The Basics of Clean Eating
If eating better is on your list of goals to accomplish this year, good for you! Remember it’s a process and be patient with yourself. Before looking at meal ideas and other tips for a clean eating lifestyle, you should hone in on exactly what the basics of clean eating are going to do for you. The following information goes over clean eating, what is allowed and not allowed, and very basically… how it works!
The Simple Rules of Clean Eating
A good place to start with clean eating is to learn about the simple, basic rules involved with this lifestyle. In general, you are focusing more on healthy, whole, fresh foods. Instead of counting calories or cutting your carbohydrate intake, you are simply resolving to eat more raw food and cook more frequently. You are using fresh ingredients, and avoiding highly processed foods. This means grating your own cheese, no longer using canned fruits and veggies, and only having eggs or dairy that is from free-range or grass-fed animals. With a clean eating lifestyle, you will be cooking most meals on your own and reducing your saturated fats and trans fats. You may also choose to cut back on your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Go For Fresh Produce
With clean eating, fresh produce will be a big part of your diet. You can also have some carbohydrates and protein, but fruits and veggies will constitute a good portion of your meals. You want to eat as much fresh produce as often as possible. This means trying to reduce how often you turn to frozen veggies too; buy your vegetables in the produce section, and slice them up yourself. To save money and have a larger selection, you can search out local farmers’ markets.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed food is a major no-no on a clean eating diet. You want to use as many natural and fresh ingredients as you can. If it comes in a package, consider whether there is a more natural version of that ingredient available. As an example, instead of buying shredded cheese, buy a block of cheese and grate yourself. In addition, you should only have dairy when it is from grass-fed cows. Instead of buying chopped onions, buy whole onions and chop them yourself. These are good examples to start with.
Start Cooking More
As you can see, cooking is a major component to eating clean. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef, but you should be able to follow a simple recipe. If you don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook, invest in some appliances that help the process go faster, such as a food processor for chopping, and a slow cooker to cook your meals during the day while you are at work or school.
I have a mini food processor I find is a big help. It doesn’t take up much counter space, so it “lives” out in the open where I can easily put it into action. You’ll be more apt to use appliances that aren’t a big production to take out and set up.
This may sound overly simplified, but it really does give you a good start to changing how “clean” you eat. Small steps for big changes are how I explain the basics of clean eating to my students and coaching clients.
Helping You Make Major Improvements in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major