A Clean Diet Is a Healthier Diet
A clean eating diet focuses on foods primarily in their natural state – or as close to nature as possible and rarely, if ever, includes processed foods.
It is not one of the latest and greatest weight loss programs – in fact, it is not about weight loss at all (although that can be a nice side benefit). It is a way of eating – a way of life.
A clean eating diet is comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and gains in their most natural, unprocessed form.
Instead of eating white flour, refined sugar, and fatty foods like pizza, white pasta and breads, candy, chips, doughnuts, and fried chicken, switch to clean diet meals filled with heaping mounds of steamed fresh vegetables, grilled chicken, fish or free-range meat, omelets from “cage-free” eggs, homemade chili, baked potatoes (white or sweet), crisp side salads and fresh fruit.
Essentially, it is making a choice to eat the way we did before fast food establishments were built on every corner and grocery store shelves were packed with convenience foods such as “quick and easy” ready-to-serve dinners made up of heavily processed ingredients.
Clean eating is a diet of “close-to-nature” foods that still contain their full nutritional value. In addition to being fresh and nutritious, they are not loaded with preservatives, additives, and flavor enhancers.
Levels of “Clean”
There are degrees of “clean.” The level you choose is up to you. Any step in the direction of clean is a positive step.
Some advocates of clean eating insist that the only way to go is complete avoidance of all processed foods. Others are more lenient and continue to enjoy butter, cheese, cured meats and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut.
How far you take it is up to you. Cleaning up your diet even a little is a wise choice. For example: Choosing to eliminate all fast foods – or refined sugar products – or making it a habit to prepare fresh dinner meals for your family five nights a week – are all good steps in the right direction.
Prepare plenty of raw or cooked fresh vegetables. Prepare brown rice, quinoa, or bake potatoes and grill your favorite fish or chicken pieces. Finish the meal with a little fruit and cheese for dessert. It is fairly easy to find three or four go-to dishes your family enjoys and build your weekly meals around those dishes.
It is nearly impossible to find healthy snacks that fit your clean diet when you are out and about; so, be sure to have fresh or dried fruit (w/o preservatives), seeds, or nuts handy for emergency snacking.
Be sure to keep your body well-hydrated. Water is by far the best choice – so keep plenty of bottles available at home (and in the car). Herbal teas are next in line of preference, and finally if you must, drink black coffee – but limit it to no more than two cups a day and be careful with the sweeteners and creamers. If you must use them, try Stevia and real cream.
It May Take Some Time to Change
If you have been eating a regular diet of processed and fast foods loaded with sugar, fats, additives, and flavor enhancers, getting used to the taste of real natural foods may take some time.
Once your taste buds adjust, you will be pleasantly surprised by how delicious real natural foods are. The best part is that you will be on the road to better health and your body will thank you for the change to clean eating. It will not have to work so hard to keep you feeling your best.