If your last meal was from a drive-thru window and you think doing taxes is easier than trying to figure out how to eat healthier, you’re not alone. Some of us get so overwhelmed with all the conflicting data that we give up and think about it over a shake and an order of fries. Today we have gathered some tips to get you started in out easy guide to clean eating.
What is clean eating?
Unsure exactly what is meant by “clean” eating? Fresh crunchy fruits and veggies are best but what about other foods? Start by asking these questions.
1. Did it grow in the earth or swim in the sea?
The further it’s been taken from fresh off the vine, the less nutritious it’s likely to be. Red meat such as beef may still be fine in small portions but look for antibiotic free.
2. Is the ingredient label short or long?
Usually the shorter the label, the better.
3. Are there ingredients listed that you can’t pronounce?
If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, that’s a sure sign you don’t want to put it in your body!
4. Is the first ingredient white flour or sugar?
As much as your taste buds might enjoy, there’s probably a better choice. The less refined carbs like flour and sugar that you eat, the less you’ll crave!
5. Is it organic?
While organic doesn’t ensure it’s not overly processed, at least it won’t be full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
Why should I eat clean?
We’ve all heard should be eating cleaner but how can it really benefit us?
- Maintain a healthy weight. Eating clean is about more than losing weight but upping your fresh foods is also helpful in maintaining a consistent healthy weight.
- Better relationships. Preparing meals takes time, which means more time spent together with your family. As you cook, you can really appreciate all of the food’s flavors and the time spent preparing it. Each family member can provide their contributions about the flavors and what they liked about the meal. Do you get that kind of connection when you heat up a frozen pizza? We thought not!
- Increased energy. Eating more whole foods means you’ll get more nutrients and vitamins, helping you to be your healthiest self. In fact, many report experiencing higher levels of energy when on a clean diet. When you weigh yourself down with preservatives, it’s no wonder that you become more sluggish and tired.
- Improved mood. It’s true that you are what you eat — when you eat better, you feel better. Think about how you feel when you eat a fast food meal. Probably not great, right? When you eat a wholesome, healthy meal, you’re more likely to be in a better mood and feel more ready to take on the day.
- Improved overall health. While eating clean isn’t just about nutrition, it certainly is a benefit. Eating natural foods is better for your body, and often helps with overall wellness too. When you need a reminder of why eating clean is good for you, just read a food label in your pantry. Take polysorbate 80 for instance — this chemical is used in items like pickles and cottage cheese to disperse color, and it’s also used in cosmetics. Unless you like eating your makeup, we don’t think you’ll want to snack on that!
Loving your new clean-eating style but want to change up the veggies? Try an organic spice blend like those made by Pearl and Johnny to pickle some of those veggies. Have fun and play with your food!