What does it mean to “eat clean”?
In a nutshell.. It means, avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods.
How do you know what is processed or refined?
1. It has a label.
2. It has more than one ingredient on that label.
Sure, you’re not going to cut out processed foods all together but, if you cannot pronounce an ingredient listed on that label…
Don’t eat it.
Think: Fresh. Whole. Simple.
When you think about eating clean, imagine you are living in a time before grocery stores. When everyone grew their own food for harvest, got their milk and cream directly from their dairy cows, raised their own animals for.. you get the picture.
Now that we live in a time where we don’t have to farm anything unless we really want to, why would we not just rely on quick easy packaged meals for nourishment?
Because, if you are looking to optimize your nourishment, reach and maintain a healthy weight and feel fantastic, you want to stay away from as much of the chemicals and genetic modifications found in packaged foods as you can.
Other Benefits of eating a cleaner diet include but are not limited to..
Less chance of disease, including cancer.
Your digestive system will function better and more regular.
You will feel stronger and have more energy.
You will have a better balance of nutrients coming into your body which in turn will keep you satisfied longer and less likely to snack on junk food, IE your cravings will subside.
Loosing weight will help your self confidence.
Your skin + hair will look and feel healthier.
Your eyesight will improve.
Mood swings stemming from irregular balance of blood sugar will subside.
Your focus and overall sense of well being will improve.
So this all sounds good to you but you’re like, where do I start, huh?!
So you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on your food and this all sounds like this could be expensive, huh?!
So, you’re on the go A LOT and you just don’t have the time, huh?!
I’m not going to lie, it can be expensive and time consuming at times BUT.. It doesn’t have to be.
Plus, think of it as an investment. An investment in yourself. Maintaining a healthier lifestyle means, less trips to the doctor which in turns means, less time taken away from work, less copays and doctor bills and essentially, more money in your pocket.
Having a clearer more focused mind means = a happier you!
What if I said that you could eat clean without all the planning, prepping and cooking, you’d say I was crazy right?!
You can ear a clean healthy diet for as much enery as it takes to go through the drive-thru… well… almost.
Let’s start with the basics.
Think- original man. What did the cave-men eat? No, this isn’t Paleo. I’m not well researched in Paleo but I do know they eat a lot of meat and cheese, which can be high in saturated fats. Cheddar cheese for example, is one of the leading causes of saturated fat in America.
Now, I know I just told you to stay away from packaged foods but, we both know that can be very difficult. So, here are some guidelines when grabbing for snacks on the go…
You want to look for foods with low fat grams per serving, always as close to or less than 30% of the total calories.
You want to find foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories.
You want to follow the recommended percentages found on the food guide pyramid. The food guide pyramid is actually an important tool- Use it!
When you think of the word clean, think natural.
Organic, yes is always the best choice but, isn’t always possible which I completely understand. Eating organic can be very expensive, especially when you are raising a family.
Try to limit the amount of different products you buy. You will find over time, you won’t need them.
Researchers began creating genetically modified foods in the 80’s. They started added chemicals, hormones and tons of sodium to our foods. Sodium is one of the leading causes of obesity. Processed foods contain a lot of sodium.
If you want to eat clean, loose weight and feel more alive than ever before. If you want to get sick less often, have more energy and become more alert, stay away from processed foods and restaurant foods as much as possible.
You never know what you are truly eating unless you prepare it yourself or are eating at a “farm to table” style restaurant.
Cook as little food as possible. I don’t know about you but, I have a very energetic three year old and a very busy schedule so I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
Ok so, where do you start?
More to come.. Stay tuned!