8 Helpful Clean Eating Tips
I bet you've recently heard the words eat clean at least a couple of times since everybody is talking about it. But what does eating clean really mean?
The idea behind eating clean is about creating mindfulness of the food’s pathway from its origin to your plate. When people talk about clean eating, they are referring to picking healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Nothing that comes in a can, box or that has more than 1 ingredient that you can’t pronounce. So basically, everything sold in the aisles of the grocery store.
Switching to a clean diet may be overwhelming at the beginning since it involves a lot of work, dedication and especially patience. However, it is extremely doable, and you can make the change little by little, and the impact that’s going to have towards your health will make it completely worth it.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
Detox Your Pantry
To start, you can clear out your pantry from anything processed like cookies, chips, cereals and so on. Don’t worry you don’t have to waste food, you can slowly eat them but then just don’t buy them again. Clearing the pantry is a great start, if you don’t have it accessible then you won’t eat it.
Load Up With Fresh Produce
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The best way is to go to your closest local farmers market since they are going to have produce that’s on season. Aim for organic products as much as possible to avoid exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
Live Sugar Free
Avoid refined carbs such as white flours and sugar in all its forms and aim for whole grains, which are the least processed, for example: quinoa, wild rice and oats. In the grocery stores you will find a lot of products that claim to be made with whole grains but sadly, this is not always true. To make sure you are buying a good product make sure to read the label and whole grains should be the first ingredient listed. Plus, the ingredient list should be short and simple [with no words that you cannot pronounce]. Beware of the added sugar, companies are sneaky and may call it something different.
TIP: A good way to recognize sugars is to know that any word ending in “ose” or syrup are other forms of sugar.
Say No To Fast Food
The purpose of eating clean, as its name mentions, is to avoid anything that is not nutrient dense. Fast foods are mass produced and they’re usually filled with salt, sugar, preservatives, artificial colours, and flavours just to mention a few so avoid it at all costs.
Beware Of Your Salt Intake
Salt is important for the sodium potassium pump that sends electrical signals for the correct functioning of the body, especially the heart; however, like anything eaten in excess it will have negative effects on your health. To give flavour to your meals try spices and herbs instead.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Filtered water and fibre [from fruits and veggies] is extremely important for a good digestion. It will not only keep your bowel movements regularly, but it will keep your microbiome [the healthy bacteria in your gut] healthy. Try to drink at least 2 Litres of filtered water versus tap water. And again, avoid pop, and artificial juices since they are high in sugar and artificial colours.
Control Your Caffeine And Alcohol Intake
For some people a good cup of coffee in the mornings is a must to start up their day. However, keep it to zero to one cup a day. Caffeine accelerates the digestive process, decreasing the absorption of nutrients in the gut. In the other hand alcohol lowers your C and B vitamins, plus adds empty calories to your diet. [Empty calories mean zero nutrients].
Aim For Plant-Based Protein
Get most of your protein from beans, legumes and nuts. When choosing meat and dairy, choose organic and grass-fed. Seafood is not considered organic so look for options low in mercury like: salmon, shrimp, tuna and cod.
Note: if you cannot find organic dairy products, we highly suggest avoiding it at all cost since dairy is full of hormones and other chemicals that may affect your health by causing allergies or any other chronic disease.
Eat small frequent meals: five to six small meals throughout the day are the best way to go. For your main meals try to include whole grains, protein and healthy fats [like avocados, olive oil, almonds, etc.].
And with as any healthy lifestyle include moderate physical activity in your daily routine. You’ll have more energy and it will improve your mood and your overall health!
As a reminder, while embracing clean eating you should focus on eating whole foods like vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains. Your protein should come more from plants than from animals, and simple sugars and processed foods should be cut.
Eating clean is not a trend or a fad diet, it is a lifestyle that maximizes your energy and improves your health, while promoting the embracement of whole, organic foods that have lots of healthy fats and proteins.
Wishing you good health through wise nutrition.