What is Clean Eating, and more importantly, Why should I care?
Feel free to ask questions, and keep an eye out for follow ups. I would love your feedback!
Much love and HUGS today!
What does Clean Eating mean?
Someone who is striving for or maintaining a healthy weight will view clean eating differently than a fitness competitor, but essentially it means eating healthy, whole, unprocessed foods.
Why should I worry about Clean Eating?
What you put in and on your body is the biggest indicator of overall health. We can teach our children now how to eat better so that they have less struggles with their health as adults.
The benefits of Clean Eating include:
- Feel better physically, have more energy, and sleep better.
- Have greater mental clarity and be less irritable.
- Decrease health problems and need less medication.
- Positive effect on depression symptoms.
- Help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Eating that is compatible with how our bodies are designed.
- Better for the environment – less packaged foods, less trash, choosing items farmed and raised in an ethical manner, lower carbon footprint.
- Clean eating means eating closer to the way God intended.
Clean Eating Guidelines
- Choose whole, natural foods over processed foods
Shop the perimeter of the supermarket, and limit or avoid boxed, canned, bagged, and frozen foods. Avoid Diet foods – low calorie, low carb, or low fat versions of food. It is better to enjoy smaller amounts of the real thing than to settle for the fake version.
- Choose Organic when you can
Organic food is produced without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones, and eat organic feed.
- Include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat at each meal
Your body needs each of these basic food macros. There is no need to eliminate entire food groups unless you have a specific issue (e.g. food allergies, celiac disease).
- Minimize added salt, fat, and sugar
Eating natural whole foods will give you most of the salt, fat, and sugar that you need. When you do need to add these items, choose natural versions.
- Eat five to six times each day
Eat smaller versions of the normal “big three,” and then add two or three snacks in between. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps your blood sugars level, your metabolism up, and prevents you from overeating or binging on that bag of potato chips you just found.
- Drink more water
Staying hydrated reduces cravings for processed foods, and helps flush out toxins from overly-processed food. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces each day (150lbs=75oz.) Gradually decrease sodas and sports drinks to allow your taste buds to adapt. And be prepared for lots of trips to the bathroom!
It’s Too Much! Where to Start:
- Pick one or two Avoid Ingredients, and start to remove it from your diet.
And then, pick another one, and so on. It’s expensive and overwhelming to overhaul your home overnight. Make small changes each trip to the grocery store.
- Pick one food and start buying the Organic version
Dairy, meat, fruits & veggies with no skin are all good places to start. Again, start small.
- Become a label reader
Educate yourself about what is in your favorite foods, even if you do not eliminate it just yet. Begin to look for alternatives. Give those a try the next time they are on sale.
- Cook more meals from scratch at home.
Find recipes for meals you love at AllRecipes or Epicurious. Learn to cook them, and let your kids learn with you.
- Minimize trips to fast food chains.
There is nothing clean at a fast food place, even on the healthy menu.
- Create your own seasonings and condiments
Create your own salad dressing, BBQ sauce, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, etc., by using bulk ingredients with recipes found online. Healthier and cheaper!
- Find rewards (for yourself, for you kids) that do not involve food
Don’t associate food with good or bad behavior. Focus instead on special time with mom and dad – learning to cook, trip to a museum or park, or movie night.
- Avoid an “All Or Nothing” mentality.
Stick with your small changes. Know that each change brings better, long lasting health to you and your family. This is not about perfection!
- Remember that food is not an enemy.
Food is a gift from God, and is meant to be enjoyed and savored. It is also your body’s fuel. Strive to put the very best in your body in a way that fits your budget. Choose high quality, all natural versions of your favorite foods that you can truly enjoy and savor.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
“You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.” – Anonymous