Clean Eating

ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach

 Clean eating brings a whole new lifestyle to the table for most people.  The benefits of eating clean are clear, as you will clean out your system and eat simply the good stuff for your body.  The great part about this method of eating compared to IIFYM (Macro Counting) is that you won’t have to count your calories.  What you eat in portions are designed to fit in the palm of your hand.  Before you go any further, check out the below bullet points to decide if this is a route you can change your lifestyle to.  Not bad, really, not bad at all!

  • Eat six times each day, three meals and two – three snacks
  • Use portion control. One handful or fist-sized protein, one handful or fist-sized carbohydrate, and limitless vegetables!
  • Balance your meals. Make sure you have a protein (lean meats, poultry, fish, or even eggs), a carbohydrate (whole grains or fruit), and as many vegetables as possible in every meal.
  • Consume a cleansing smoothie every day. Remember, this satisfies the “raw” ingredient.
  • Consume three “raw” vegetable or nut components every day. Don’t cook it, steam it, fry it, grill it, or boil it!
  • STRICTLY LIMIT PROCESSED FOODS! Don’t eat anything that comes in a can, or has a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  • Consume all natural sugars, but not too many. Think agave.
  • Consume whole grains, not the white stuff. Quinoa, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc.
  • Limit dairy to ten servings per week. Use these any way you want…in your coffee, on your salad, whatever.
  • Consume organic and or free-range lean meat and poultry.

Make ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Your Lifestyle

Our focus at ASCENT is to provide members and clients with a healthy lifestyle for the long-term. This includes an awesome workout experience for every level of fitness participant, as well as the nutritional guidance to reach goals. No matter your goal – weight loss, building muscle, running distance – appropriate nutrition fuels the body, so you can kick butt in the gym, or while running outside, ice skating, walking to the bar…whatever!

The ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach, approved by a registered dietitian, is all about good nutrition. No rush, this is a life-long habit worth having.

Benefits of Clean Eating

The ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach is all about eating the most natural, unprocessed, nutrient rich, and healthful foods. Clean eating can be taken to the extreme by eating 100% raw, and extremists only eat what they can grow themselves. That’s not possible for most people.

The ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach offers benefits of clean eating, such as weight loss, increased energy, stabilized mood, and healthy skin, hair, and eyes. This plan will aid in an overall sense of liveliness without leaving you feeling overwhelmed by what to eat or not to eat. The ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach promotes weight loss by jumpstarting your metabolism, while getting you vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, natural sugars, and all the other necessary nutrients the body needs to keep calories in check.

Ten ASCENT-ial Ingredients

  1. Eat Six Times A Day
  2. Control Portions
  3. Balance Meals and Snacks
  4. Drink a Daily Green Smoothie
  5. Eat 3 Raw Vegetables or Nuts
  6. Limit Processed Junk
  7. Eat Sweet, Naturally
  8. Consume Whole Grains
  9. Limit Dairy Products
  10. Eat Organic Lean Meats


 

First ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Eat Six Times a Day

 Regulating your metabolism is key to melting fat, maintaining and regulating blood sugar, and energizing the body throughout the day. We suggest an eating schedule consisting of three meals and three snacks every day, two – three hours apart in order of “meal, snack, meal, snack, meal, snack.”

 Tony the Trainer’s Tips – I know. It’s hard to consider bringing a snack to work. But is it? Really? People get smoke breaks all the time, so maybe you should get an apple with natural peanut butter break. Just sayin.

Second ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Control Portions

 Anything consumed in excess, whether it is healthy or not, is converted to fat because your body simply doesn’t use it. An understimulated metabolism also causes the body to hold onto fat. Think of this as starvation mode. The body says “Hey, if you’re not going to eat enough, then I’m going to slow down my digestion, so I can save some of those good calories and survive.” Both of these scenarios want to be avoided.

Since meals and snacks will be consumed on a more consistent basis, serving size plays a crucial role. A serving size for every food group, except olive oil and condiments, should be the size of your fist or fit in the palm of your hand. This is roughly a true serving size for most foods, and it’s a “handy” measurement tool.

Vegetables are limitless. They’re good for the body and proper digestion. Eat all you want!

 

Third ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Balance Meals and Snacks

 Eating balanced meals will keep glucose from spiking, which causes excess fat storage, and it provides your body with the essential nutrition throughout the day. Each meal consists of a handful serving of protein (meat, poultry, fish, or eggs) a handful portion of carbohydrate (whole grains or fruit), and limitless vegetables.

 Snacks can be a handful portion of a carbohydrate or protein or a piece of fruit. Snacks are one to one and a half servings. Here are some good examples:

  • Handful of almonds
  • Small apple and two Tbsp. of all natural peanut butter
  • Carrot sticks and two Tbsp. of hummus
  • A piece of fruit

Fourth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Drink a Daily Green Sludge Smoothie

 Thinking it’s hard to get all those veggies and fruits in a day? A Green Sludge Smoothie is one of the best and most efficient ways to get nutrients directly to the cells, while also cleansing the system. What constitutes as a Green Sludge Smoothie? Well, it’s easy, and all you need is something to blend these fantastic ingredients. Here are the basics:

  • 3 – 4 vegetables of your choice
  • 1 – 4 fruits of your choice
  • Water and/or ice cubes
  • No added protein
  • No Milk Products
  • No Added Sweeteners

Heads up – it looks like sludge, but it tastes like happiness! We suggest these ingredients, fresh or frozen: kale, spinach, cucumbers, parsley, pineapple, apples, berries, bananas, and kiwi.

Fifth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Eat Three Raw Vegetables or Nuts Every Day

 By raw we mean completely raw, not heated, steamed, boiled, or grilled. Do not eat it from a can, bag, or freezer (unless it’s fruit). Raw foods include fresh produce and nuts that have not been roasted or salted. Go crazy on the serving size for vegetables. If eating nuts, keep the serving size to one handful because too much of something great like nuts adds too much fat to a nutrition plan. One green sludge smoothie satisfies this daily ASCENT-ial Ingredient.

Suggested raw components are the Cleansing Smoothie, carrots and hummus, green salad, a handful of raw almonds, and any raw vegetable.

Sixth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Limit Processed Junk

Why would you want to keep putting “junk” in your body? You know, the kind of stuff that can clean a car engine but also wakes you up during a long day at work? If it cleans rust off of a car wheel imagine what it does to your insides!

What’s processed junk? A processed food is any food that has been chemically altered through the following: flavor enhancers, binders, colors, fillers, or preservatives. We understand that with the busy lifestyles it is very hard to eliminate all processed junk. However, avoiding the below ingredients is a step in the right direction.

  • MSG
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Trans Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Bleached or Enriched White Flour
  • Nitrates
  • Artificial Sweetener (Acesulfame Potassium or Aspartame)
  • Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, or Margarine)
  • Anything that says “has been added to preserve freshness”
  • If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

Seventh ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Eat Sweet, Naturally

Enjoy the sweet life; just make sure you do it the natural way! White or refined sugar is one of the most addictive “foods” out there. You can even go as far to compare it to cocaine…Yes, cocaine. Just google it.

Many people try to limit refined sugars by using artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Equal to keep the sweet, but lose the calories. The problem with artificial sweeteners, however, is that they have been shown to increase the craving for sweets! Put simply, sugar and artificial sweeteners are a no-go. Try natural sweeteners like agave nectar and natural honey, but stick to the serving size, and only eat them one time per day.

Eighth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Consume Whole Grains

A 2011 Archives of Internal Medicine study suggests that eating more whole grains lengthens our lives by reducing risks of cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases. Lengthen your life by eating more whole grains. Whole grains supply energy.

Here’s a list of the whole grains you can enjoy, and remember, a serving size is about as big as your fist.

  • Quinoa
    • Whole Grain Pasta
    • Whole Grain Bread
    • Oats
    • Barley
    • Brown Rice
    • Whole Grain Couscous

Ninth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Limit Dairy Products

One of the main reasons to limit dairy is because it is hard for our bodies to digest. There is no “reason” we need to consume dairy products. Dark green leafy vegetables supply all the calcium we need. Add onto that a calcium chew, or a multi vitamin, and you’re set! Try on life without milk for a couple weeks, and your tummy might thank you for it. You might find alternative milk options, like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, coconut almond milk, or soymilk, easier to digest.

