I know you have all heard the term “eating clean” and secretly wondered exactly hat does that mean, “I wash my food before I prepare or eat it anyway.” Haha While that is part of it that’s not exactly what eating clean means. Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods/processed foods. So here are a few tips to good health and proper nutrition:
- Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that have not been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. These are food that are straight from the farm: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds. Here’s a tip, if it needs to be washed then more than likely is it a whole food. So wash away.
- Avoid processed foods:Processed foods are foods that are made in a lab or manufacturing plant. If it has a label more than one ingredient was used to make that food. Now notice I said, “avoid” not eliminate. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (ie. whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping cart.
- Eliminate refined sugar. So what is a refined sugar, if it has a tose on the end of the name, comes in a syrup or juice or is processed in a plant it’s a refined sugar and provides nothing but calories. Other sweeteners can be used, but with all the good foods you add to your diet, refined sugar do not have a place in a clean eating plan.
- Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat “junk” or empty calorie foods. To determine what that looks like determine the amount of calories you need to consume in a day, keeping mind the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) and divide that by 5 or 6. Which lead me to my next tip.
- Cook your own meals.Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.
- Combine protein with carbs.When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs.