Love, Sunday is honored to shine the spotlight this week on Jane Lim, clean eating advocate and Beachbody Coach (among many other things!). Jane regularly runs a free 5 day clean eating challenge via Facebook, which is how I met Jane when I joined a challenge thru an invite from a mutual friend. Jane was so supportive and encouraging throughout the entire 5 days and challenged me to want more for my body and my health. I learned so much about clean eating during that week (like how all the recipes are DELICIOUS and I was never hungry - in fact, I felt like I was eating way more than usual), was part of a community of others who were also on the same challenge and I lost a few inches along the way. The information she shared, including grocery list and recipes, was priceless. Read what motivates Jane to eat clean and how she gets her kids excited about clean eating!
What is your current role?
I’m a wife, a mom of 2, a care coordinator at NY Center for Orthognathic and Maxillofacial Surgery, a Beachbody coach and a nursing student.
Tell us about your background and your exposure to healthy foods.
I was born in New York and grew up in a peaceful and joyful home with my parents and an older brother. I did competitive gymnastics until a broken foot slowed me down and eventually ended my gymnastics career. I grew up being exposed to a pretty healthy diet. Junk food and soda were nowhere to be found in the house so cereal and fresh fruit was our snack. During our family dinners my mom would tell us about the nutritional benefits of some of the food we were eating. Now as a parent, I’m so appreciative of the kind of foods and information I grew up exposed to.
What obstacles have you faced in your journey with food and how did you get through them?
At around my teenage years I had some major body image issues and developed a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body: I worked out to make up for what I had eaten (almost like punishment), became obsessed with calorie counting, and struggled with bulimia for years. It was by God’s grace and mercy that I was set free from all of that bondage, and bondage it was. I was able to see the beauty in nature, but not in myself. Once God helped me to see that he made me beautiful and that my body is something to be valued and cared for, not inferior in need of “perfecting,” eating well and exercising came much more naturally. However, things became very challenging once kids entered the picture. Until recently it seemed nearly impossible to live as healthy as I did before marriage and kids, but I’m happy to report, it’s possible!
What motivates you to eat clean and live a healthy lifestyle? Why did you start on this journey?
Once I had kids some of my healthy habits fell to the wayside. My husband and I packed on some weight and I continued to wear pregnancy pants after I had my kids. I also developed lower back pains and my husband and I were constantly sluggish and tired. We thought this was normal. But then we participated in a 5 day clean eating challenge last February and the effects of eating clean, adequately hydrating, and a little bit of exercise were astounding! The changes were significant enough that this became our new norm. I've lost weight, inches and my back pain is gone! And it didn’t require some huge overhaul.
Nowadays I get extra motivated to keep at it with my workouts and eating clean whenever I see my kids happily munch on healthy food or see them watching me as I work out and sometimes even try to follow along next to me. It hits home the fact that I’m modeling for them what is normal so that living a healthy lifestyle will be their normal. I’m inspired to keep going for the legacy that is left with my children because what we as parents do, for better or worse, leaves an impression.
What exactly is clean food and clean eating?
Eating clean is a lifestyle rather than a diet. It is to consume food in its most natural state or as close as possible to it. So think whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, organic whenever possible, and no refined (e.g., sugar), processed and artificial things or products without a long ingredient list. Depending on your viewpoint on clean eating, some sugars are allowed such as raw cane sugar, coconut palm sugar, and Stevia. What you can’t have is white granulated sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Clean eating also means smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day. It means combining lean protein and complex carbs at each snack or meal. It also means staying hydrated (2-3 liters a day). This is also why clean eating is not super restrictive and in my opinion, cultivates a much healthier relationship with food and is more satisfying (our bodies are getting the real nourishment it needs!).
How do you incorporate clean eating into your family's diet?
I’m usually the one who shops and makes the food in the house so what I eat, my family eats. I incorporate clean eating by being intentional. Clean eating means being mindful and prepared. It also starts at the grocery store and what items I buy. You can’t eat processed junk in the house if it’s not there in the first place.
What are some ways to get your kids excited about eating clean food?
I try to involve my kids in the kitchen. My son Christopher is 4 and is eager to help out, which I suspect is the reason why his palate is quite open to all sorts of food, especially to whatever it is that we make together. My daughter, who is 2, will also help out alongside her brother with rinsing fruit and vegetables, using the salad spinner, adding ingredients to a pot or bowl, and gathering and tossing refuse into the garbage bag/bowl. Every now and then, while preparing and cooking, I'll talk about each food and how they benefit us.
Does your family eat any non-clean or processed foods?
Oh yeah, we totally do. This typically happens when we are traveling, checking out new venues or treats, when I’ve delayed food shopping and have little to work with, or the day is crazy and ordering pizza is the only way the kids will get fed at a normal hour.
Did you have any fears when you went public with your clean eating journey?
The biggest fear I had was that I would be called a hypocrite when I didn’t eat clean or didn’t work out all the time. But I reminded myself that I can’t control what others think of me. Personally, I don’t see myself as a hypocrite when I don’t stick with it 100% and I won’t hide it. I’d much rather be real and honest.
What are some clean eating foods or meals that your family (especially your kids) enjoy?
My son loves to snack on carrots and cucumbers with hummus. My daughter loves overnight oats. Fruits are always a favorite amongst all. Stir-fry, ginger garlic pork, steak salad and mango salad are some of our favorite meals.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to begin eating clean?
Start where you are and do what you can. There won’t be a perfect time later on. Small changes can lead to big results. Practicing hydration is a wonderful first step since most of us are dehydrated but don’t know or realize it. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces, so a 150 pound person should drink at least 75 ounces of water a day.
Tell us about the clean eating challenge that you run via Facebook!
The 5 day clean eating challenge introduces people to clean eating by offering a grocery list and recipes for 5 days, sample workouts, and a guideline of what to avoid such as soda, skipping meals, and eating right before bed and what to do more of such as drinking water, eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours, and combining lean protein with a complex carb at every meal/snack. It’s short enough for those who are afraid of a long commitment, but it’s long enough that you would be able to notice a change.
Where can we find you? (social media, etc.)
www.facebook.com/jane717 and on Instagram @jane_717. Contact me if you have any questions about eating clean or becoming a Beachbody coach!
**If you're interested in joining the FREE 5 day clean eating challenge run by Jane (you only pay for your own groceries), please message her via Facebook or Instagram (link above) and let her know that Love, Sunday sent you!**