Healthy Living

What is Clean Eating Anyway?

I’ve been posting about the fact that I have been eating clean for three weeks now. But what exactly does eating clean mean? Well, it can mean different things to different people, but the main concept seen in every version is cutting out processed foods as much as possible. This means limiting prepackaged foods and when you do eat them, making sure they have minimal (3-6) ingredients, and only ingredients you are familiar with or can pronounce!

Try to add as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, and if you can afford to buy organic, that is even better. When you buy organic fruits and vegetables, this means the farmer who grew them did not use any GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), did not modify the produce in any way, and did not use any pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. Since one of my main goals is to stave off cancer for as long as possible, I feel it is best not to expose myself to any more chemicals that absolutely necessary. While there may be studies showing these chemicals don’t cause cancer, there are also studies saying they do, and I would rather be safe than sorry by only putting things in my body that are supposed to be there. Food is fuel. It is necessary to perform daily functions and to thrive, but it can also be enjoyed. Just because you are beginning (or continuing) a clean diet, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the food you eat. I love food and always have. It used to be a downfall. But now that I know the food I eat is used by my body to perform necessary functions, I just make sure the food that I enjoy also serves a purpose!

So when you go to grab a cookie or cupcake, think again. What is that cookie going to do for your body? Will it give you energy or nutrients? Or will it give you a quick shot of energy and then bog you down? This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy a cookie every once in awhile, and there are even clean cookie recipes, but it is important to make sure your body is getting what it needs. So instead of grabbing a cookie, maybe grab an apple, or some plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and honey or pure maple syrup. This will satisfy your craving for something sweet while also providing your body with the nutrients and healthy energy it needs!

Here is a list of the main “foods” or ingredients I try to stay away from:

refined sugar

overly processed foods (why not make it myself anyway so I know what is going into it, and it usually tastes better homemade anyway!)

hydrogenated oils

high fructose corn syrup

artificial dyes and flavors

white flour

Some of my favorite clean foods to eat are:

Plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and pure maple syrup

Crispy tofu with bok choy and brown rice

Whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs and marinara sauce

Spicy black bean burger in a whole wheat pita with salsa

an apple with a handful of raw almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter

almond butter on Ezekiel bread toast

And I will be posting MANY more clean recipes in the recipes section as I get time.

So for now, try adding a few more clean foods to your diet and cutting out some foods that aren’t clean. Take it a step at a time if it seems like a really big, difficult step for you to go clean immediately. But whatever you do, remember that you are what you eat and no amount of exercise will change that.

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”

~William Shakespeare

2 thoughts on “What is Clean Eating Anyway?”

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