Let’s talk about “Clean Eating.”
The term "clean eating" has been making the rounds for quite a while now. You can find everything from clean eating blogs right through to clean eating magazines—everywhere!
But what exactly is it? (I mean, as opposed to dirty eating? *grin)
The thing is, it’s not just about eating; it's more to do with a lifestyle change. Not some fad diet or a quick fix. More like changing your eating habits and actually being more careful about what you put in your body.
While there are a lot of different perspectives when it comes to clean eating, here are four easy tips to integrate a fresh diet into your life. Reading these will help you further understand what clean eating is!
1. Ditch processed foods!
Probably the most basic way to a life of fresh eating is to eliminate pre-packaged and processed food and drinks. I know it’s not easy in this day and age when processed food is so much more accessible and available than fresh food.
But avoiding foods and drinks that are processed with chemicals, additives, and preservatives is essential to clean eating. This will improve your health and wellbeing—or generate weight loss—depending on what you’re aiming for.
So instead of consuming artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, emulsifiers, enhancers, and other additives—
2. Buy local
Alright, so we want to eat more fresh foods. But what about pesticides?
While buying organic may not be affordable for everyone, the non-organic options are usually grown by using chemicals, many of which have been proven to cause havoc with your hormones and immune systems.
I’m sorry to say that apples, celery, cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers, and bananas are among the most heavily sprayed-on fruits and vegetables.
So what do you do?
I recommend buying in season. Anything locally produced will be fresher because it doesn’t have to come from far away. We are intended to eat in season, after all! Apples, for instance, don’t really grow all year round, so who knows how long they’ve been stored before you got them? I've been told that some apples can be up to 12 months old once you buy them! Not good.
Buying locally grown is therefore always your best bet (unless you choose to purchase organic).
3. Smaller portions
Eating smaller portioned meals more often throughout the day is a healthier option compared to the standard three meals a day.
Eating 4-6 smaller portioned meals more frequently throughout your day is quite easy. Plan out what your healthy meals will be, prepare them beforehand, and take them with you when you’re going out. This way, you won't be tempted to consume foods or beverages that are not good for you.
And remember how your mom would remind you to eat more slowly when you were little? Looks like mom knows best, after all. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating slower helps your body and your brain work together to let you know when you’re full, which is especially helpful if you have a bad metabolism or one that’s slow. This will help you avoid overeating or eating more than you need to.
Have you ever noticed how long some ingredient lists are on packaged foods? Isn't it ridiculous how most of the time, you have no idea what these ingredients are, as they are either impressive words that you can't even pronounce or some code—like you were just expected to understand what the code meant.
I’ll tell you my secret.
If you can read the ingredients on the back of the package and they aren't difficult to pronounce, then it’s more likely something that can be added to your clean eating list. Another way to look at it is this; if it grows, it goes...into your basket, that is! I suggest you start your shopping in the produce section and fill up on all of those healthy fruits, veggies, and nuts first, before going anywhere else.
Eating clean doesn’t have to be a chore; it's very simple. Just stay away from any processed foods and drinks and will do bad things for your body, not to mention undermine your weight loss efforts.
Start the habit today! Because out of clean eating, comes clean living.