The Happy Healthy Hunny 2-Week Clean Eating Reset

Overview

What is clean eating? There are a lot of opinions on what “clean” food really is, but to me it means eating things that either

  1. are a plant,
  2. grew from a plant,
  3. ate a plant,
  4. ate something that ate a plant, or
  5. are products of either 3 or 4 – meaning something like milk.

Basically, not eating things that were made in an industrial plant.

The Clean Eating Reset is designed to help you start kicking cravings to sugar and processed foods so that you have an easier time sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Once sugar and nutrient-deficient processed foods are in our bodies, we want more and more of them. The only way to kick the cravings is to let these foods (or I should say “foods”) pass through your system so that your body forgets about them and no longer craves them. Processed foods and sugar are truly a drug designed to be addictive and need to be treated as such.

Why 2 weeks? Because two weeks is a time frame that you’re likely to stick to. A 30-day clean eating program can seem really daunting and big challenges that we’re not used to doing often lead us to feeling overwhelmed and then self-sabotaging ourselves. This doesn’t mean that you can’t keep going past the two weeks, but I do think you’ll have an easier time staying committed to the reset by starting with two weeks.

I’m also including tips and challenges for self-care because cleaning out negative thoughts from your mind is really important to living a healthy lifestyle. The vast majority of our unhealthy habits and choices stem from a negative emotion and if you can turn those emotions around and/or learn how to cope with them in healthier ways, you’ll see a huge turnaround in your physical health.

Thank you for trying out my Clean Eating Reset and congratulations on making a decision to work towards a happier and healthier You!

Clean Food List

Vegetables:

  • All vegetables are clean if they come fresh or frozen!

Proteins:

  • Meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and wild game
  • Fish such as tuna, haddock, salmon, and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Natural protein powders derived from plants, like the Vega brand
  • Nuts do have protein, but are considered more of a fat source
  • Beans do have protein, but are considered more of a carb source
  • Note: Foods like chicken nuggets and fish sticks do not count as “clean” because even though they started as a clean food, they were processed in an industrial plant. Keep proteins as close to their natural source as possible, unless it’s a ground meat product with no additives

Fats:

  • Nuts- raw, dry roasted, and/or salted are all OK
  • Nut spreads – with no additives like sugar
  • Seeds – such as Chia and Flax
  • Egg yolk
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil & Coconut Oil
  • Animal fat
  • Whole Fat: Butter & Milk & Greek Yogurt (limit dairy intake)

Carbs:

  • Fruit – just like vegetables, they’re clean fresh or frozen!
  • Potatoes – regular or sweet
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Oats (minimally processed)
  • Whole Grains (limit as much as possible)

Beverages:

  • Water – lots of it!
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Fresh-squeezed fruit & vegetable juice
  • Coconut, Almond, and other nut milks are all clean if there are no additives

Self-Care

Tips:

  • Work on having a positive mindset focused “I can do this and whatever else I set my mind to”
  • Replace criticisms of yourself with compliments
  • Surround yourself with people who bring you positivity instead of negativity and lift you up instead of put you down
  • Smile at yourself whenever you look in the mirror to build confidence and self-love
  • Take time for yourself to do things you enjoy to remind yourself that your needs are a priority
  • Focus on your health and how you feel rather than how you look
  • Stick to physical activities you actually enjoy so that exercise doesn’t feel like a punishment or something you “have to do”
  • Always focus on the things you have accomplished instead of the goals you have not reached
  • Have the courage to follow your intuition and to follow the paths that you know are right for you, rather than letting other people guide your life. It will limit feelings of helplessness and build more self-confidence.

Challenges:

  • During the reset, have at least 80% of your meals be home-cooked, even if they were cooked at someone else’s home or by someone else.
  • Over the two weeks, set aside time for physical activity at least 6 times. It can be going to the gym, doing a workout at home, going for a walk around the neighborhood, or anything else that gets you moving. Make sure to only pick activities you enjoy!
  • Over the two weeks, set aside time for meditation at least 2 times. It can be as little as 5 minutes in total silence or listening to a soothing song and connecting with what you are feeling in the moment. Or it can be a longer guided meditation directed towards a goal you have.
  • Make a list of the ways you want to feel as a new “goals” list instead of one that is appearance-based and keep that somewhere you can look at whenever you’re feeling discourage or un-motivated.
  • Every time you criticize yourself or someone else makes a criticism of you, give yourself 3 compliments to negate the criticism.

What are your favorite clean eating recipes and favorite things to do for self-care? Comment below or on the Facebook post!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley


5 Simple Ways to Build Self-Love

Self-love is the most important part of living a happy – and healthy – life. It’s what gives you the confidence and strength to fight for the life you deserve surrounded by others who empower you instead of one filled with self-doubt surrounded by people who tear you down further. Self-love doesn’t mean you can’t love others and they can’t love you. It means that you love yourself so fully that you are able to love others selflessly and that other people’s love of you is simply a bonus rather than the determining factor of your happiness.

Self-love is knowing that you are worth all of the beautiful things in life you desire and having the courage to get them for yourself.

