread CAN create stalls in weight loss (its a kind of refined carbohydrate, afterall); however, you need to decide how to balance the macronutrients in YOUR lifestyle so that you still enjoy food but can make good choices for long-term weight loss.

A few interesting books I sometimes reference for whole food eating are: The Jungle Effect (Daphne Miller) and Deep Nutrition (Catherine Shanahan). Best of luck, we're all here supporting you!

HoosierHeather 02-23-2014 06:50 PM

For me personally, grains need to be severely limited (compared to how most Americans eat). Whole grains are fine (truly whole) but even then, I try to limit them to not more than 1 serving a day, less often if I can. Usually I choose oats or rice over wheat. Just not a big fan of wheat, or how it makes me feel.

Amy22 03-21-2014 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by Tonia (Post 4881235)
Morning! I have about 100 pounds to lose and am going to try clean eating before exploring surgery (don't want to have surgery, but running out of options). So...I have a couple of questions. On a clean eating diet is:

1. Protien powder ok? I don't eat much meat - I like turkey but I don't think I can eat it ALL of the time.
2. Artificial sweeteners...truvia?
3. Breads. I know it is discouraged but some sites say only whole grain...what exactly should I look for?

Thanks for your help!

1. Yes, but try to get some whole-food protein sources into your diet as well.
2. I haven't tried that, but xylitol is a good one. Just keep it away from your dogs.
3. If you can get something organic, go with that... just check the ingredients. If there is a ton of stuff in the bread that you can't pronounce then go to the next one. There are some good comparison apps for your phone too.

healthforlife11 05-23-2014 12:01 AM

Eating Clean: The breakdown
Hi! I'm so glad that you want to eat clean and nourish your body with the nutrients its needs!

I'm a huge believer of the clean lifestyleand would love to share some of my findings with you!

Here's a list of healthy foods that everyone should follow:

Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
Tropical Fruit (pineapple,kiwi,papaya)
Baby Carrots
Salad Greens (spinach, romaine, arugula, watercress, kale, mixed field greens)
Kale or Collard Greens
Raw Nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia, brazil, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pine nuts)
Raw Seeds (chia seeds , Hemp Seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed
Legumes (chick peas, black beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas etc..)
Almond Milk
All Natural Hummus
Lean Protein (tofu, chicken breast, ground turkey breast, low sodium chicken breast from deli)
Cage Free or Vegetarian Eggs
Any type of Ezekial Bread (FOUND IN THE FROZEN SECTION!)
Non Fat Greek Yogurt
Coconut Oil of Grapeseed Oil (to cook with)
Quinoa or Wild Rice

Here's a list of meals and snacks that can be produced with only the ingredients on the list:

Breakfast Smoothies – Throw in bananas, berries, chia seeds, almond milk and oats for a hearty and yummy way to start your day
*Vegetable Smoothies – Throw in kale, cucumber, flaxseeds, avocado and one of your tropical fruits for a natural sweetener
*Oatmeal – Make it delicious by adding fresh berries, nuts and seeds!
*Vegetable Omelet – Use coconut oil or grapeseed oil to make a kale and tomato omelet (add low sodium turkey breast if you don’t want to go vegetarian for this meal)
*Baby Carrots and Hummus – Perfect for a delicious snack anytime
*Sandwiches or Lettuce Wraps – Cook up the lean turkey breast to make lettuce wraps(Romaine is the best for wraps) throw on tomatoes and cucumber- Make a sandwich with the turkey deli meat on the Ezekial bread. Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and use the hummus for your spread instead of mayo!
*Fresh Salads – Add avocado and any fruits, vegetables, beans , nuts and seeds your heart desires!
* Grilled Chicken Breast over Wild Rice or Quinoa – Add a steamed Veggie for a complete and balanced meal!
*Yogurt Parfait – Greek yogurt with the works. Add fruits, nuts and seeds! Heavenly guilt free dessert

I really hope this helps! :) Good luck with everything

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