How clean is your diet? Wonder what ‘clean’ even means?
Clean eating can extend beyond what we put on our plates, so let’s take a closer look at how we can up our game.
The root of clean eating is about consuming food the way nature delivers it or as close as possible. This certainly doesn’t mean we need to be grazing in a field of broccoli to be healthy. It’s not about ‘dieting’ either. It’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation. There are many fundamentals and ‘tentacles’ around it.*
My invitation to you
Select 1 to 3 areas that resonate with you and focus on those for making small but consistent changes over time. No need to be perfect.
It's what we do most that matters most.
BE A LABEL SLEUTH
Ignore most claims on the front of packages and instead focus your attention on ingredient lists.The shorter the better.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
This is where most added sugar, additives and chemicals get into our bodies.
MINIMIZE THE MAJOR OFFENDERS
These are the trans fats, fried foods, high sugar foods, foods loaded with preservatives and color additives. Nothing good here.
DRINK 2 LITERS OF WATER DAILY
Minimize sugary drinks and stay within healthy daily alcohol limits (1 for women, 2 for men).
EAT HEALTHY FATS
Focus on fat from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, seafood, olives and avocados.
EAT WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY, STOP WHEN YOU'RE NEARLY FULL. EAT MINDFULLY.
Trust your body and tune into its signals. Tame emotional eating tendencies. Minimize distractions (especially cellphones). When you eat, just eat. You’ll be less likely to overeat.
BE PORTION AWARE
Oversized portions are the biggest contributor to weight gain.This is the major downfall of dining out. Check out my blog that was featured on PsychologyToday.com for tips for dining out and not having it be a caloric disaster: http://bit.ly/2Gx4adT
MINIMIZE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Eat in-season and local produce (your nutritional value skyrockets too!) Seek non-animal protein sources ... there are many!
SHOP WITH A CONSCIENCE
If you eat animals, consume humanely-raised, local ones and buy free-range, local eggs.
BUY ORGANIC WHENEVER POSSIBLE
The annual guide from the Environmental Working Group is a great resource for avoiding the most toxic fruits & veggies and selecting the least pesticide-laden. Here's a link to a handy downloadable version of their guide that we created. Another option: Subscribe to a CSA (i.e. farm share). Check out this recent blog post for more info about a local option and its benefits.
CONSIDER PACKAGING, MINIMIZE SINGLE USE ITEMS, RECYCLE, REUSE
For minimizing toxicity, select glass or tetra paks for food packaging over plastic or cans.
To your good health!
Tip-of-the-hat to Clean Eating magazine for many of these tenets. And nod to Thomas Q. of Unsplash for the cherry image.