Today I am going to share with you a topic I am very passionate about which is clean eating. I started my clean eating journey back when I had to start taking gluten out of our family’s diet and I am still learning more and more each day. Clean eating is such a huge topic that I am going to narrow it down to 10 simple tips.
GET RID OF THE D WORD!
- Life Style Change – When it comes to clean eating you need to think of it in terms of a life style change. It is NOT a diet, get that D word out of your vocabulary because if it was a diet you would crash and burn and go for those donuts, brownies or big hamburger you want. This is about a life style change not a crash diet.
- Eat your Fresh Fruits & Veggies – In clean eating it is important to load up on your fresh fruits and veggies because they provide lots of great fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Many fruits and veggies are nutrient dense which is key to having a well-rounded diet.
- Shop Perimeter of Grocery Store – This is a tip I have heard over and over, but it is so true and easy to do. When you go into your grocery store pretty much all the processed and packaged foods are on in the inside of the store. If you shop the outer perimeter you get the fresh meats, the dairy, the yummy produce which is a lot better for you and in the long run will save you on your pocket book.
- Eliminate Sugar – Sugar is not something that is good for our body and the elimination of added sugars from your diet is key to good clean eating. This is where fruit can be your best friend because if you go for that diet soda or quick couple of cookies you will have the momentary high, but then your body will crash and burn. This is very hard on your system and taxes your kidneys, your insulin levels, etc.
- Get Your H2O – We all need to drink more water because the more water we drink the more toxins we can flush through our system. Water hydrates our system and helps it run more efficiently and I personally see a huge difference in my skin and sleeping patterns when I am hydrated. It is recommended that each of us get 8-10 glasses of water a day, but it also varies to eat person and their size, but the key is to hydrate!
- Grab a Chair – One of the things I find that helps with clean eating is the act of sitting down at a table. When you eat with your family or friends you tend to enjoy your food more and when you enjoy your food you tend to cook and create healthier meals. I find as a mom of three busy kids that when I make dinner time a family event I put more energy into my meals and I don’t just throw a package of hot dogs or a frozen pizza at my family.
- Balanced Diet – Having a balanced diet is key because many people will go on these crazy diets where they will only eat meat or take out most of their carbohydrates. We need the balance in our diet and it is not bad to have carbohydrates or fats because there are healthy fats like avocado. The key with anything you do in your life is to not swing too much to any side and find a happy medium.
- Try New Foods – One of the ways you can better your diet is to change the flours you use or other types of foods. Try almond or coconut flour because they are more nutrient dense than white flour. Add in flax or chia seeds to your smoothies because these little changes can go a long ways.
- Read Your Labels – This is probably one of the biggest things you can do in your clean eating journey which is start reading your labels. If on your labels you see words you cannot read then you do not want to eat that product. It is that simple “you cannot read it, then you cannot eat it!” You would be amazed at what they sneak in foods because the other day I was at the grocery store and they have a little section in the deli department where they have pre-made sushi, but when I looked at the label they had food coloring of Red and Yellow in it. Why in the world would sushi need food coloring it doesn’t because I make it at home all the time. Read your labels!
- Focus on What you Eat – When moving into a clean eating life style you need to focus on the nutrients and not the calories. You can eat a ton of food, but if the foods you eat are not nutrient dense then you are doing yourself because food is fuel for the body. If you put regular gasoline in your car that required supreme gasoline you might not notice a difference at first, but over time your body will break down and so will the engine of your car. So feed your body right.
I hope these 10 step to clean eating help those of you who like me were a processed food junkie not too long ago. We each have to start somewhere and you might as well start today. I promise your body and health will thank you.