What It Means to Eat Clean
By Lorna Jane
You've probably heard the term "clean eating" countless times, but do you really know what it means? Keep reading to discover all you need to know. Best of all, there's NO dieting required... just a simple recipe for how to live your best life!
What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating is a term used to describe nourishing your body with whole foods (a.k.a. "clean" foods.) That means, avoiding processed foods, i.e. anything that has a label, and instead eating foods in their natural form such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and grass-fed and free-range meats. Sounds simple enough? It really is.
What Are the Benefits of Clean Eating?
When you eat whole foods and avoid junk food and processed food, it will help you to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a variety of whole foods, particularly nutrient dense fruits and vegetables will ensure that you consume adequate nutrients. Another important benefit of clean eating is that you will likely have more energy and feel less sluggish.
Here's What to Look for When Shopping for Clean Foods:
Fruits and Vegetables
If it falls from a tree or grows in the ground, it receives the clean eating seal of approval! Specifically, try to buy fresh produce from your local farmers' markets to guarantee minimal handling and environmental impact. If you don't have a farmers' market near by, don't fret, you can find great produce options at your local supermarket. When possible try to buy organic produce. (Also, here is a list of 20 foods you should aim to ALWAYS buy organic even if you're on a budget.)
Whole grains are best! Opt for, quinoa, rye breads and steel-cut oats for a great source of grains. Avoid processed carbs like white breads and pasta.
Lean Meats and/or Fish
Clean eating does not mean waving goodbye to meat, unless you are vegetarian or vegan. Meat is a solid source of protein, creating lean muscle and keeping you fuller for longer. When choosing red meat, try to choose grass-fed and/or organic. Same goes for poultry, and you might also want to consider free-range. When it comes to fish, wild-caught salmon and wild-caught trout are great options.
How to Choose the Healthiest Red Meat
5 Dangerous Fish to Avoid and 3 Safer Seafood Options
How to Switch to Clean Eating
Make Your Kitchen a Clean Kitchen
Take the time to rid your pantry and fridge of processed and packaged foods. By having unhealthy food lingering in the house, you're just asking for trouble if cravings start to kick in. This way, out of sight, out of mind - leaving you to enjoy nutritious and wholesome foods instead.
You'll be amazed at how much more successful your clean eating journey will be if you commit to being prepared. I routinely prep my weekly meals on a Sunday afternoon to make things quicker and easier during the week. This means, portioning my snacks into container, cutting up veggies in advance, and even having meals all ready in the fridge or freezer. As I often like to say, you can achieve anything with a plan - and that goes for eating clean too!
Take it Slow
It can take about 30 days to make or break a habit, so to begin, it’s ok to start with small tweaks here and there. Why not kick off your clean eating by adding one clean meal to your usual diet per day, increasing the amount as the weeks go by. Taking the first step is really the hardest part, so keep going... I promise that once you get use to how great eating clean makes you feel, you won't want to eat any other way.
Clean eating means you get to have your chocolate and eat it too... No sacrificing around here! The secret is swapping your regular sugar-filled guilty pleasures for clean treats that are just as beneficial for you as they are delicious! For example, try our yummy (and clean!) desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Readers - Have you been eating clean? If not, do you think you'll try it after reading about it? What kinds of foods and snacks do you enjoy the most? Are there certain processed foods that are hard to avoid? Share your experience with the community by leaving a comment below.
If there is anything you would like me to write about, I would love to hear from you. Simply drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lorna Jane, Australia’s leading activewear brand for women (now available in the U.S.). With her passion for being active, her love for healthy food and recipes, not to mention her infectious positive outlook on life, Lorna inspires women to Move, Nourish and Believe every day.