Spring Cleaning Part 11: Clean Eating
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So it is time for some Spring Cleaning in my house. I thought why not share tips and resources I use or find in my quest to finally tackle a household of 6 mess. Have you done any Spring Cleaning in your home yet this year? Today’s Blog topic is all about Clean Eating. What a twist on Spring Cleaning right?
What does Clean eating mean?
Eating clean is simply the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods. The most simplest form of whole food is something straight from the farm to your hand to eat. That is not always to do though. So, when buying packaged foods, ALWAYS look at the ingredient list. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s most likely not good for you, and avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners if at all possible! But there’s much more to a eating clean. You can gain energy from nutrition, prevent illnesses, lose weight, and feel better. Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding or limiting all of the junk that is so readily available these days.
Here are Some Basic Clean Eating Tips
Choose whole, natural foods and eliminate or minimize processed foods.
That means staying clear of prepackaged food in a box, bag, can and frozen meals (yes even called Healthy Request) filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce, like sodium benzoate. Nope this is not salt! When reading ingredient lists on a package, ask yourself if you would find each ingredient by itself on a store shelf or in your kitchen. If the answer is no, back away. This usually means you will do most of your shopping around the edges of the store. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta, natural cheeses, and brown rice), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket. For most of you, just this step alone will give you HUGE benefits.
Don’t drink your calories.
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees, soft drinks and fruit juice, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, (that is all I drink with lemon) unsweetened tea (any flavor) is a good option too. Not a fan of water? Try infusing your water with fruit and herbs!
Have balanced meals
Include a protein, carb, and fat at every meal. I know there are different opinions around every corner. Don’t eat carbs eat high fat, don’t eat fat just have protein, etc. Most of us typically do well with carbs and fat, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day like at breakfast. Breakfast foods marketed highly are cereals, donuts, muffins, bagels, and other pastries. Even at hotels that is the breakfast they typically offer. All 3 are necessary in your meals throughout the day. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. Fat will keep you feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together and include a protein, carb and fat.
Don’t eat too little.
Did you know that this can also be the reason you are not losing weight? Our bodies need fuel to keep us going, and to keep our metabolism in check! So many people under-eat when trying to lose weight – don’t put yourself through that! There are many clients that when I ask them to tell me what a typical day looks like in their nutrition it is skipping at least one meal. If you are eating clean food in correct portions, your results will come the healthy way!
Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
This usually pans out into three main meals and two or three hefty snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and binging later. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so energy doesn’t lag.
Cook your own meals at home.
Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! You don’t have to do this all at once either start with just one meal and each week add another. Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love. We even make all our own seasonings instead of buying all those pre-made packets (you don’t know what all may be hiding in those).
Eliminate refined sugar.
Refined sugar provides nothing but calories. It does not have any nutritional value. If you need to sweeten your foods use pure maple syrup, cinnamon, honey or stevia. My FAVORITE natural sweetener is stevia! It has no affect on blood sugar Look out for the words “maltodextrin” and “dextrose” in the ingredients. Avoid artificial sweeteners at ALL COSTS all they do is trick your body into producing insulin & storing fat. Not good. The 3 most common artificial sweeteners are Sucralose (Splenda) , Saccharin (Sweet N Low) and Aspartame (Equal) and some of the things I have heard and read about these 3 sweeteners has caused me to complete eliminate them in my family. I have a client that actually told me horror stories about her health and brain Cancer with one of these so-called safe artificial sweeteners.
I have a Free Healthy Eating Guide with meal plan you can get by filling out the form below. I will email it to you so you can download and print it.