This is a guest blog post from Michelle Cartmel, health and wellness coach for Highway to Health. If you’re not registered for the program, register for free for the Highway to Health Wrap Up!
Hello Highway to Health Members!
So glad you are back for WEEK 2, I’m thrilled that we’re onto the next phase of our journey. If you are just joining us now, welcome and thank you for being here. It’s easy to get caught up and this is a great week to do it because this week I am going to help you do something VERY IMPORTANT: Clean Up Your Cab. What does this mean? Very simply, it means I’m going to teach you how to clean up your diet, and encourage you to fuel your long rides with good foods instead of bad ones.
I’m going to provide you with tips, recipes and resources (starting with the Clean Cab Tool Kit below) that motivate you to focus on real, whole foods. I’ll help you understand why you should minimize processed foods from your diet (YES YOU CAN!), and how good you can feel when you do it. I also want to hear from you. I want to know what your hurdles are around eating a healthy diet on the road…I want to see what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so that I can help you clean things up. So don’t be shy, please share your photos or questions with me and your group on Facebook. We’re here to support you and motivate you to do your best!
I’ve developed a Clean Cab Tool Kit for you below, which has four easy steps to help you get started. But before you dig in, I want to share something with you that’s crucial to your health: The goal of clean eating isn’t just about shedding unwanted LBS., although that’s a great side effect. Bad gut health, which comes from a diet high in processed foods, added sugars and sodium and bad fats, contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition, scientists have found that gut bacteria can actually affect brain function, and that poor gut health is linked to anxiety, depression and even autism. When you have a healthy gut, the healthy gut flora promotes regular digestion, protects us from infection and regulates our metabolism.
So, basically, garbage in, garbage out. Let’s get to that clean sweep and dive into a bag of carrots together, shall we?
Clean Cab Tool Kit: Four Ways to Get Started!
- Become a label reader. Many of the packaged foods that we eat are filled with added sugars, sodiums and ingredients we cannot recognize. When you read a label, don’t just look at calories and fat grams. I want you to focus on sugar and sodium too. Sugar grams convert to calories, and even though the label may promote the food as a low calorie product, those sneaky sugar grams will eventually turn up as extra weight on your frame if you are not careful. (Click here for last week’s blog post that has recommended guidelines on daily sugar/sodium consumption).
- Replace sugary drinks and diet sodas with water or seltzer or water and tea. Try and drink approximately 8 oz. glasses of water a day, if possible. If you can’t go cold turkey, start slow, reducing your soda/sugary drink intake by one serving a day. Add lemon or berries to your water for added flavor, and start your day with a full glass of water before you have your morning joe.
- Meal plan and pack your meals/snacks for the road. Anything that you prepare yourself at home will most likely be healthier and cleaner than what you can get on your road. Set yourself up for success on your next ride, and fill a cooler with vegetables, fruits, pre-grilled chicken/chicken sausages, healthy wrap sandwiches filled with veggies, turkey breast and avocado, breakfast burritos (there are some great ones available at most supermarkets now – simply pre-cook and pack).
- Go back to the basics. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be hard or expensive if you take a back to basics approach. My basic rule of thumb around clean eating; make veggies, greens, fruits, fish, lean meats and good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa the stars of your diet. Minimize packaged foods wherever possible. I understand your challenges around this while you’re on the road, so check out our Facebook group with free daily health updates this week to see the list of naughty foods to avoid and (accessible) nice ones to enjoy while you are traveling.
I’ve got so much more to share with you throughout the week, so look for me on Facebook, text me your burning questions on Text-In Tuesday and I can’t wait to hear from you this Friday on Facebook Live.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Cheers to your health, Michelle