But building self-love can be tough. We live in a world that constantly makes us aware of our “flaws”.  It tells us we’re not smart enough. We’re not thin enough. We’re not pretty enough. We’re not good enough. It’s up to you to break through all of that negative noise and convince yourself that are good enough.

Here are simple things you can do on a daily basis to improve your self-love:

  1. Smile at yourself whenever you look in a mirror. This is honestly the easiest and most impactful way to build self-love. Think about the warm fuzzies you feel when someone else smiles at you. You have the power to give those feelings to yourself whenever you smile in a mirror. It’s a silent way of saying “I like you. You are worth kindness.” And the best part is that those feelings or worth are coming from yourself, making other people’s opinions of you unimportant.
  2. Accept compliments from other people. How often does someone compliment you and your response is to negate that compliment whether out loud to that person or in your own head? Imagine the difference it would make in your self-esteem to believe the compliments you get instead of always putting yourself down.
  3. Take time for self-care. Most of us are guilty of making the other people in our life our priority and never taking the time to put ourselves first. It’s so important to take “me time” to do something good for yourself. Whether that’s getting a massage, getting your nails done, doing an at-home spa night, taking your favorite spin class, quietly reading a great book, or binge-watching your favorite TV show. As long as it’s something YOU want to do that makes YOU happy, do it! It’s a simple way to remind yourself that your needs are just as important as everyone else’s.
  4. Stand up for yourself. This one is a bit more challenging and uncomfortable to do at first, but it is so worth it. Think about the people in your life who push you around and make you feel bad about yourself. Now imagine standing up to those people and preventing them from putting you down. It can be scary standing up to someone, especially if they are in a position “above” you such as a boss or parent, but allowing someone to insult you or push you around on a regular basis can have a huge negative impact on your self-worth and the sooner you stop their behavior, the sooner you’ll feel better about yourself.
  5. Make a list of everything you like about yourself. Once you start your list, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it will grow! It may start out as just a few things, but over time that list will grow as your self-love grows. You can either keep a running list on a piece of paper or you can put sticky notes somewhere in your home that you’ll see every day so you’ll have a constant reminder of all of the great things about you. Imagine the impact of combatting the negative messages you receive every day from the outside world with your own positive words about yourself. Now that’s self-empowerment!

Do you have other ways to improve your self-love? Share them in the comments either on my site or Facebook page!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley


The Best Cardio for Weight Loss

There are some inexplainable people out there who actually enjoy cardio and do it for fun, but I’ve found that when most people step onto a treadmill it’s for one thing only: weight loss.

There are plenty of debates out there of what the best method of cardio is to burn fat and the one I believe most in is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). That means raising your heart rate up, dropping it back down, and doing it all over again. You can either set up a weight training circuit for a HIIT workout or simply do it on a piece of cardio equipment. I much prefer cardio equipment to going outside for a HIIT-style workout because it’s a lot easier to track what you’re doing in terms of resistance, speed, time, and intensity.

Since this article is titled “the best cardio for weight loss” we’re going to just talk about cardio and save weight training for weight loss for another time. (Although I did write an article just under this one on the Fitness tab about the benefits of weight training that mention weight loss).

So why is HIIT such a great way to burn fat? Well, raising your heart rate and dropping it back down repeatedly over short periods of time will actually boost your metabolism long after your workout is over. So instead of spending an hour at a moderate steady pace doing cardio, you can spend 15-30 minutes at a high intensity and end up burning more calories and fat over time. Think about all you can do with that extra 30-45 minutes! Like adding in some weight training for those of you don’t *wink* *wink*. Or snuggled up on the couch having more time for a Netflix binge. The choice is yours.

What does HIIT look like in cardio form? Sprints! What qualifies as a sprint? Hitting roughly 75% or greater of your max heart rate. An easy way to guestimate of your max heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. There are lots of variations to that equation, but all of them will get you in the same ball park. Most cardio equipment will have hand sensors so you can keep track of your heart rate while you’re working out.

Now that we know sprints are the way to go and what qualifies as a sprint, the only thing left to discuss is timing. That means how long you should be at your sprint pace to raise your heart rate and how long you should be at your low/moderate pace to drop your heart rate. And the wonderful answer is that you can totally accommodate your interval times to your cardiovascular strength levels and your general preferences. So, someone without a lot of cardiovascular strength may be more comfortable starting at an interval timing of 30 seconds “on” (or sprinting) and 1 minute 30 seconds “off” (or at the lower speed). You can eventually work up to making your “on” and “off” times even, for instance doing 1 minute each. The idea is to take just enough time to catch your breath and gear up for the next sprint without totally relaxing and going into a cool down.

Play around with your intervals and see what gives you the best workout for the level you’re at! The beautiful thing about sprints is that you can always be adjusting them as far as timing, speed, and equipment so you never have to get bored and your body never gets a chance to adjust. If you have any specific sprinting questions, please leave them in the comments either here on my site or on my Facebook page and I’m happy to answer them 🙂

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley