If You Hate at Eating Clean, Stop Trying.

"Eat clean!" they say.  "You'll feel great!" they say.  Then why am I constantly going through these clean eating phases only to be ended by vacations, illness, pregnancy, and tons of other excuses to say f it and whip out the Cheetos?  There is a simple reason... clean eating is hard!  Even though you know you are making good choices for your body, it doesn't turn off your salivating over the thought of bacon cheeseburgers and hot wings.  And though I'm sure many of you are able to keep up this kind of diet successfully (good for you), I'm not willing.  Personally, food brings me joy.  It's all a part of the experience of life, and I don't want to miss out on any of it.  There's something liberating about an ice cream sundae on a summer night, or fresh baked cookies on a snow day.  I know they're not good for my body, but trust me, they're good for my soul.  

It's no wonder most people fail miserably at clean eating in the long run.  It's a lot of work.  It's expensive.  It's just no fun.  So, I'm here to tell you to stop trying.  Stop putting pressure on yourself to eat healthy for every meal of the day, all the time, and inevitably feel guilty when you break down and eat an entire box of Kraft macaroni and cheese.... and ice cream.  

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about being healthy.  Let's talk about the realistic steps you can take that will endure through the long haul.  Instead of deciding you are only eating clean, ever, start with incorporating ONE clean meal in your day.  I find lunch is the easiest, especially if you're packing it for work.  Eat it, give yourself a pat on the back, and leave it at that.  Maybe you'll eat another clean meal, or maybe your friend will call you to meet her for margaritas.  Just go with it, and do what makes you happy.  You had a healthy lunch and you deserve it. 

Another thing that I do consistently is find a way to make our go to meals healthier.  Note:  healthier, not necessarily healthy.  For example, instead of ordering take out Santa Fe burgers with fries (yummmmmm), my husband and I have started grilling marinated chicken and putting it on a sandwich with avacado and onion.  I also have started baking french fries using red potatoes and little olive oil drizzle.  Are the fries healthy?  Not really, but they're baked, not fried, cutting down on a ton of calories and fat.  Is the bun healthy?  Hell no, but at least I've replaced my burger with grilled chicken and sliced onion instead of onion rings.  By making a few healthy switches without replacing the entire meal, I'm left 100% satisfied and feel as though I've made no sacrifice at all.

My husband's favorite dish is chicken parm, and I have to say, mine is pretty delish.  But you know what?  I don't feel guilty when we eat it.  I always BAKE my chicken, no frying here, and because I'm doing it at home I can control the amount of sauce and cheese that goes on top.  I serve it with whole grain pasta and sometimes some roasted zucchini on the side.  Carb haters may not approve, but I feel good about my switch to whole grain, as long as I'm not eating a pot full of it.  

So I may not be the cleanest eater on the block, but I've found a really good balance.  Something that I can maintain every single day for my entire life and not feel like I'm missing out on anything.  Think about what healthy switches YOU can make in your next meal.  A little bit goes a long way, and you should be proud of yourself no matter what that little bit is!

Need ideas?  Feel free to comment below or contact me!  I'd love to help you get healthier in a way that is realistic for YOU and support you on your own journey to wellness! 

Our Three Peas Women With Intention

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  1. This post is 100% up my alley! I don't know how people eat clean all the time, and, like you said, most of the people who do, end up (at some point) posting photos of Eggo waffles and other pre-packaged foods that are obviously not "clean". I agree with you making meals healthier. Unless you're eating clean, I feel like nothing is 100% healthy, but there are good choices and there are bad choices.
    You do you girl--eat that mac and cheese! :)

  2. Oh my goodness, thank you for this great affirmation! It's easy to feel like you have to be in or out with healthy eating- that unless you are eating 100% healthy 100% of the time, you're doing it wrong. I have found that balance is crucial, and this is great and realistic encouragement.

  3. Such a great post! I completely agree, and it's exactly how I do it!


  4. When I was back in Houston, this is exactly how I would do it. Now that most of my meals are made in an office (my mom and I are at the office pretty much all day) and our pantry and cooking area is very limited I have not adjusted. Your post has given me a bit more of an encouragement. Thank you!