Jump Start starting…

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is ready to ring in the new year!  Here’s a quickie from my instagram account to sum up how our holiday went…

christmas2014

Sutton was shouting for joy at all the gifts!


This weekend starts my 7-Day Jump Start.  What is that?  A week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and snacks, plus a grocery list to start 2015 off CLEAN!  And, all this planning for only $12.

Here is the welcome letter I sent out to those that have already signed up…

Welcome!

Congratulations on taking the first step in starting your new year off on a “clean” foot.  I created this plan with moms in mind- maximum nutritional values with minimum prep time.  You will probably be spending a little more time in the kitchen; however, I hope you’ll find this type of eating well worth a little more prep time.  I’m also hoping you’ll discover some new combinations, as well as set good examples for your children. 

My philosophy

I believe in eating whatever we want… just the clean version. I don’t think we should deprive ourselves of anything, but rather get creative with finding clean ways of eating it.

Why should we eat clean? Our bodies know what to do with real food.  It is stored correctly and our body functions like a well oiled machine.  When we introduce preservatives to our body, it doesn’t know what to do.  It stores those unnatural things as fat. This is why merely eating clean can cause you to lose weight, not counting calories or consuming low fat/low calorie foods made of artificial things.

Eating the clean way

In addition to eating real foods, like our bodies were made to handle, we also need to fuel our bodies like nature intended. We were originally hunters and gatherers.  We didn’t have buffets or all you can eat diners.  Our bodies were crafted to eat small amounts at regular intervals.  This is why I promote a “6 small meals a day” plan.  This revs up your metabolism throughout the day and, although you may actually be eating more calories, you will be burning more.

When we go 3+ hours without eating, our metabolism slows, as well as our energy.  Eat every 3 or so hours and you are one “calorie burning machine” all day.  Now, this doesn’t mean go eat everything in sight, it means your regular portion sizes, just stretched out over more meals.  I have included pictures of portion sizes to help you learn how much you really need to eat.

Even though I only give you meal recipes, pack my suggested snacks with you and munch every 3 or so hours. You’ll find you eat less at meal times. It all balances out!

Fitting the plan in

The plan can be worked into your family’s lifestyle a couple different ways. 

Take it exactly as it is.  Buy exactly what’s on the grocery list and make the meals as the calendar suggests. 

Read through the recipe options and create your own grocery list and calendar based on what you know your family will enjoy

Try a week of just breakfasts, then a week of just lunches and then just dinners

Pick one breakfast and lunch you love all week and create new dinners each night

Try one new recipe a week, etc.

Prep

This feature is nothing more than a suggestion to do the weekend, night or even morning before the meal is consumed to help speed up the process.  I typically prep dinner during my children’s nap time.  Take an hour or so over the weekend, start tomorrow’s dinner while you are already cooking tonight’s, or even get it done before the family wakes each morning.  Prep is not mandatory, but can make that crazy 5-6PM time much easier.

Calendar

This is merely a suggestion on when to serve each meal.  Recipes that require more prep are strategically placed on weekends, when you (possibly) have more time.  More involved dinner recipes are paired with much quicker sides.  My suggestion would be to look over the entire week’s worth of meals and rearrange the calendar to make it fit into your lifestyle.  Days you know are rushed, make the quicker options.

Recipes

It can be very easy to eat clean- grab yourself a bag of frozen veggies and spice up some organic meats or eggs and viola.  My go-to meals are steaming a bag of frozen vegetable blend and serving with salmon and quinoa spiced with curry.  It literally takes 10 minutes to make.  If you find yourself in a pinch, try something like this- vegetable (frozen bag) + protein (salmon) + complex carb (quinoa).

For this week, I wanted to make it a little more interesting and throw you some things you have maybe never tried before- meaning you may be in the kitchen a little longer.  If you feel overwhelmed by all the recipes, look back at the “fitting the plan” in section and choose a more appropriate option.

Grocery List

The grocery list takes the suggested meals verbatim.  That includes all the primary suggested pairings.  My advice would be to sit down before grocery shopping and determine which pairings you would like and add/delete things from the original grocery list.  Remember, try everything once!  But, if you are absolutely certain you’re going to hate something, cross it off your list.

Breakfasts and lunches are catered to you- mostly 1 serving.  Dinners are for your entire family, so adjust the serving size as needed and update your grocery list.  Desserts are not included on the meal plan or grocery list, but try a few out.  Clean eating doesn’t mean leaving out treats!

I do not usually write specific brands of food items, as you need to learn what your

family likes.  My favorite all-natural brands include Whole Foods 365, Kroger’s Simple Truth, Martin/Giant’s Nature’s Promise and Annie’s. 

For this clean eating week (and hopefully beyond), I would highly recommend sticking to organic meats and dairy products and buying absolutely everything canned or bottled “all-natural.”  I would also suggest buying only the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and veggies as organic (apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, berries and sweet bell peppers). This may mean shopping at different grocery stores.  For local moms, you may need Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Ellwood Thompson’s.  It may require extra travel.  Just plan other activities around those areas and know you are giving your famiIy QUALITY food.

Finally, for the vegans/vegetarians out there, try buying Non-GMO soy products.  While soy has great benefits, it is also becoming overproduced and processed. Get all the goodies in it by making sure you are eating REAL soy products. 

This costs so much more!

Yes, this form of eating means spending a little more money, but also saving some on healthcare in the long run.  Unfortunately, farmers must pay a fee to put the “organic” label on their products, while those using unnatural procedures do not.  Seems backwards, but that’s a whole different conversation to have!

Animals, veggies and fruits raised in an organic-certified environment retain the nutrients nature intended them to have.  When we feed animals and plants things they aren’t supposed to be eating (like cows corn) and force them to live how they don’t naturally (chickens in cages), their nutrient levels significantly drop.  So, even though you THINK you are getting all these important nutrients, you are getting ripped off.  Stop getting ripped off!  Give it a go this week, remember, it’s your challenge!  But, to save money, search for store-brand organic products or buy bulk.

I highly recommend taking a field trip to the grocery store during this challenge.  Walk through the natural aisle and check out all the new things there.  If you live locally, I’d be happy to join you!

Happy New Year and new eating!

Emma


If you haven’t signed up, please fill in the contact information below and get in on the party.

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2 thoughts on “Jump Start starting…

  1. Tina Muir says:

    Awww what a great idea Emma! This sounds like it would be so helpful for those who need a little help! You are so right,it is well worth paying a little now, to save a lot later (and feel better of course!) By the way, love the family photo 🙂

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