Clean Eating: It’s Just Tofu, Dirt And Water

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Clean Eating: It's Just Tofu, Dirt And Water

Yep, that’s what clean eating is. It has no flavor, no wiggle room for life to happen, and it’s certainly not anything you can survive on past a 5 lb. weight loss. I mean, who eats this rabbit food anyway???

I’m SOOOOOO kidding!

I promise, it’s NOT just tofu, dirt and water. Quite the opposite. Clean eating foods are bursting, not only with nutrients, but also with flavor! And learning to live a clean eating lifestyle is bursting with all kinds of new lessons, tips and tricks for healthy living.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I sometimes don’t take my own advice. I type up a post like this one, publish it, and forget I wrote it 2 minutes later while I’m noshing on a piece of dark chocolate. But hey, at least it’s dark chocolate, right?

The truth is, living “the clean life” is full of “bumps in the road”. In my last Clean Eating 101 post, I mentioned that it’s unreasonable to be 100% perfect, 100% of the time, and I meant that. But I’m not striving for perfection. I’m striving for health, and good health comes from what you do the majority of the time. That means that, even in a clean eating lifestyle, there is room for those “bumps”. The trick is to be sure you’re not hitting them on a daily basis!

So what are some of the tips and tricks I use to get and stay on track? Well, let me tell you…

SET REASONABLE GOALS. It’s so easy in the beginning of a weight loss journey to dream about losing 100 lbs (my goal was/is 114 lbs!), or some other big number. All you can think of is that final goal, and you attack it like a famished hyena with some crazy crash diet. Hitting the gym 7 days a week, eating carrots and celery sticks, feeling hungry all day, and convincing yourself that you are loving every minute of it. But we all know that lasts about 2 days…. maybe 3. Then, you’re back to Haagen Daz and Cheez Its. That’s where the reasonable goals come in. Perhaps you’ll focus on a 2 lb. loss for the week, or month. Maybe you’ll focus on getting 5-6 meals in your busy day. Or maybe, your goal will be to eat a clean dinner every night this week. Whatever you decide, make it achievable, because that’s really the only way we accomplish significant change in our lives.


Click here and print out this goal setting worksheet.
Fill it out and tape it where you can see it every day.



EAT FREQUENTLY. This is such a challenge for so many people. Maybe you can’t even begin to imagine what you would pack in a cooler or lunch box to ensure those 5-6 meals a day. Either you are too busy to figure it out, or it just seems so overwhelming that you avoid it all together. So what do you do? You cook a “typical” day of food, meaning 3, normal-sized meals. Now, set them out in front of you on the kitchen counter, and divide them in half. Presto! 6 meals for the day. Just spread them out by 2-1/2 to 3 hours during your day, and all you did was create those normal 3 meals you’re so accustomed to.


Click here and print out this goal setting worksheet.
Fill it out and tape it where you can see it every day.


DEFINE YOUR OWN RULES. Yes, clean eating has a certain set of rules. But they are very flexible and can be molded to fit most lifestyles. So you then have to decide what will work for you. Will you stop eating at 7pm every evening? Will you make it a point to avoid certain foods (foods you are sensitive to or that trigger a certain response)? Will you try one new or exotic food every week or month to keep the variety in your eating plan? Think about what will and what won’t work in your life right now. Then define your rules. What are they?


Click here and print out this goal setting worksheet.
Fill it out and tape it where you can see it every day.


Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.

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Who me?
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
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  1. This is JUST what I needed for April 1, after falling off the “clean” wagon for the past week, thanks Tiffany! It’s a new month, a new season, and time to set some new goals! 🙂

    1. Krista – Good for you!! Get re motivated. Set new goals! You can do this! Go girl!

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more! The idea that all we clean eaters are consuming is styrofoam (NOT clean by the way!) and water is rediculous. I love clean eating, and so does my body! And yes, I also agree that 100% isn’t for most people, including me. Even Tosca the EC guru has unclean things occasionally! As you said, it’s all about balance. Clean eaters unite!

    1. Amacuba – Well put! As the saying goes, everything in moderation!

  3. Just think of all the yummy things that grow in the dirt. Mmmm.

    1. Jodi – You said it sister!! Yum yum!

  4. I have just recently joined the clean eating brigade. We are not completely switched over yet, but man….the stuff we have done (mostly from the Clean Eating Magazine) has been incredible tasting and bursting with flavor. I love it. We are definitely cooking out of the magazine 3-4 times a week and it feels good to be doing something amazing for our bodies. Now…if only spring would get here and bring me some GOOD local produce I would be so happy.

    1. Charisse – Welcome to clean eating! You’re gonna love it! (And I totally understand about the produce thing. Can’t wait for the local farmers market to open here!)

  5. I just recently found your blog and now want to implement clean eating into my family’s diet. Your steps sound very doable but I’ve got a very picky husband who won’t eat very many fruit and/or vegetables. I’m hoping when I try some of your recipes, it will convert him. I think the best to do this is to let the evidence speak for itself(the food!). We both need to loose poundage. Here’s hoping that I see some results not only in weight loss but also in feeling better!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      You will. Just don’t make a big production of the switch. Just treat it like a regular meal and see if he even notices. Start with something like chicken and dumplings. That has some veggies, but it’s something most guys really like.

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