Home Healthy Eating Q&A Wednesday Clean Eating Style

Q&A Wednesday Clean Eating Style

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Tying in the clean eating, eco-friendly link to this week’s Q&A Wednesday!

A full plate of clean foods!

Q: How can you live a clean eating lifestyle, when those around you aren’t doing the same?

As I’ve written before, I encountered this, too. Running into the issue of either having people eat all your food before you get to eat it, not being allotted enough space in the fridge, or never being able to cook in the kitchen… ’cause someone else is always there. I’ve been there. It sucks.

You really have to be a super problem solver with this one, though. Work backwards from the solution, though:

“I want to eat healthier. That means I’ll have to buy lots of produce. This means I’ll have to keep it in the fridge. Can I ask for a little space in the produce part of the fridge? If I get a small little space, can I buy only enough produce/food for a week and just go grocery shopping every week? Hmmm…

…if that doesn’t work, can I purchase a little fridge of my own on ebay or craigslist just for produce, and put my meats in the freezer?”

There’s also this: I find that when the people around you see how easy you make it to eat better, they want to jump on the bandwagon… because having you cook the healthy, good tasting food is even less effort than them cooking the processed foods they probably feel guilty about.They tend to give you the leeway if you opt to take charge (provided it doesn’t taste like crap.) They may not do it in front of others, but corner the most important person in the house one on one first then everyone else tends to fall in line.

Give that a shot, and if you need more suggestions, come back. 🙂

Q: How do you choose a proper goal weight? Is there a magic number or a feeling? Is it the BMI range?

I remember when I was a size 26.. I said to myself “Man, just let me get down to a size 16 and flatten my stomach out..” and once I got to a size 16, I looked nothing like what I thought it’d look like. I didn’t realize this, but the number on the back of the dress doesn’t dictate the way my body would look underneath. Being a size 8 doesn’t mean I’d have nice hips, a flat tummy, or even a nice proper sitting booty. I realized I still had so far to go to get to where I want, that the numbers didn’t matter. And by numbers, I mean weight, BMI, dress size… none of ’em mattered because none of them dictated what I’d look like naked.

And let’s be real. We all want to look good naked. If we just wanted to look fly under a hot dress, we’d be wearing some ridiculous magical contraption. I’m just sayin’.

My honest advice to you is to first take a good hard look at yourself naked. If it invokes tears, confusion, frustration… that’s ok. That’s realization setting in that maybe you have more work to do than you anticipated. (And I only suggest going this route because this is what I did.) But look at yourself. Be conscious of what you look like. Then be conscious of what you want to look like. Then hold that image in your head as you sweat your curls out.

Q: When and where do you restart after an injury?

If your physician has given you the OK to get active again, you start slow. You don’t want your first day to consist of you going just as hard as you were before your injury, and re-injuring yourself, right? Baby steps. If you start out like a novice Thursday and find that you can handle it, then when Friday’s workout comes? Just add to your load. Keep going at that pace, and you’ll sooner or later figure out where it starts getting tough.. and that’s your true starting point. But your body definitely deserves the time it takes to figure out just how much you can handle in the beginning.

As far as when you start? You start yesterday!

Q: What foods can I eat, and which ones should I avoid for clean eating and breastfeeding?

The good thing about clean eating is that since you’re eating the foods that the Earth makes for you, you’re taking in a lot of wonderful nutrients and passing them on to your little one. I’d be much more concerned if you were living on a processed diet than I’d be on a clean one. I think your best bet with this, first and foremost, is to consult with your doctor. She can take into account your family history, potential allergens, and other issues that might arise from your new lifestyle.

But if the question is what would I avoid from the jump? Foods that are high in fiber – broccoli, spinach, the average leafy green, etc – may make the baby gassy, but that’s simply something to be aware of. Fish, overall, I’d skip.. I’m not a huge seafood lover at all but this is hard for some. I’d personally limit the amount of dairy I took in. I’d avoid bagged produce (like salad bags) and deli meats (like, your average bologna and salami.)

