Friday, January 13, 2012

What is Clean Eating?

Since myfirst post on cleaning up our diet, I've had a few emails asking me what exactly clean eating is.

Cleaning eating is, to me at least, removing all chemicals, additives, impurities from one's diet.  Clearly I'm not an expert- I've only been learning about this for about three months now and I've only been implementing it in my and my family's diet for only a few weeks, but I really believe it is the foundation for good health. Ultimately if you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage.  If you eat a healthy, whole, natural diet then your skin, hair, nails, mood, everything will glow.  

Basically, what we’re not eating is refined sugar, added sugar, white flour, trans fats, preservatives and unnecessary added ingredients.   

What we are eating every single day:

Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re the foundation for clean eating. If I can’t buy fresh, then frozen is my second choice and I’m looking for ONLY the frozen fruit or veggie - no added syrups, sauces, ingredients.  I’m no longer buying canned fruits or vegetables as they’re loaded with unnecessary ingredients and so. much. sodium.  Also, no more fruit juice.  My kids didn’t drink much juice anyway thankfully, and the fresh alternative (choosing an actual orange over processed orange juice) is a healthier choice.

A moderate amount of proteins and complex carbs, like breads and pastas made from whole-wheat and whole-grains, brown rice, beans, and oats.  And again, I’m still avoiding the highly processed versions of these products (anything with more than 5-6 ingredients).  We’re treating meat and fish like a side dish as opposed to the main course (think smaller portions) and then only eating it 3-4 times a week.   I pick the leanest options and try to buy organic, grass-fed meats whenever possible as these foods are generally free of pesticides, additives and hormones.

A small amount of dairy.  Now, from everything I’ve researched, dairy is subjective.  By definition it’s processed because the milk is pasteurized, but it’s not highly processed, as many dairy options have five ingredients or less.  Low-fat milk, organic eggs and block cheeses (not the prepared shredded options) are very good for the body and are a great source of non-meat protein.  

Tiny amount of good fatsMonounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health and include products such as olive oil, avocados, olives, peanut butter, and nuts.

Lots and lots and lots of water! With limited coffee and alcohol, le sigh. 

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