WHAT IS CLEAN EATING?
1.) Clean eating focuses on eating whole foods from the Earth. Whole foods are foods which are consumed in a natural state. Clean food requires minimal to no processing and refinement. The way my acupuncturist explained it was “…if it [the food] did not come from the earth, then it is probably processed or refined…Or better yet, if food comes in a package, box or a can and has a panel listing chemicals and foreign ingredients, then it is has most likely been processed.”
2.) Clean eating also involves eating food that do not add chemicals, preservatives, sugars, sodium; nor trans-, mono- or saturated fats. Processed foods have been linked to cancer, allergies, and also contribute to disease, internal issues, such as indigestion, acid reflux as well as other conditions.
3.) Clean eating involves buying organic and local whole foods, particularly from local farmer’s markets or co-ops, if possible. Buying produce which has had little to no chemicals treatments helps conserve the nutrients in food.
4.) Clean eating involves preparing food in a way that will retain nutrients, such as baking, sauteing and steaming and avoiding frying or microwaving foods.
5.) Clean eating is not a vegetarian diet. A person can still be a meat eater and also eat clean. The two can co-exist, which is another reason I like this lifestyle. I would not consider myself a “big meat eater”. I am not one of those people who need a piece of meat on my plate to consider it a “real meal.” I can easily go weeks or months without eating meat. But, when I do want a piece of meat, I opt to make clean eating choices.
6.) Clean eating involves choosing meats and dairy where the animals live in a free range farm. A free range farm allows animals to roam about the land. When animals spend most of their time in a feedlot waiting for slaughter, it can lead to inhumane treatments of the animals, an increased risk of disease and illnesses that are ultimately passed on to the consumer.
Also, when choosing to eat clean meat, choose meat where the animals were “grass fed”. When an animal has been “grass fed” it has been fed grass or the mother’s milk opposed to the animals being injected with antibiotics and other hormones as part of their feed. For instance, animals raised in a feedlot are often given many antibiotics to ward off diseases, which weakens the effects of antibiotics on humans. It is important to choose meats that are free range and grass fed because the animals’ experiences and conditions DO impact our health.
7.) Grass fed meat is better for our health and weight because the meat tends to be leaner with less bad fat. Grass fed meat provides more good fats like Omega 3s. It also has more antioxidants and vitamin nutrients.
8.) Clean eating requires some planning, preparation and a willingness to develop new habits, beliefs and choices around food and wellness. Presently, the way our society is constructed, it is easier to eat unhealthy. There are fast food restaurants everywhere, our hectic schedules discourages us from spending time preparing food at home. Some communities do not have grocery stores close to their home nor grocery stores with fresh produce. Clean eating does require more meal planning and some time management in the kitchen, however, it is all a practice and the practice is worth it.
9.) Clean eating also involves what we choose to drink. Water is essential to a clean eating lifestyle. Water can help people lose weight and clear out toxins. Most people who practice clean eating avoid drinks with added sugars and preservatives, like sugary pop/soda and juice drinks.
10.) Clean eating is a healthy lifestyle, which is attainable and sustainable, especially once I got the hang of it. I can still eat some of my favorite dishes and foods, while clean eating. I may just need to tweak a few ingredients or methods in the way I prepared dishes. Also, I love that I am not restricted to eating one food group, nor am I limited in what I eat. The fresher the food the better.
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