The Basics

“I eat clean.  I wash my food before I eat it.”  *sigh*  This is the most common thing I hear when people find out I’m a clean eater. I may spontaneously combust if I hear this joke one more time……

Seriously though, I know clean eating is a new(ish) concept and many people haven’t heard of it – yay, learning opportunity!  So what exactly is clean eating?  It means different things to different people but for me, it’s a commitment to feeding myself wholesome, natural food.  I avoid processed and refined food and stick to natural sweetners. Sounds simple, right?  Well, yes and no.  In an age where we have 24 hour take out and just about any type of instant meal available, eating naturally really takes a commitment.   Over the past year, clean eating has helped improve my health tremendously.  I know it’s a hard switch to make but it’s much more manageable if done in small steps.  Remember this is not a temporary diet; it’s a lifestyle.

Here are just a few of the basics for eating clean:

  • Shop the perimeters of the grocery aisle.  This is where your perishables like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat are found.
    • If it doesn’t expire, it probably isn’t clean.
  • Ditch the sparkly white stuff!
    • This is by far the hardest part of clean eating but a whole new world opens up once you’ve said goodbye to refined sugar.
    • Use natural sweetners like honey, agave nectar, and stevia.
  • Avoid the chemicals and go organic.
  • Whole grains, whole grains, whole grains.
    • Refined or “white” grains have been stripped of essential nutrients that your body craves.  The following are clean eating staples:
      • Whole wheat pasta
      • Whole wheat flour
      • Brown rice
  • Eat lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish.
  • Read the label
    • Look for whole ingredients
      • If you don’t recognize the ingredient and can’t pronouce it, put it back!
  • Choose items low in saturated fats.
    • Trans fat = very bad
  • Poly & Mono unsaturated fats = good
  • Eat 5 – 6 small, clean meals a day
    • This keeps your metabolism up and is a great way to burn fat.
  • Pack a cooler with your meals.
    • Your cooler is like your BFF! It keeps you from patronizing the vending machine the midday munchies strike.

Whew! Are you overwhelmed yet?  This is by no means a comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide to clean eating.  For more information check out one of the many books on clean eating. I personally found Tosca Reno’s books very helpful when I made the switch.

5 thoughts on “The Basics

  1. I’ve decided to comment all over your page to make you come back and read it! 😀

    A couple of weeks ago I read the book, “Mastering your Metabolism” by Jillian Michaels. It had to deal a lot with eating clean and getting rid of processed foods. Her main motto is really well said and an easy way to explain your clean eating! 🙂

    “Eat only things that grew from the ground or had a mother.”

    That’s the basis of her diet, an it makes a lot of sense. I just thought you might like that.

  2. Pingback: Clean Eating & How I Got Started | Noshing On Asphalt

  3. Love it!! I’m a clean eater too (most of the time)! I’ve gotten a little too obsessive about what I eat in the past, so I try to balance more now. I think it’s so fun trying to create clean recipes!

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