Clean eating is re-educating your mind, taste buds and cooking skills to create wholesome unprocessed meals with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and good fats.
'Oh, another diet....' Absolutely not. This is not a diet, because if you go on a diet, you will ultimately come off it. This isn't a diet. This is changing your eating habits, permanently. This is creating the healthier you that you always wanted to be. This, is your opportunity to live the lifestyle that will give you so many benefits back.
So what is it all about?
Clean eating means only eating 'real' food and avoiding processed foods. Generally you will have to cook a bit more from scratch, but you eat cake, if you make it yourself!
Processed foods as a general rule are anything in a can, bag, box or package. Obviously there are a few exceptions – like a plastic box of blueberries or a bag of salad. Basically try to avoid anything that has had something done to it and aim for fresh foods. An easy rule is to look at the food label. If there is a long list of ingredients, then it has been messed with somehow. If there is just 1 or 2 items, then this is wholesome unprocessed clean food.
Once armed with your clean foods, try to structure your meals with some carbohydrate, some fat and some protein at each meal. This is more difficult at the beginning of the day, unless you can include eggs or egg whites into your breakfast. It will also be beneficial to eat smaller more frequent meals and drink plenty of fluid as per general healthy eating guidelines to keep your body ticking along.
Below are some simple meal suggestions. Experiment and enjoy!
- Sweet potato and spinach omelette
- Chicken salad with broccoli, beetroot, avocado and pesto
- Roasted fish with potatoes, tomatoes and herbs
- Smoothies with your favourite fresh ingredients
- Sweet potato cakes – sweet potatoes and wholewheat pastry flour
The list is endless though. You could cook all your family's favourite foods replacing heavily processed items for fresh, and perhaps adapting the recipe if necessary.
Clean eating is your route to a healthier you. This is not a fad, not a phase, and not a quick fix. This is a lifestyle choice. Why not take the family on this journey with you and enjoy the benefits. You can all have improved sleep, improved brain function, better moods, better workouts and glowing skin. If we eat heavily processed foods, all those chemicals have to be broken down by our body and come out somewhere. If we don’t put them in, it’s not a worry. As we know, we are what we eat. Eat fresh and healthy, and be fresh and healthy.
Written by Heather Oakes