Everywhere you turn, information is coming at you. Someone, or some company is trying to convince you to see their view-point and find value in the product they have. The highlights are always why “this” is good, but “that” isn’t.
Those are everywhere, and for some of us it can be overwhelming.
I don’t pretend to be exempt from this completely; I do have a business, products, and want to support myself. However, what I do realize about this barrage of sales, is that for most of us we just want to find the balance of what works for us, as individuals. Because, let’s face it, no one size fits all, really, and until you find the routine, products, foods, exercise, etc. that work well for YOU, nothing anyone says will have any merit.
Embodying the things we talk to others about takes a lot more courage than being the one who shares the news. We often think there is such a service in “letting someone know” or sharing some info, but nowadays everyone is over saturated with information and gossip. So much so, that it’s often hard to tell what is actual facts and what is over-dramatized social opinions.
One area that I’ve heard a lot of chatter about is clean eating. This phrase is tossed around, and regardless if you’re a “foodie” or not, clean eating can apply to you.
That is, if you are interested in making those personal discoveries, and finding your perfect balance, like we were talking about.
So, maybe you’ve heard of “clean eating”, maybe not. Either way, I want to first say that eating a diet of clean foods does not mean that everyone who isn’t eating that way is instead consuming dirty, unnatural, gross food.
The best thing a person can do is work on themselves, and if you are feeling great then let that be the shining example that what you’re doing is working, for you.
Our bodies are the home we carry with us, so I’ve been thinking about this, and maybe it’s a good idea to keep it nice and clean, and running in top condition.
What is Clean Eating?
Does this mean that all the food you eat has been washed really, really well?!
No. Although thoroughly washing produce is recommended.
Eating “Clean” simply means to eat foods that are as close to the source as possible, making those foods minimally processed, not packaged, or from factory origination.
For example, fruits and vegetables when consumed fresh or lightly seasoned/cooked are considered clean. Whereas white flour pasta is not. The idea is that when choosing foods that are in their whole, natural form we maximize the nutritional content that our body will receive.
It is also important to note that knowing the source of food, and choosing seasonal and local are all top priorities when going clean with food, as well as the factors of sustainability, and not treated with pesticides, or any other contaminates.
Clean eating is more of a lifestyle, and revolves around maintaining a balanced and personalized diet of fresh, unprocessed food including fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and some meats, fish, and dairy.
Basic Principles of Eating Clean:
- Keep it whole
- Get cooking
- Eliminate refined sugars and carbohydrates
- Maintain blood sugar level
- Drink water
So, what’s the point of eating clean?
Besides the moral and mental boost the words themselves evoke, many benefits of eating whole foods include clearer skin, weight loss, increased energy, stronger hair and nails, improved mental health, and better sleep.
Rather than simply going on diets, individuals who choose to eat clean foods are often making sustainable shifts that come with the habits gained by this type of lifestyle.
Eating Clean is a mental and physical reward for yourself. By increasing the clean food options you will automatically be reducing the amount of processed “junk” food in your diet.
The way you do one thing is the way you do everything. If you take care of yourself by consuming beautiful food, you are much more likely to engage in self-care such as exercise, meditation, journaling, baths, and other techniques that make you feel vibrant and alive! When you feel great, you’re able to move through your days with joy and ease, creating and nurturing supportive relationships, accomplishing goals and fulfilling a career you love.
Keep It Simple.
We tend to over-complicate things a lot. This is one area that begs to be kept simple. Because when it comes to a clean eating lifestyle, simplicity is key. Now, that doesn’t mean all your meals are bland and you start walking around barefoot (even though barefoot is fun!)
You might be surprised that many of the delicious spices, and flavors that you love are in fact clean foods! It’s all about sourcing items in their whole form, and as fresh as possible. A great way to do this is by gardening! Growing your own food is an excellent way to have fresh, whole foods that are organic and plant ripened.
That’s also as local grown as you can get!
Clean Food Market List:
Vegetables: Kale, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, squash and zucchini, peppers, carrots, peppers, onions, cucumbers, beets , cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, turnips, asparagus
Fruit: Berries, bananas, apples, pears, avocado, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, papaya, mango, tomatoes, cherry, watermelon, fig, persimmon
Herbs: Salt, peppercorn, chili flakes, cuminᐧ, cardamom , cinnamon, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, turmeric, ginger
Condiments: Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar , salsa, hot sauce, soy sauce or tamari, dijon mustard, tahini
Protein – Animal: Eggs, salmon, white fish, chicken, turkey, beef, venison
Protein – Plant: Tempeh and tofu, lentils , green peas, edemame, chickpeas, beans, sprouts
Fats: Almonds, cashews and other nuts, nut butters , chia seeds, flax and sunflower seeds, coconut oil , olive oil, avocado, fish
Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, oats, millet, vegetables such as corn (non-GMO) and fruits like banana
Sweeteners: None. The purpose of eating clean is to get in touch with the natural sugars and sweetness already present in many foods. If you MUST sweeten in order to enjoy a certain food, choose only unsweetened fruit juices, dates, raw honey, or pure maple syrup whenever possible.
Today’s Effort – Choosing Clean Foods
For one of your meals today, select only (or as many as possible) foods that are clean. Challenge yourself to slowly trade out a processed item for a whole food item. This could mean swapping toast for oatmeal, or roasted chicken and veggies instead of frozen pot pie. Of course those examples are just a few of the many choices you have when it comes to eating clean. Refer to the Clean Market List to help you stock the fridge and pantry with fresh, clean options.
Every single day, you must choose, to take action in the life you want. The effort done today may seem small, even insignificant, but if done over and over, the results will begin to appear. Trust your body and the signals it gives. Notice how you might feel differently when consuming foods that are in whole form and full of fiber, natural water, vitamins and minerals.
Remember to be kind to yourself, and celebrate even one small step towards your goal.
Be proud of yourself!
Join us every Sunday for the next edition of Starting Your Week Strong!
Learn about the Glycemic Index of foods and why that matters, in last weeks’ blog Empowered Eating
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Are you curious about ways to harmonize your health goals and fit wellness into your busy schedule?
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The information shared in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any form of illness or disease. The opinions are the author’s alone and are not to be used as a guide to follow for any health related conditions, but rather a sharing of perspective.
Today’s Effort, and it’s authors, take no responsibility for the choices of individuals and encourages you to work alongside a trusted physician and or doctor with any health related issues.
The “Clean Food Market List” is just a guide and is not by any means a complete list of foods that are considered clean.