When you hear the words clean eating, what does that mean to you? Does it mean more fruits and vegetables? Does it mean steaming or broiling instead of frying? Does it mean juicing everything you can find? Well, let’s take a look at it and see.
The definition of clean eating is …… simply the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods. But there’s much more to this. You can structure your diet to get proper nutrition, help manage diseases, avoid developing diseases in the first place, lose weight, remove toxins, and just feel better.
There, that was simple right? That is only the tip of it. It is more than fruits and veggies and putting a salad on your plate. Some of what I have learned in changing the way I eat involves where you get it from, what it has or has not been introduced to and mostly content (natural) of course. Everything comes into play from all food groups. Processed food has so many chemicals it is a wonder that we all have survived thus far. Now I am not saying eat like a cave person or to go hunt your food, but what I am saying is that you need to take more consideration taken into what you put into your body to process so that you can get the most from your food. Makes sense right?
According to EatingCleanforDummies.com, the basic principles of eating clean consist of the following:
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available. The keys to good health and proper nutrition are in the following principles:
Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. The foods you eat on this plan are straight from the farm: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are any food that has a label. A label means that more than one ingredient was used to make that food. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.
Eliminate refined sugar. Refined sugar provides nothing but calories. Other sweeteners can be used, but with all the good foods you add to your diet, refined sugar really has very little place in the eating clean plan.
Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat some Funyuns rather than that whole grain cracker with nut butter and strawberries. You never get so hungry on this plan that you’ll feel deprived or feel the need to cheat.
Cook your own meals. Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.
Combine protein with carbs. When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs.
This is also the time to introduce your pallet to spices. Yes, limit the salt and other additives that you have become accustomed to having. Exchange iodized salt for coarse sea salt or pink himalayan salt. You will see a dramatic decrease in how much you use. Get whole black pepper and a grinder, huge taste difference. Experiment with the spices…everything from allspice to tumeric, cinnamon to taragon or grab every flavor of Mrs. Dash and have fun! The benefits will astound you. Bison versus ground beef, surprisingly lean and just as tasty (yes I have tried it).
Excite your taste buds without salt and taste food how it should be.