Are you ready for a clean eating lifestyle?
Health and wellness professionals around the world attribute their hot bods, clear skin, and robust immune systems to a clean eating lifestyle. Have you ever wondered what the pros mean by "clean" and if their method works? Six years ago, I was the one wondering.
I went in blindfolded and fork-first.
I first noticed the term "clean eating lifestyle" when my friend posted a 30-day clean eating challenge on social media. She noted her own transition into a clean eating lifestyle and how weight had been falling off since she started. Desperate to make some changes myself, I agreed to the challenge before Googling the meaning of "clean eating." I didn't know if I'd just committed to a 30-day water fast, colon cleanse, or regimen of swallowing 27 pills of encapsulated magic per day. I just knew that something had to give...because my jeans
weren't going to. And then, I Googled.
The clean eating lifestyle wasn't as hard to start as I thought.
I soon learned "clean eating" is a term coined by the health and wellness godmother, Tosca Reno. Tosca went through her own midlife transformation by dumbing down nutrition and returning to the basics. Living a clean eating lifestyle is so simple; it should be called "easy eating." If you've been looking for a non-gimmicky way to make changes in your life, let me school you on the clean eating lifestyle. I think you'll find it's not as confusing or difficult as you may think.
Implement a clean eating lifestyle starting today
- Write it all down. I'm mentioning this before telling you what to eat because no matter what, you need to keep track of everything you eat. We can jump into a bag of chips or pan of pizza rolls when no one's looking. If you write everything you bite, chances are you'll be more mindful each time you eat.
- Avoid ultra-processed foods. While you can't escape food processing 100% of the time, you can avoid ready-to-eat items and other convenience foods. Ultra-processed foods are those that have been modified from their original state to contain unrecognizable ingredients or fillers. Our bodies were made to digest real food. When we eat fake food, our bodies know it! Minimally processed foods are a key component in the clean eating lifestyle.
- Check the ingredient list. When choosing packaged foods (most of your meals should be unpackaged) make sure the ingredient list is limited to five or six PRONOUNCEABLE ingredients. If you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it.
- Eat plants, not "food" made in a plant. Plant-based foods have so many health benefits. Foods concocted, processed, and packaged in a plant typically are far less beneficial and in some cases, not real food at all.
- Consume whole grains. Whole grains (not whole wheat) are an essential part of your diet. These carbs provide energy and help your digestive system do what it does. They are also great for your cholesterol, blood pressure, and metabolism. Look for brown rice, quinoa oats, whole grain bread and other whole grain cereals.
- Avoid the white foods. These foods include white rice, white noodles, white bread, and white potatoes. Choose carbs with a lower glycemic load such as brown rice, whole grain noodles, whole grain bread and sweet potatoes.
- Drink water. I know you already drink water, but chances are you're not drinking enough. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day. If you weigh 160 pounds, you should be getting 80 ounces of water each day. Find your favorite cup and get to work.
- Skip the added sugar and artificial sugars. Sugar is probably the area that most trips up those new to the clean eating lifestyle.
- Plan it out. Meal planning makes so much sense. If you plan your meals (a week or even a month ahead), you're less likely to be tempted by foods that don't fit your clean eating lifestyle.
- Clean out your pantry. Now that you know ultra-processed foods and foods with added sugars (and fake sugars) are a no-no, let's go ahead and get rid of them. A pantry clean-out will give you a fresh start and a head-start with your clean eating lifestyle.
I'd love to help you learn more about the clean eating lifestyle. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Insta for more great tips and tricks to living clean.