If you’ve spent any time at the gym lately or have taken a look at a lifestyle blog or fitness magazine recently, you can’t really escape the expression ‘clean eating’. Believe it or not, the idea of eating clean is incredibly simple. Put less focus on calories and more focus on understanding where your food originates. Add in making whole foods the main staple in your diet, while skipping out on the processed and refined foods that line the supermarket shelves – and you’re well on your way to eating clean. Weeding out the junk – like added salt, sugars, additives and enrichment vitamins makes it pretty easy to change the way you think – with a focus on connecting yourself to the food. After all, it does feel pretty special to make a salad out of tomatoes grown in your own summer garden, right? Making a connection with food makes the whole process of eating more meaningful, while also providing a better understanding of everything you’re putting into your body. So all of this is great in theory, but how can this be incorporated into your daily life? Here’s a look at making eating clean part of your everyday.
Get a better understanding of what your options are – in terms of what’s out there for unprocessed foods. Things like fresh veggies and fruits will certainly be your go-to staples, while dried legumes and nuts are excellent options for filling proteins. Farm-fresh eggs are always an excellent option – healthy and super-filling, a couple of eggs can keep you going all morning long.
Don’t let everything you know about calorie and fat intake fly out the window. You may be more focused on wholesome eating, but don’t forget this stuff has calories too. Portion size is still a factor and adding in your daily workout counts too. Try to remember to load up on the leafy greens and veggies and pair that with a lean protein for a balanced and filling meal.
Look around also for foods that are minimally processed but will still make your busy lifestyle a bit easier: whole grain breads, popcorn, quinoa, brown rice, steel –cut oatmeal and popcorn are great options loaded with healthy fiber. Watch for unprocessed, grass-fed or wild over pastured meats to be sure you’re getting the most minimally processed proteins. Try hormone-free dairy products and in a pinch, organic frozen fruits and veggies will work too.
Making your personal health a priority starts with you – and a balanced life focused on staying active and eating clean is a simple and holistic way of looking at your health. Have you tried making clean eating a priority for you? What steps did you take to incorporate it into your life?