You ever notice how you eat some foods, and find that your body smells like those foods later? I remember when I used to eat McDonalds… if I’d sweat later, I’d smell like sweet & sour sauce. (No, really. Gross, right?) Your breast milk suffers the same fate. So… don’t overdo it on the onions, garlic, asparagus or anything else that smells horrible when used excessively. If you think the smell (after having passed through your system) is bad, the taste is even worse. Perhaps the Mommies can comment on and offer suggestions for this one? 🙂

Keep those questions coming, and I’ll have ‘em ready for next week! Have thoughts? Let me hear ‘em in the comments!

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HappyFatSkinnyGirl April 21, 2010 - 10:52 AM

What’s wrong with salad bags? Spinach, carrots, radishes… in a bag. Best form of healthy fast food I can think of.

Erika April 21, 2010 - 11:03 AM

For you and I, sure, they’re a nice deal. But for a breastfeeding mother? I’d stick as closely to the source as I could with clean eating… and there’s been a fair enough amount of recalls of bagged veggies from mishandling/miscare/etc at factories to make me recommend bypassing them altogether.

If you can’t do that, then just make sure you wash your veggies very thoroughly right before you go to cook/eat them.

Mary April 21, 2010 - 8:20 PM

What’s that on the picture??? Uhh… yum.

Erika April 21, 2010 - 8:27 PM

Brown rice and a romaine lettuce salad topped with chicken, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, mushrooms and water cress. Yum indeed!

Elita @ Blacktating April 27, 2010 - 3:00 PM

Hi there, I just discovered your blog and I am really enjoying it. There are a lot of myths out there surrounding breastfeeding, particularly with breastfeeding and eating. You don’t need to eat a particularly “clean” diet in order to maintain a good milk supply that is the PERFECT nutrition for your child. If this were true, women who are poor and tend to be malnourished wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. In fact just the opposite is true. Women who live in places like sub Saharan Africa are able to breastfeed just fine. Of course, if you can eat a diet full of only organic foods, the better. But it’s not going to affect the quality of your milk if you can’t.

As far as the taste of food getting into your breast milk, yes, this is true. This is why breastfed babies have another edge on formula-fed babies. Breastfed babies are introduced to a wide variety of flavors through their mother’s milk, which is why they tend to be less picky eaters. BUT you don’t need to avoid any foods for fear your baby will turn his nose up at your milk. The only thing that can sometimes cause an issue is dairy. If you notice your baby is gassy or exhibiting colicky behavior, it’s not because of asparagus or broccoli or other foods people believe make breastfed babies gassy. It’s probably your own dairy intake. Try eliminating obvious sources of dairy first (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) and see if there is any improvement. If not, a full dairy elimination diet may be in order.

Erika April 27, 2010 - 3:38 PM

Thank you so much for your advice! And I looooooove the name blacktating! 🙂

Zee May 19, 2011 - 12:06 PM

@Elita it is not quite true that, whatever they eat, mothers can breastfeed just fine. Many sub-Saharan African babies are malnourished precisely because they are not able to get sufficient amounts of key nutrients from their MALNOURISHED mothers’ breast milk. Their mothers may very well have good milk volume, but the nutritional composition of the milk is of concern.

Don’t take my work for it. Here are a couple of links, and you can also google “breast milk” and “malnutrition”:

Meg January 22, 2012 - 6:57 PM

I had breastfed both of my children until they were weaned as toddlers, and I never had a problem eating anything. In fact, my two year old is very fond of onions, garlic, blue cheese, citrus, tomato, and even brussle sprouts and asparagus. I was never a big dairy person, but I do understand that a mothers excessive intake of dairy products can agrivate symptoms of colic. As for instances of malnourished mothers, I had heard of poor women in the south (when I applied for WIC, one of the questions asked was whether I had any cravings for non- food substances) actually craving and eating clay, dirt, and laundry soap to obtain missing minerals. I would have loved to eat only organic, unfortunately it was beyond my means at the time. The children seem no worse for the wear, though.

Shawney February 21, 2012 - 5:50 PM

I need to know was it really hard to start your diet…..is white rice really bad for you?

Erika Nicole Kendall February 21, 2012 - 9:13 PM

I’m not a dieter, mama. I changed how I ate. As for white rice, start here and finish up with this.

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