Clean eating is growing in popularity due to the increased awareness of chemicals in our foods and genetically modified foods that are on the market today.
Eating clean is going back to the basic food groups that one would find naturally, such as organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. This also includes staying away from anything that is processed.
Good rule of thumb: if it is in a package or box that includes anything other than the main ingredient, stay away from it! Foods that have been chemically processed include ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, corn syrup, any other sugars, hydrogenated oils of any kind, and any type of preservative. There are so many different preservatives out there now that it is hard to keep track of all of the names and what they have changed the names to. Bottom line: if man made it, don’t eat it!
You should always try to shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store where the fresh produce and fresh meats are kept. It is better to eat organic vegetables and meats as well. It is always better, and usually cheaper, to shop at your local farmer’s market to get the best produce and free range meats. It may be a bit more costly now, but you won’t have to pay those medical bills for always being sick later.
If you have decided to change your lifestyle to clean eating, it is important to plan ahead. Prepare your lunches and snacks for the week ahead of time so that you make sure you stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ideas:
- Pre-cook chicken breasts to use in different meals for the week
- Pre-cook brown rice or quinoa to eat with your protein, use in salads or in any other recipe you want to use that week.
- Make sure you have plenty of spinach or other green leafy vegetable to use for salads
- Make your own salad dressing to assure you avoid eating oils other than olive oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
- Don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks like raw almonds or fresh veggies for between meals so you don’t cheat with the vending machine at your office or run through a drive through while on the road.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day
- Drink LOTS of water
I feel it is extremely important to explain what I mean by eating 5-6 small meals a day. This does not mean 5-6 regular meals that the average American is used to. It should look a bit more like this:
- Breakfast: 2-3 scrambled eggs with natural salsa and a side of kiwi or other fresh fruit
- Morning Snack: 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese with some berries
- Lunch: Spinach salad with fresh broccoli, ¼ cup of 2% cottage cheese, handful of crushed walnuts, 2-3 oz cut up chicken breast or black beans w/ either natural salsa for the “dressing” or home-made honey mustard dressing
- Afternoon Snack: Handful of almonds or fresh veggies dipped in home-made hummus
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with homemade mango salsa, sautéed vegetables served on quinoa
- After Dinner Snack (if needed): piece of fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
- Water: You should drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses a day, if not more
Here is a great recipe for my honey mustard dressing that is so yummy!
Honey Mustard Dressing
½ cup of olive oil
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
1 Tbsp raw honey
Mix well and pour over salad
Make the choice to eat clean to be healthy and your body will thank you!