Clean Eating 101

Clean-Eating
The Basic Principles of Eating Clean

Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available. The keys to good health and proper nutrition are in the following principles:

  • ¥ Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. The foods you eat on this plan are straight from the farm: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
  • ¥ Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are any food that has a label. A label means that more than one ingredient was used to make that food. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.
  • ¥ Eliminate refined sugar. Refined sugar provides nothing but calories. Other sweeteners can be used, but with all the good foods you add to your diet, refined sugar really has very little place in the eating clean plan.
  • ¥ Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat some Funyuns rather than that whole grain cracker with nut butter and strawberries. You never get so hungry on this plan that you’ll feel deprived or feel the need to cheat.
  • ¥ Cook your own meals. Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.
  • ¥ Combine protein with carbs. When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs.


SHOPPING:

Here is my favorite shopping list to help when grocery shopping for clean eating. It helps me stay focused on clean foods, so if it’s not on this list, is shouldn’t be in your shopping cart!
clean eating_shopping list

One of the best tips when shopping is to stay on the outsides of the grocery stores. All of the inside aisles are processed and packaged foods. This helps me to avoid the middle aisles as much as possible.

You’ve probably heard of clean eating, but you may not know what it is exactly or how to go about cleaning up your diet. Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats. And since you don’t have to count calories or give up whole food groups, it’s easy to follow. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

So what are the rules and guidelines to eating clean?

Eating clean is simply the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods. But there’s much more to this plan. You can structure your diet to get proper nutrition, help manage diseases, avoid developing diseases in the first place, lose weight, remove toxins, and just feel better.

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