Clean eating seems to be the trend adopted by a growing number of people in the country these days. Not everyone is completely clear on what is clean eating, however, it should be known that it is not meant to be a diet or any type of fad. This is actually a lifestyle that you adopt when you take it on. There is no deprivation or starvation, but there is a letting go of foods that are harmful for our bodies. This would include such things as processed junk within the inner aisles of the grocery stores that are inundated with inflammatory oils, table salt, and ingredients that we can’t pronounce. It goes above and beyond the concept of ‘healthy’ eating to narrow down the concept as a description of the actual food that we consume. Foods consisting of just one whole ingredient that we recognize as opposed to a volume of ingredients, e.g. an apple is an apple whereas Captain Crunch offers a deluge of chemically-based ingredients.
What Is Clean Eating?
Clean eating means eating real, whole foods that have not been altered from their original form and packaged, not free of anything or diet but whole, natural foods with nothing taken out. It doesn’t mean that you won’t indulge in a sweet treat from time to time or dive into a bowl of Captain Crunch. It just means that you train your brain to concentrate on what foods your body needs as opposed to what you may feel you’re restricting in an effort to stave off cravings.
Clean eating has become quite popular among people today because quite simply many people want to know exactly what they’re putting into their bodies. Many of the ingredients listed on processed foods and various packaging labels are chemically-laden ingredients that no one has any idea what types of effects they may have when consumed.
There is also a growing disgust for the abuse that animals withstand in an effort to produce the meat products on the market, with many people opting for plant-based foods as a substitution. There is a hope that the animal cruelty will end if the purchase of meat products ends.
Why Are People Doing It?
Sadly, a typical American diet is not generally super nutritious as most of the food is nutrient sparse, overly refined, and additive-laden which causes illness and fatigue for a large number of people. This is the reason that people have started to adopt clean food into their diet which is basically eating unprocessed, whole, natural products. The idea behind learning how to eat clean is understanding the least amount of steps that food items take from their original form to your table, the better it is for you. The people who have caught on to the concept of what is clean eating do so because of the many benefits they are experiencing.
- They are full of energy. The body is being fueled properly allowing for elevated energy levels.
- Illness is seldom. Through eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables, your body is given the building blocks it needs for a healthy immune system. Even when illness does occur, a clean eater is aware that it won’t be for a long period of time, the severity will be less, and it won’t be often.
- Less Medicine. Eating whole, nutritious foods will decrease inflammation throughout the body, improve any nutritional deficiency, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol, all allowing for a reduction in any type of medications that may be needed.
- Skin is clear. The skin is receiving Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, zinc and many other nutrients that it needs in order to regrow, repair, and remain healthy and clear.
How To Follow A Clean Diet
When you decide that you want to follow a clean diet, it’s about eating more from the food groups that will be the whole, nutritious options and eating less that would be considered as the unhealthy, processed options. That would mean choosing components of a healthy diet such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with healthier fats and proteins. It also means that you would then cut back on foods that offer additives, refined grains, preservatives, fats that are unhealthy, and those with added sugar or salt. And this would also mean any type of food with ingredients that are unrecognizable and most likely chemically-laden.
- Load up on vegetables and fruits
• Choose whole-grain - the cleanest with the least handling
• Eat less meat and when you do eat meat choose those that have lived and eaten as if they were in the wild
• Look for ‘clean’ processed foods, e.g. plain yogurt, cheese, whole wheat pasta
• Limit added sugar in things like tomato sauces, yogurts, cereals
• Watch for sodium, substitute coarse sea salt or kosher salt sparingly when cooking
Cutting Refined Sugar
It’s very important to understand when you decide to stop eating refined sugar that you’re not putting yourself on any type of diet. That would imply that you are beginning something that may at some point stop. This is a new way for you to live your life so there is no start or stop. This is an ending. It will surprise you once you come out of the sugar haze and begin a new healthier habit, how great you will feel and you’ll begin to question why you had not done it sooner.
One of the best ways to eliminate sugar is to take away anything that may be a temptation for you inside the kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, at work, in your car, detox your life. Remove the sweets, the sodas, any cereals loaded with sugars, sauces, ketchup, juices, anything that contains an insane amount of sugar in it. This stuff you will donate. The stuff that you keep in its place will be whole foods such as nuts, fruit, yogurt, vegetables, milk, meat, cheese, peanut butter, oats, oils, rice, lentils, noodles, canned beans.
From this point, when you write a shopping list, have a plan of what you will be eating for the week and make sure that you stick to the list. You will need to stay within the outer section of the grocery store where the healthy food is. Make sure that you read all of the nutrition labels carefully when buying your items and that you fully understand what it is that’s in the product that you’re about to buy. If sugar is listed as the first ingredient, you know it’s going to be loaded with it.
And when you have everything home, take a Sunday and allow time to meal prep for the week so there’s never a reason for you to have to call for takeout or stop for fast food on the way home from work.
Ditch the “Diet” And Low Fat Labels
Clean eating is about eating foods in their natural state with no alterations. That means nothing has been taken out, nothing has been put in. It has not been changed in any way in order to make it a ‘diet’ product or a low-fat version of itself. It is whole as it was in its original form. These foods are good for us. They provide good ingredients, nutrients, vitamins and minerals for us. When you start adding and subtracting from what was perfect to begin with, it becomes unhealthy. That’s the gist of why people are resorting to clean eating. Natural foods are perfect to begin with. Why mess them up?