The Basic Principles of Eating Clean
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available. The keys to good health and proper nutrition are in the following principles:
- Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. The foods you eat on this plan are straight from the farm: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are any food that has a label. A label means that more than one ingredient was used to make that food. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.
- Eliminate refined sugar. Refined sugar provides nothing but calories. Other sweeteners can be used, but with all the good foods you add to your diet, refined sugar really has very little place in the eating clean plan.
- Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat some Funyuns rather than that whole grain cracker with nut butter and strawberries. You never get so hungry on this plan that you’ll feel deprived or feel the need to cheat.
- Cook your own meals. Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.
- Combine protein with carbs. When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs.
I was already doing this as part of the female bodybuilding diet, but I just started clean cooking for my kids about a week ago. I’m starting slow – just focusing on cooking dinners from scratch right now. This is easy for some people but I’m finding it tough.
Time management is my biggest issue right now, since I’m swamped with paperwork for tax season and I haven’t printed out a ton of recipes yet and trust me when I tell you I’m not one of those people who can just wing it in the kitchen.
But I’ll make time, because my kids are worth it. 🙂
How about you? Are you interested in “clean eating”?
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