What is Eating Clean?

eating clean doesn't have to be boring.

I was prompted to write this article for a couple of reasons.

Number one I’ve had comments about how some foods that are healthy don’t taste very good and two, I’ve been reading articles about health that all have the topic of, “Eating Clean.”

Not to go with the trendsetters, but this topic is important.

So what exactly does it mean to eat clean or eating clean? Is it food you wash first, only certain types of food, fruits only, veggies only, what?

This description, from the Mayo Clinic, is one of my favorites as it explains the meaning with the example of an actual meal.

The fundamentals of eating clean encourage you to consume more whole foods — such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats — and limit highly processed snack foods, sweets, and other packaged foods. An example of a meal containing all of these foods would be a spinach salad with grilled chicken, quinoa, avocado, walnuts, and apple slices.

By Emily Brown, R.D.N., L.D.
Eating clean is an opportunity to try different types of food.

That explains it pretty well but I want to make sure you don’t get hung up on those exact foods, remember that is an example of one meal.

I believe one of the reasons people shy away from eating clean is it has become a label and not so much a way of life. Eating clean doesn’t mean you have to eat ALL veggies or ALL fruits. Every person has different tastes and enjoy different food types.

This could be due to cultural difference, the types of food you had growing up, a strict diet because of health issues, you name it. Whatever the reason, each person can and will cater to different types of foods, and that’s okay.

You don’t have to eat spinach to eat clean. Yes, spinach is extremely good for you but so are other types of vegetables. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t eat them. Are they good for me, yes, but can I substitute them for another type of veggie I prefer, absolutely! 

That’s the beauty of food. We have so many varieties that you would have to be EXTREMELY picky not to be able to eat clean. This is where labeling comes in. The experts say you should eat this type of food and that type of food because they have this incredible benefit or that incredible benefit. I’m not docking that, but I am saying you can choose and substitute.

choose where your food comes from.

In my opinion, the most important part of eating clean is where you get your food. Example: if you get strawberries that are heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals then who really cares if it’s labeled a strawberry. The nutrition level is non-existent and doesn’t compar to growing your own or obtaining them from a local farmer or friend who doesn’t use spray. You can’t expect your body to be healthy when you feed it crap and chemicals.

Everything you buy in the store comes from somewhere. It might sound like a big pain in the butt, but you should know where that somewhere is from. Even when you buy your items at a farmer’s market; some vendors spray their produce so you always need to ask. Never ever assume that what you’re eating is clean. You need to know it’s clean.

As I said in my last article, if you don’t understand what’s on a label then you shouldn’t be buying that product. For instance, I don’t buy anything that has soy because the soy that is in our food now isn’t fermented and is poisoness to the body. (more on that topic to prove my point in a later article.)

When I think of eating clean I picture myself biting into one of our apples which hasn’t been sprayed and enjoying every bite. It’s home-grown and 100% healthy. Now it’s not logical to think that everyone can have an apple tree on their property. However, with all of the food you eat in your regular diet, it’s not that hard to find a healthier source.

If you eat eggs, find a farmer who sells fresh organic eggs. Want apples, go to a local market, buy organic or pick them from a neighbor. Where there is a will there is a way. Heck, a lot of people who have apple trees and fruit trees are begging for people just to come and pick them for free. They don’t need them all and they don’t want them to go to waste.

Remember clean eating is not only what you’re eating but where you’re getting your food from. So, start asking around and see who you can find for a local source to keep eating clean.

Picking apples does not cost money but it does take time. Time, that will be well spent because of what you’re getting and the fresh air you are breathing.

fruits are a vital part of your diet.

Know What You’re Eating.

Here is my list of the top 5 things you can do to reach your goal of eating clean:

  1. Know your food source.
  2. Replace processed and sugary foods with a healthier substitute and one you enjoy.
  3. Eat a balanced diet of veggies, lean protein, fruits, and healthy fats.
  4. Use moderation when eating. More isn’t always a healthier choice.
  5. Drink lots of water. This will help flush toxins and garbage out of your system.

Now, you’re smart. If you don’t see something on the list that can add to your eating clean then do it anyways.

A list is just that, something to jog your memory and start you off on the right track.

If you’re eating foods you love and ones that are good for you, then keep eating them. If not then let the list remind you. Remember, you always have a choice of what fruits, veggies, proteins and fats you eat. Accurate choices yeild positive results. By eating clean you are giving your body and life the best chance for success.

Have a healthy week. –Heather Earles

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