From numerous diet books and an endless number of recipes to your Pinterest feed, the “clean eating” craze seems to be everywhere lately, and I bet most of you have heard about it. It sounds like a simple concept, but you probably wonder what really clean eating actually is or how to go about cleaning up your diet. Is this some sort of diet, specialized meal plans or weight loss tips? Well, you can say so, in one way or another, but not necessarily. I would define it as a healthy and happy lifestyle, consisted of genuine food recipes and weight loss meal plans that bring forward fresh, delicious, unprocessed, nutrient-dense and seasonal food recipes.
Clean eating is a great way to refresh and your revamp your bad eating habits. It means eating more of the healthier and best options in every food group and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. Ok, you probably got the picture by now. But, what does it mean to eat healthily? That means embracing whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and consuming more healthy proteins and fats. Over and above, it means cutting back on added sugars, refined grains, unhealthy fats and salt. And since you don’t have to give up whole food groups or count calories or, it’s pretty easy concept to follow.
In short, eating clean is a lifestyle about real food, healthy eating habits, thus a healthier lifestyle. The basics of clean eating are mostly consuming food in its natural state or generally as close as possible, in order to stay healthier, active and fit.
An unhealthy diet is one of the main reasons why people face health issues such as heart diseases, diabetes, obesity etc. When and how did this start, anyway? Well, you will get the point if you think about it this way i.e. ask yourself these questions. What were your grandma and grandpa eating? Were they and their friends experiencing health issues as often as our generation does? Where were they getting their food from? Were they buying processed food as much as we do?
It is obvious that the time has changed, mostly for the worst, bringing us unhealthy lifestyle along with a handful of bad habits. So to get back to healthy eating habits means to get back in time (in some way) and start eating in the same way as our grandparents used to. This means consuming whole foods as close as possible to its natural state, avoiding products with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives chemicals or other artificial substances.
In this article on the clean eating method, I would like to share a few suggestions that worked really well for me and made the whole process of switching to clean eating much easier.
- Start slowly
Switching 100% to clean foods in one day, from scratch, can be very difficult. That is like removing all bad habits in one day. That is why I recommend taking it easy and going slow, by simply replacing one food item at a time. Start from the snacks, replace the chips or M&M’s with apples or peaches, go like this for a week or two, then replace the pizza with brown rice, and so on. Over time, your body will get used to whole foods and will ditch bad eating habits out of your system.
- Shop in the perimeter
You can follow the old “shop in the perimeter” mantra here. The point is to shop at local stores and farmers markets, which usually have seasonal sales, so you can find good quality food products, at great prices.
- The Order Of Shopping
You will also need to change the order of shopping i.e. buy whole foods first, example rice, potatoes, bananas, apples, oranges etc. The second best is to buy packages containing only one ingredient, like oats, honey, yogurt etc. The last priority on this list are the products with many ingredients, so try to avoid these. You must remember that the fewer ingredients a product has, the “wholer” it is. So, try to buy only items with five or six ingredients at the most.
- Always read the label
Over time this can turn into a habit, fortunately a good one, which will keep you away from unhealthy food products. When checking the labels you must look for any ingredient you don’t understand and learn if it is dangerous. A simple “bad chemicals hunt” here. You don’t have to be a doctor, just google the ingredients or check them via Chemical Cuisine app, published by the Center of Science.
- Preparing the meals
Prepare meals with just a few ingredients. It is easier for your body to digest these meals since they contain only one combination of nutrients. So the logic here is – the more ingredients you add, the harder the digesting process gets. I learned this while I have been on this awesome three week diet, that has helped me to understand my body needs better.
- Watch the portion size
Do not count calories, just watch the portion size. Make sure that you eat just as enough, never overeat. It is always better to have more small sized meals throughout the day, than just two or three big meals, where you will overeat for sure.
Below is a short list of food ingredients that I enjoy eating. It can be your starting point for clean eating, but don’t be afraid to experiment more and try new foods and recipes. Since every person is different, you should find out which foods work best for yourself.
Grains And Protein
• Brown rice
• Black beans
• Pinto beans
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Coconut oil
• Sesame oil
• Black pepper
• Hot sauce
• Pink Himalayan salt
• Red pepper flakes
• Apple cider vinegar
• Red wine vinegar
• Sunflower seeds
• Raw almonds
• Popcorn (FRESH-popped on the stove)
• Coconut water
• Herbal teas
• Almond or hemp milk
Kristina is the editor in chief of Fashion Corner. She is a passionate and analytical journalist, always wondering what is her today’s mission in the world. Her life motto is: start your day with coffee, eat clean, sing your favorite song and find excitement in everything you do. She also loves to watch TV shows, travel to new places, practice yoga, and meditation, read motivational books and learn foreign languages!
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