Just the thought of clean eating is appealing to me. Some refer to it as a diet but it’s not, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of choosing foods.
What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating focuses on eating mostly natural and unprocessed foods. The focus with a clean diet is on fruits, vegetables, meats, and gains in their most natural, unprocessed form. Think simple foods like steamed broccoli and grilled chicken, omelets, homemade chili or steak, baked potato and a side salad.
In essence, it’s going back to how we used to eat before there was a fast food restaurant at every corner and grocery stores packed with processed foods and meals ready to heat and serve. The idea behind clean eating is to get back to consuming fresh, mainly unprocessed foods that contain their full nutritional value. As a result, we’re eating foods with less preservatives, additives and flavor enhancers.
This isn’t an all or nothing kind of thing.
How “clean” you make your diet is up to you. Some proponents of this way of eating insist that you should only consume completely unprocessed foods. Others are comfortable enjoying things like butter, cheese, cured meats and cultivated vegetables like Sauerkraut. How far you take it is up to you. Even cleaning up your diet just a little by cutting out fast food burgers and creating freezer meals will help.
3 Great Reasons to Start Eating Clean
Giving up your favorite junk food isn’t easy. Who doesn’t love pizza, cake and ice cream? Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to make the switch to eating clean. Here are three good reasons why you should give it a try.
You Feel Better And Have More Energy
Clean eating is all about eating real, un-processed foods that are good for you and your body. It’s not easy, but the results will be almost immediate. You’ll start to feel better and have more energy throughout the day. You may even find you’re sleeping better and don’t have to rely on those 3 cups of coffee in the morning to get you out the door.
That’s because you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to run at its best. Instead of going on a sugar or caffeine high and subsequent crash, you’re getting what you need to feel great and have as much energy as that Energizer Bunny.
You Look Better
Real food is much better at providing you with the vitamins, minerals and other micro nutrients than anything in pill or cream form can. Don’t be surprised to see thicker, shinier hair and clearer, firmer skin.
Processed food is designed to trigger us into eating more than we should. Add to that the fact that it is not very nutrient dense and it’s no surprise that most people on a “Western Diet” are overweight.
Going back to a more natural way of eating will help you lose those extra pounds which not only makes you look better, you’ll be a lot healthier as well – which is much more important than looking good.
You’re Setting A Good Example For Your Loved Ones
Eating better and getting healthier doesn’t just impact you. You’ll also be setting an example for those around you. Your spouse and children will be much more likely to grab a healthy snack if you lead by example. Just think of the impact this could have on your family.
Not only will you make sure you’re around and healthy for a long time, but you’ll also be influencing them to make healthy choices now and for years to come.
Some Tips to Help You Get Started
Fill up your plate with plenty of raw or cooked vegetables. Cook up some rice or bake a potato and round it all up with a little fruit and cheese for dessert. Find a couple of go-to meals you like and build your weekly meals around those dishes.
It’s hard to find healthy snacks that fit your clean diet while you’re out and about. Keep some fresh and dried fruit along with some seeds and nuts handy for emergency snacking. When it comes to drinks, water and herbal teas are your best friend. Black coffee is another good choice. Just be careful about adding sweeteners and creamers.
It may take you a little while to get used to the “real” taste of food after eating foods that are laden with sugar, salt and flavor enhancers. Once your taste buds adjust, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious real food is. And your body will thank you for the change to clean eating as well.