What is Clean Eating?
"Clean eating involves
the consumption of whole and natural foods as close to their natural form as possible.
It also includes eliminating or reducing the consumption of processed foods."
Clean eating is a good way to refresh your eating habits by eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups and eating less of the not so healthy options.
This approach to eating and living well maximises your energy and optimises your health, making it more than just a diet. It becomes a lifestyle. Clean eating is flexible and can be adapted to fit almost any kind of routine.
The foods eaten on a clean food diet are as close to their natural form as possible. This means they have not been processed and have minimal additives and preservatives. When cooking a clean meal the best process is to boil, poach or grill the food as these methods require no oils or additives.
If you are accustomed to a high fat, high sugar, or heavily processed diet, your body will take time to adjust to clean eating. This adjustment will include getting used to different tastes and flavours however in addition to this it may include your body going through a detox. During the detox your body will flush out the bad toxins that are present when a high processed diet is consumed and will cleanse your body from the inside out. This could result in headaches, breakouts, cravings and irritability. This is normal, this will pass quickly and as strange as it sounds, this is a good thing. This means you are on the right track to a healthier you! Stick with it, your body will thank you for it!
The following tips may help you adapt to a clean eating lifestyle.
Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimise processed foods.
Processed foods are usually anything in a box, bag, can, or package, and although there are always a few exceptions to the rule, when eating clean the majority of your foods should be fresh. So this eliminates most things that are packaged this way . A little saying I created in order to follow this rule is ‘If it can grow mould, eat it. If it can grow old, beat it.’ Meaning if it has the ability to spoil or rot chances are it is not processed and full of preservatives and therefore is the better option (while it is still fresh and before it grows mould, obviously!) Think of food you buy in a packet or even certain store bought cakes and biscuits, they have the ability to seemingly last forever, that is because they are full of preservatives, trans fat and other bad extras in order to increase their shelf life.
'If it can grow mould,
If it can grow old,
Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, when you have the choice, choose unrefined foods. Increase your intake of whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include raw honey and 100% maple syrup. Embrace foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats
Learn what macronutrients your meals are made-up of.
It is important to know what type of food you are eating and if you are getting enough of each macronutrient. Most of us typically do well with carbohydrates and fat, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day, like at breakfast and lunch. Protein plays an important role in muscle building, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together, what they mostly consist of (carbs, protein, fat) and space out your protein to ensure your body can maintain adequate absorption of it.
Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This is actually easier than you think, particularly once you cut out processed foods, which are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients.
Clean eating is a good way to refresh your eating habits by eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups and eating less of the not so healthy options. Processed foods make up to 99% of most diets and are full of refined sugars, preservatives and additives. Eliminating these from your diet will have a whole range of health benefits for you.