Hi Everyone! It's What I ate Wednesday.
My name is Angela and I blog over at Eat Spin Run Repeat. I work in the corporate world by day, but outside of my 9 to 5, I'm a fitness instructor, blogger, health coach, runner, and clean-eating foodie.
When Krysten told me that she was suffering from a stomach ulcer and that she needed some motivation to clean up her diet, I could totally sympathize with her. As a runner who has suffered her fair share of digestive issues in the past, I know it's not fun to run with an upset tummy! I was thrilled when she invited me to do a guest post on clean eating, not only because I wanted to help her feel better, but also because I know that there are a lot of you who may be struggling with eating clean on a consistent basis and that the same information could help you too.
My (very condensed) Story
Before I get into the what and the how, let me rewind a little bit and tell you my story in a nutshell. I was super active as a kid, but when I was 13, my family moved to the Middle East so that my dad could take advantage of a new career opportunity. Looking back, I wouldn't trade my 5 years living over there for anything, but as a teenager, there were days when I wanted nothing more than to be at home in Canada, living like normal Canadian teenagers do. As my unhappiness grew, so did I - and not in a good way! I gained a significant amount of weight and by the time I was 16, I'd packed 200lbs onto my 5'10" frame. Sure, I was tall enough to carry it and not look super overweight, but I knew I had to make a change.
Although I didn't know it as 'clean eating' at the time, I began shifting my perceptions about food. I discovered fruits and vegetables that I'd never tried before, taught myself to cook, and completely fell in love with making delicious, healthy meals for my family. By the time I returned to Canada for university in 2006, I'd lost 70lbs, cleaned up my diet, rediscovered my passion for exercise, and I've never looked back since.
So what's this magical clean eating thing all about?
It's simple, really.
It's about eating real, wholesome foods in their most natural state.
It's about avoiding refined, processed products that have had the nutrients stripped right out of them in favour of excess sugar, sodium, and artificial ingredients.
It's about crowding those nutritionally devoid foods out with vibrant fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains healthy fats, and plenty of H20.
It's about slowing down to enjoy every bite, rather than inhaling bites mindlessly, which can lead to weight gain.
It's about using food to fuel your body, rather than to numb stress or fill an emotional hole inside of you.And is it difficult to do? Not at all! As long as you know what to look for, clean eating can be super simple. While other short-term, fad eating plans require you to weigh your food, count your calories, cut out all treats, and otherwise feel absolutely miserable, clean eating is more of a lifestyle. It's one that I've been living for several years now and I can honestly say I've never felt better.
Mango and Edamame Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
by Angela Simpson
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (2 meal-sized servings)
- 1 cup cooked white navy beans
- 1 cup thawed shelled edamame
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced mango
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a few pinches of chili flakes (optional)
- 4 cups mixed greens, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Dice the bell peppers into small pieces and add them to a large bowl with the edamame, white navy beans, parsley, and mango pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle it over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Add chili flakes if using and stir to combine.
Divide greens evenly between two plates and scoop the salad on top of them.
Note: For the best flavour, allow the salad to sit out at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving.If you want to make this salad ahead of in a big batch (which means not having to prep meals later in the week - you clever one, you!), store it in a separate container from the mixed greens. This way, the greens won't get soggy and you can simply add the salad on top when you're ready to eat
If this post has motivated you even just a little bit to swap some of the junk in your diet with more nutritious, healthy options, I'd love for you to check out my new e-book, Living the Whole Foods Lifestyle: A Complete System for Fast (Clean!) Food. In this resource, I'll let you in on my secrets for saving time in the kitchen while also maintaining a clean eating lifestyle. You'll also receive templates for meal planning and shopping lists, and 13 tasty recipes that are 100% squeaky clean.