What is clean eating anyway?

written by Sarah C.

I used to walk past this magazine called "Clean Eating" all the time and thought it was some hokey ultra vegan diet magazine. For the longest time I have thought of myself as a weight loss junkie - then I began to realize that all my weight loss habits had added up to a healthy lifestyle. I love farmers markets - seeing the rows of brightly colored vegetables and dark leafy greens. I really love the taste of food - I want flavor and texture. I don't want my fish covered in a sauce so rich that I can't tell if I am eating fish or chicken.

One day waiting in the grocery line from hell, I started leafing through this Clean Eating magazine out of desperation and I realized….it was really about all the things I listed above and perfectly described the way I was eating. The soul of clean eating is really just about consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life - one meal at a time. It is actually a Foodie manifesto - a way to make food and taste the flavor that is bursting from it naturally - it just happens to also be extremely healthy.



Here is the break down of what it is to eat clean, how many apply to you? You may already be a believer…


-- Eat five to six times a day - three meals and tow to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

-- Drink at least two liters of water a day

-- Get label savvy - clean meals and foods aim to contain just one or two ingredients. Steer away from foods with a long ingredient list that you can barely pronounce.

-- Avoid processed and refined foods - such as white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy more complex carbs such as whole grains instead.

-- Know thy enemies - Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.

-- Shop with conscience - consume humanely raised and local meats.

-- Consume healthy fats - essential fatty acids, or EFA's

-- Learn about portion sizes - and work toward eating within them

-- Reduce your carbon footprint - eat produces that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on you wallet and our environment

-- Drink water with a lemon wedge instead - a glass of red wine for a special occasion is ok but it should be a rare indulgence. The health benefits of red wire are reversed after more than one glass a day.

-- Slow down and savor - never rush through a meal. Food tastes bets when savored. Enjoy every bite.

-- Take it to go - pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go

-- Make it a family affair - food is social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family's life along with your own.

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