You hear a lot about clean eating these days. Does it mean washing your veggies and fruits before eating them? Avoiding foods that come from the ground? Not eating things that fall on the floor?
What does clean eating mean? It is a phrase that is thrown around a lot these days. However, there isn’t a true definition of exactly what this means. To some it means eating fresh such as fruits and vegetables. Others see it as not eating anything artificial such as dyes and additives. However, since there isn’t a standard definition of clean eating, here is how to incorporate clean eating into your diet.
Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are just what they sound like! Instead of reaching for the apple-cinnamon oatmeal packet in the morning, have some oats with a chopped-up apple and cinnamon sprinkled in it (or try these other recipes for apples and pumpkins). This can still include some packaged foods, too, such as brown rice or quinoa, frozen veggies, and canned beans with the liquid rinsed off of them. Essentially you are choosing more foods that haven’t had anything added or taken away from them.
Check the Ingredients List
We lead busy lives, and it’s unrealistic to think that you will never take a shortcut in the kitchen. However, it is important to be aware of what you are eating, and the best way to do that is to always read the ingredients list. This is much more important than reading the information on the front of the box! Focus on the ingredients first, and don’t let terms like trans-fat free, reduced fat, or sugar free trick you into thinking it must be a healthy product. If you can’t pronounce or explain what the ingredient is and why it is in the food, put it back on the shelf.
Go Back to the Basics
Instead of buying granola bars or salad dressings, spend a little extra time making these items at home. You will not only cut out a ton of unnecessary ingredients, but you will also save money in the long run. Go through a typical day and find all the items throughout that you can start replacing with a homemade version. From the gas station cappuccino in the morning to the bottled stir-fry sauce at dinner, try to come up with as many homemade versions as you can to clean up your day.
Check in with Your Body
When you eat better, you feel better. This has been proven with many research studies, but try it out for yourself. Jot down your sleep patterns, energy levels, mood, skin and hair quality, and overall feeling and see if cutting out all of the extras doesn’t make you feel better, too. Look back at your results and the extra time spent prepping those whole foods will be worth it.
Keep in mind, clean eating means a lot of things to different people, so find what works for you, your health, and your family and go from there. If you have any questions about cleaning up your diet, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-274-3432, ext. 239.