We understand, however, that dairy is a large part of life, especially in the cheese head state, so we ask that you enjoy dairy in moderation. Limit dairy products to less than ten servings each week to satisfy this ASCENT-ial Ingredient.

Careful – the “handy” measurement tool will not work on dairy. A serving of dairy is one cup cows milk or yogurt or one ounce cheese. An ounce of cheese is a cube about the size of two regular dice.

Tenth ASCENT-ial Ingredient – Eat Organic and Free Range, Lean Meats

Organic is more expensive, and, at times, it’s hard to find. However, nonorganic meats contain growth hormones and antibiotics. This is a guide to The ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach, not the “Growth Hormone and Pesticide Eating” plan. Choose lower fat options, like poultry and lean meats. Low fat options are:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Lean Beef Roasts or Loins
  • Bison
  • Elk
  • Venison
  • Salmon
  • Tuna

That’s the basics, and that’s what will get you into a clean eating, healthy lifestyle for the long-term. Focus on these ten ingredients, and you’ll slowly make clean eating a habit.

 

ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach Q & A

 What about coffee? I need my Joe! Drink up to two cups of coffee per day, and use only natural creamer, like good dairy or almond milk.

Why am I thirsty? That’s because we didn’t mention water. Drink a bunch of water. Three liters for men or two and half liters for women daily!

What if I’m not full? Add flax or chia seeds to any meal or drink. These seeds are plant-based proteins that contain Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They expand in your body and food if you let them sit long enough, which will take up space in your stomach, sustaining satiety. Add chia or flax seeds to a glass of water, or anything you eat, to add a little extra bulk. It helps you stay full, and if that doesn’t work or you want a little something different, add a cup of tea to your meal.

What about ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, peanut butter, salad dressing, and all the other things that make my food taste good? Read the back of packages to see that many condiments contain ingredients qualifying them as processed, junk food. Gross. Believe it or not, you can make condiments at home naturally, or buy them natural.

What about potatoes and corn? Bag the potatoes. Stick to sweet potatoes, which are delicious baked or grilled. Corn can be a whole grain, as long as it’s prepared healthfully, and remember your fist-sized portion control.

 What Else Can I Do To Be Awesome? Add a multivitamin for extra daily dietary needs, a Probiotic to help repair the good bacteria’s in your body, and a Calcium and Vitamin D Chew for your bones, skin, and energy. It’s like letting the sun shine on you in a cloudy state.

 

ASCENT-ials Clean Eating Approach – A Week in the Life

Day 1

7:00am

  • Eggs
    • 1 whole egg + 2-3 egg whites
    • Green sludge cleansing smoothie

9:00am

  • Handful of almonds

11:30am

  • Chicken salad
    • 1 serving of chicken
    • 2-3 servings of lettuce
    • 1/3 cup cucumber slices
    • 2 Tbsp. salad dressing of your choice (TIP – mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a tasty, natural dressing!)
    •  Whole grain roll

2:30pm

  • Carrots and 2 Tbsp. hummus

5:30pm

  • Hand-sized piece of tilapia
  • Whole grain pasta
    • Serving of whole grain pasta
    • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
    • 1.5 Tbsp. of feta cheese
    • Thyme, garlic, basil, pepper
    • 1-2 servings of broccoli

8:30pm

  • Small apple and 2 Tbsp. of all natural peanut butter

Day 2

 7:00am

  • Toast and eggs
    • 1 piece of whole grain toast
    • 2 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter
    • 1 egg + 2-3 egg whites
    • 1 ounce of cheddar cheese

9:30am

  • Cleansing Smoothie

12:30pm

  • Stir fry
    • 2 cups frozen or fresh vegetables
    • ¼ cup quinoa
    • 2 tbs. low sodium stir fry sauce
    • 2 tsp. soy sauce
    • Serving of chicken

