Friday, July 13, 2012

What is Clean Eating?

When I approached my family about the idea of doing 100 days of clean eating the initial response was confusion. No one knew exactly what I was asking us to do. In their minds they believed we would not be able to eat the foods we enjoy. They asked me if we were "dieting". After assuring them that our food is not going to be horrible and that we can make dessert occasionally, things seemed to calm back down.

Eating clean is the gateway to a healthier lifestyle, healthier body and increased energy. It is not about depriving yourself of the food that you love, but of teaching and showing your body that there is something better. And guess what? It tastes good, improves health and helps us feel better. Our bodies will begin to crave these healthier foods.

Eating clean is eating food as close to it's natural state as possible. For example, grapes. Eat them straight off the vine vs. grape jelly. Eggs. Eat the free-range, hormone free variety. Fish. Eat wild salmon vs. farm raised salmon.

These are a few examples of what is meant by clean eating. Learn to read labels. If it has ingredients that you do not know or you cannot's best to stay away from the item. Look for food that has 5 or less ingredients as a rule of thumb.

Avoid sugar. Sugar is in so many foods. Again, read the labels. As I was cleaning out my pantry I was a bit shocked by the sugar I found in so many different foods. No soda pop, avoid alcohol and anything else that is processed. Water is a great drink that is good for you and has zero calories!

Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and lean proteins...a simple way to explain "clean eating". Check out this shopping list for a more in depth answer to what foods are considered clean.