It’s all the rage; clean eating. Take a look at any bookstore diet shelf and you’ll see it filled with clean eating guides. We’re sorta turned off by that word. It implies an extreme black and white mentality of clean vs dirty foods or good vs bad. It also sorta gives us visions of having to clean our foods by.. scrubbing harder? But that’s besides the point. If you’ve had a chance to read some of our other posts, you know we’re all about balance.
BUT the fundamentals of the “eating clean” trend are absolutely on point with our nutrition philosophy. By eating clean, you’re essentially replacing all of those meaningless, nutritionally inadequate foods with real, wholesome ingredients. So let’s talk basics. What are some of those fundamental principles and how can you practice a “clean diet”?
#1 This is a way of life, not a diet – Clean eating is all about balance and moderation in your intake. This is not something you just do for a few weeks. It’s something you embrace for a lifetime. Enjoy the journey of figuring out your perfect balance and tailoring your goals for the long haul.
#2 Limit over processed foods – Focus on eating whole foods as close to their natural state by avoiding foods that have been highly processed. Keep packaged foods limited to those with shorter ingredient lists. If we keep our food choices to nutrients that our bodies actually need, then our bodies are able to run smoother and more efficiently. We no longer let crappy food hijack our digestive systems and turn against us.
#3 Up your vegetable and fruit intake – With a focus on wholesome foods, you’ll automatically gravitate to the produce section. This will help give you a variety of nutrients that aren’t available anywhere else in the supermarket. Added bonus: most of these are low in calories and high in nutrients!
#5 If you’re gonna eat meats, make em good eats – Aim for organic, grass fed, free range animal protein when appropriate. These will have a better balance of good fats vs bad fats. They’ll definitely be a little pricier, but totally worth it.
#6 Limit unhealthy fats, excess salt and added sugar – This will happen naturally when you follow #1 – #5. Choose leaner meats, don’t drink your calories, and focus on cooking more foods yourself to avoid excess salt.
It might seem overwhelming at first glance, but there is always a way of turning your favorite dishes into healthy “clean eats”. It’s just a matter of accepting there will be a learning curve and taking baby steps towards fueling your body with what it actually needs.
Remember! Marketing companies want your money! Be suspicious of foods advertised as healthy options. And keep in mind that buying your groceries in a health food store doesn’t automatically make that food healthy. Read your labels and learn to identify wacko sounding ingredients. If you can remain objective when reviewing diet trends, you’ll be able to sift through and find what makes sense and leave the rest behind. Otherwise, YOU HAVE US!!