By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (lowfatlowcarb.com)
Eating “clean” has quickly become a buzzword with health nuts, and those trying to shed pounds. But what exactly does clean eating mean? Does it mean eating certified “organic” food 100% of the time? My definition of eating “clean” means developing a lifestyle that involves consuming real food in or as close to its most natural state as possible, or at least consuming products with less than five ingredients. Also, eating many more leafy greens and vegetables on a daily basis. It’s about eating to nourish and cleanse the body and mind, and educating yourself on where food comes from. Many clients get so overwhelmed by reading ingredients and what they mean; more clients pay attention to calories on labels rather than what those calories are made from. While giving up your favorite processed snacks, candies, and beverages can be difficult at first; your body and mind will reward you with better health and focus.
Here are some ways to start your new journey:
- Eat Real Food. This means to buy less packaged foods, shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, and make sure anything you do buy has less than 5 ingredients, and you can read and pronounce them.
- Sneak in the Greens. Incorporating more greens into your diet is crucial in getting more nutrients, fiber, and water into your body. If you aren’t a huge fan of the taste or texture, sneaking greens into your recipes is a great way to boost the nutritional value while still creating meals that are satisfying and tasty. Try making a protein smoothie with greens and you won’t believe how it tastes. I can hide greens into many recipes, as well.
- Cut Back on Sugar. Sugar is the real culprit. And, unfortunately, the food manufacturers hid it in everything from sauces, dips, dressings, spices, and foods. Sugar promotes inflammation in the body, and that is not a good position to be in for your health. Your palate can change once you start eating clean.
- Keep Water Handy. Water is our lifeblood. We are made up of over 70% water. You must incorporate it into your daily routine. It flushes toxins and hydrates all of your cells, organs and tissues. Put some lemons or lime or fresh mint into a pitcher and drink up.
- Be Mindful of Where You BUY Your Food. If you can shop at local markets or farmers markets that is a good start. Also, if you can join a food co-op or have organic fruits and vegetables dropped off at your house, which is a great way to start eating cleaner. At the very least, you should try to shop only in the live food sections of your grocery store; the outside parameter of the store carries the freshest foods.
- Get to Know your Spices. You control your health better when you get in the kitchen and cook. There are many spices that have medicinal affects, such as cayenne pepper, which helps boost metabolism, or cinnamon, which helps control blood sugars. Turmeric seems to help benefit the cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation in the body. Do some research and get cooking!
In conclusion, there are many ways to get your body healthy and learn to eat clean.