3:00pm

  • Handful of almonds

5:30pm

  • Salad
    • 2-3 servings lettuce
    • ¼ cup cucumbers
    • 2 Tbsp. salad dressing of your choice
    • 1 small sweet potato
    • 1 serving of lean meat (chicken, shrimp, fish)

8:30pm

  • 1 serving dark chocolate (85% or more coco)
  • 1 serving all natural popcorn

Day 3

 8:00am

  • Oatmeal
    • ½ cup oatmeal
    • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
    • Make with almond or coconut milk for added flavor
    • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
    • Banana

10:30am

  • Handful of almonds

12:30pm

  • Cleansing smoothie
  • Turkey sandwich
    • 2 pieces whole grain bread
    • 1 serving turkey
    • 2 tbs. mustard
    • Lettuce
    • Tomato
    • ½ piece cheese

3:00pm

  • Veggies and hummus (optional)

 5:30pm

  • Whole grain pasta
    • 1 serving whole grain pasta
    • 1 serving chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tbs. olive oil
    • All the extra spices you can think of!
    • Frozen or fresh asparagus
    • Lean meat of your choice

 8:30pm

  • Celery + peanut butter dip (2 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp. raisins

Day 4

 7:00am

  • 6 Layer Egg Bake (see ASCENT-ials recipes)
    • Quinoa
    • Eggs
    • Chicken sausage
    • Spinach
    • Mushrooms
    • Havarti cheese

10:30am

  • Orange

 12:30pm

  • Chicken salad
    • 1 serving of chicken
    • 2-3 servings of lettuce
    • 1/3 cup cucumber slices
    • 2 tbs. salad dressing of your choice
    •  Whole grain roll

 3:30pm

  • Strawberries + handful of almonds

 6:30pm

  • Piece of Salmon
  • Whole grain pasta
    • Serving of whole grain pasta
    • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
    • 1.5 Tbsp. of feta cheese
    • Thyme, garlic, basil, pepper
    • 1-2 servings of broccoli

 8:30pm

  • Greek yogurt

Day 5

7:00am

  • Cleansing smoothie
  • Eggs
    • 1 egg + 2-3 egg whites

 10:00am

  • Handful of pistachios

12:30pm

  • Stir Fry
    • 2 cups frozen or fresh vegetables
    • ¼ cup quinoa
    • 2 tbs. low sodium stir fry sauce
    • 2 tsp. soy sauce

 3:00pm

  • Carrots and hummus

 6:00pm

  • Turkey burger
    • 1 serving 97/3 ground turkey
    • 1 whole grain bun (optional)
    • 2 tbs. all natural ketchup
    • Salad
      • 2-3 servings of lettuce
      • 1/3 cup cucumber slices
      • 2 tbs. salad dressing of your choice

 8:30pm

  • Apple + peanut butter dip

 

Day 6

7:00am

  • Smoothie
    • Banana
    • 1 serving of berries
    • ¼ cup oats
    • 1 cup milk alternative

 9:30am

  • Handful of Cashews

 11:30am

  • Salad
    • 2-3 servings of lettuce
    • 1/3 cup cucumber slices
    • 2 tbs. salad dressing of your choice
    • Other vegetables can always be added!
    • Tuna
      • Can of tuna in water

 2:30pm

  • Orange

5:30pm

  • Tacos
    • Chicken or 97/3 ground turkey
    • 2 small or 1 large Whole grain tortilla shells
    • Healthy adds – one serving of cheddar, lettuce, olives, guacamole, salsa, black beans, light sour cream, etc.
    • 2 alcoholic drinks – counts towards point

7:30pm

  • Dessert of choice – counts towards points

 

Day 7

8:00am

  • Whole grain pancakes + berries

11:30am

  • Cleansing smoothie

 3:00pm

  • Handful of almonds

 5:30pm

  • Veggie lasagna
  • Whole grain garlic bread
  • Salad
    • 2-3 servings of lettuce
    • 1/3 cup cucumber slices
    • 2 Tbsp. salad dressing of your choice

 8:30pm

  • Dessert of your choice – counts towards points

BAM!  That’s Clean Eating at it’s finest.  Once you have decided if IIFYM or Clean Eating fits your lifestyle better, off to the races we go!

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