The clean eating rules???
What comes to mind when you hear the words "clean eating"?
I've heard all kinds of descriptions, but a search on Google and you get pages and pages of "GREEN" looking veggies and fruits etc.
Since there's no rule book, let's talk about how "clean eating" can mean different things to different people!
Ultimately, we are told that food coming from the ground it's grown in is best. While that may seem appropriate at first, it's not always.
I'm no expert on digestion but I do know some foods are better digested when changed a bit, maybe by cooking a certain way for example.
The more "whole" the food the cleaner it is. Makes sense. But it's just not for everyone.
Unless you're literally walking to the garden and plucking fruits and veggies from the plant, most food we eat is "processed" in some way.
My favorite way to approach "clean eating" is to find out what your diet is currently like.
I'll take one of my first students for example.
Her literal daily diet consisted of....
poptarts for breakfast, juice
chicken nuggets from the cafeteria with fries
similar frozen food in the oven at dinner
At this point, we could simply help her add fruits and vegetables into her diet to help clean it up a bit! Get some good nutrients into her body.
I also suggested Quaker instant oatmeal instead of poptarts. Instant oatmeal is definitlely not a clean eat food but to her it is.
We talked of her ordering a sandwich instead of chicken nuggets for lunch.
To another person, instant oatmeal and a sandwich are definitley NOT clean eating!
So, what can we do to clean YOUR diet up?
One thing most agree on is cutting back on added sugar!
Choosing products that have little or no added sugar is a great way to clean up your diet! Check your pasta sauce, ketchup, and some mustards!
Simply adding vegetables into your diet will help in the long run. Start with one thing and before you know it, your thoughts and tastes will begin to change and desire will grow.
Not all processed foods are bad tho. There are some foods that are processed yet contain the highest quality ingredients possible! They rank better than some vegetables that are grown with pesticide.
I met a woman once who grew her own vegetables and then grew a huge amount of vegetables to take to the farmers market in her hometown.
She told me herself, she would never eat the stuff she grew for the farmers market because it was grown with pesticide use like the farmers use. But not her personal garden.
If you currently eat alot of fruits and veggies, maybe your next step is to eat organic!
What is clean eating to me?
I usually will not eat dishes that contain white sauces or cheeses anymore. If I eat a tuna noodle dish? It's simply al dente cooked macaroni elbow noodles with a can of best choice tuna and then a tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Salt and pepper and I'm in heaven!
I don't like to eat dishes with too many ingredients. Thats my way of keeping it whole and clean. I still occasionaly eat a frozen pizza but I eat so much more veggies and fruits than I ever used to. I have my processed foods. I will never be without my meal replacement shake and my bars that have an appropriate macro for a good mood!
I love fish and occasionally eat a hamburger!
What do you do to clean up your diet?
Brenda L. Lewis
Working in the Health and Fitness Industry for over ten years now, I thrive on helping people