Whole30. Paleo. Gluten-free. Vegan. No matter what diet or lifestyle you subscribe to, clean eating is a challenge — especially around the holidays. I’ve tried all kinds of diets, and I’ve come to realize that a specific set of rules doesn’t work for me longterm. If you tell me I can’t have chocolate, sourdough bread or butter, you better start running. Cause hangry Kelly might come out, and she’s fierce.

That being said, I tend to eat pretty healthy most of the time. If you look at my day-to-day eats, you’ll see mostly organic veggies and meat, with some treats packed in. I look at my food as a way to fuel my body, so the bulk of what I eat consists of things I know are good for me. Every day is different depending on my mood, but I figure I’ll share what I eat on a typical day, so you can see what works for me. And who knows, maybe it’ll work for you!

Breakfast: 2 scoops of peanut butter protein and 12 oz. of water.

Here goes. When I first wake up in the morning around 6:30, I usually combine a couple scoops of peanut butter protein powder with about 12 ounces of water. That’s it. I shake it up and drink it alongside my coffee. So delicious.

Around 9:30 or so, once I’m at the office, I’ll have a couple eggs and some bacon or a piece of avocado toast with an egg. If I add salt, pepper, garlic and a drizzle of avocado oil to the toast, forget about it. So good. Today — eggs and turkey bacon won.

I try to eat lunch around noon or 12:30, and I’ll typically eat a salad with some protein or a homemade soup. Sometimes I’m ravenous, so, as I’m cooking, you’ll catch me grazing. That grazing may turn into eating two pieces of bacon, a piece of toast and a plum. Not to worry — there’s always plenty of room for my actual lunch.

Yummy veggie and chicken soup.

Today, I decided to make soup. I typically start with organic chicken broth and lots of veggies. I’m talking broccoli, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, etc. You name it. If it’s a veggie, I’m happy to add it. I also like to toss in a bit of meat. For today’s soup, I cut up half a chicken breast.

When the afternoon slump starts to set in around 3:00, I like to eat a snack. It’s usually a handful of nuts, a veggie smoothie, or some almond butter with celery.

But sometimes…um…Kit Kats…and chocolate covered cherries. (Yep. This happened today). When treats are readily available, I find it hard to say no, but I don’t just go willy nilly on them. It’s all about portion control, so I’ll have one or two.

The evidence! Snacking happens.

When I get home around 7:00 and it’s time for dinner, I’m a happy camper. Dinner is my favorite. My husband and I like to have meat, salad and veggies. Steamed, grilled, broiled, baked. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just the food and the company that puts me in a great mood. We usually have a glass of wine with dinner and a piece of chocolate for dessert. Tonight’s dinner: spaghetti squash with ground turkey and basil marinara sauce. Plus — a little arugula with parmesan cheese and lemon juice. YUM.

Oh! I forgot to mention WATER! I drink so much water throughout the day. I like to aim for a couple of gallons, especially when I workout. Experts recommend drinking about an ounce per pound of body weight, but I err on the side of excess. I can’t get enough. Also, I usually have another cup of coffee and some bubbly water at some point during the day.

Now, if I need to get lean for a photoshoot or if I’m buffing up for bikini season, I’ll change up what I eat. For a few weeks, I’ll cut out all processed foods, sugar, alcohol and starchy vegetables. I’ll pretty much stick to lean protein and veggies. I would almost call it a mix between Whole30 and Paleo, but a little more strict. Meaning no more bread, spaghetti squash or bacon. That strips the pounds off me pretty quickly. Thank goodness extreme weeks happen rarely. Otherwise, I’d be missing out on LIFE.

A mentor once told me the key to happiness is to eat a piece of chocolate, sip a glass of wine, and have a little bit of fun every day. Now that’s a lifestyle I can stick to.

To health and happiness,

Kelly

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P.S. Saw this great story on Yahoo related to dieting and lifestyle choices. Figured I’d share it with you. It’s pretty inspiring!

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