Clean eating is not a diet, but a lifestyle choice with many health benefits: weight loss, increased energy, fat loss, clearer skin, better focus, and more peaceful sleep.
Clean eating by definition is eliminating all processed food and extra additives from your diet, and sticking to whole foods in nature. No artificial sweeteners, pastries, donuts, candy, etc.
The best way to adjust to this type of eating is by making a meal plan. Just write out every breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner for each day of the week. Go through your kitchen after the meal plan is complete and compile a list of what you NEED to get. Make sure to opt for whole grains foods, and if packaged, have 6 ingredients or less and you can pronounce all of them.
What To Do
- Eat more – eat five to six small meals
- Eat breakfast within an hour of rising
- Eat a combo of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal
- Eat sufficient (2-3 servings) healthy fats each day
- Drink at least two to three liters of water per day
- Carry a cooler packed with clean foods each day
- Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes.
- Adhere to proper portion sizes
What To Avoid
- Avoid all over-processed foods particularly white flour and sugar
- Avoid chemically changed foods
- Avoid food containing preservatives
- Avoid artificial sugars
- Avoid artificial foods, such as processed cheese slices
- Avoid saturated and trans fats
- Avoid sugar-loaded beverages, including pop/soda and juices
- Avoid, or do your best to avoid, alcohol intake
- Avoid all calorie-dense foods containing little to no nutritional value
- Avoid supervising your food
These are examples of not clean and clean eating.
Not Clean Versions
Mayo, cream cheese
Canned fruits & vegetables
Brown rice, quinoa
Ezekiel, whole wheat bread, whole grain bread
Greek yogurt, avocado
Blended frozen fruits
Ground turkey, ground lean meats
Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
Stick with it and you soon won’t be craving C.R.A.P. (Carbonated beverages, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and coloring, processed foods)
It’s not just about the fruits and vegetables though, but also lean meats and complex carbohydrates.
Lean meat is considered by the USDA as having LESS THAN 10 grams of total fat per serving. No more than 2-3 oz of fat per 1 oz serving. This is essential to healthy eating and weight loss. It provides a sense of fullness which helps prevent overeating.
Examples of lean meats: fish (salmon, tuna, tilapia), chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lentils, legumes, quinoa, nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds and eggs.
Examples of complex carbohydrates include: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Combination combos of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates include:
- Eggs paired with vegetables
- Eggs paired with oats with ground flax seed
- Greek yogurt paired with granola or fruit
- Hummus paired with whole grain pits or vegetables
- Chicken, salmon or turkey paired with brown rice, quinoa, or vegetables
- Almonds paired with dried fruits
- Tofu paired with brown rice, quinoa, vegetables
Pair these two together and you will notice a difference in your appetite and cravings.
Another part of clean eating is healthy fats. Examples of healthy fats include: nuts, seeds, avocados, and several oils including olive oil, peanut, sunflower, corn, and safflower.
Another group of essential fats include Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These are found in fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, etc), walnuts, and flax seeds.
These healthy fats are supposed to be about 20-35% of your daily recommended intake. The rest is made up of protein and complex carbohydrates.
This is your basic introduction to healthy, clean eating. If you would like a more advanced, in depth help with clean eating, please comment leaving me your email address or a way to contact you.