You hear so many people talk about how “I eat clean”…so what the heck does that even mean? Eating clean means that the foods your eat are whole. They have not been highly processed, packaged, filled with preservatives, hormones, or chemicals. These foods tend to be single ingredient foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, dairy, and good fats. Eating clean gives you less exposure to the harmful chemicals and preservatives that can cause chronic disease, inflammation, and lower your immune system. Eating clean isn’t a diet, it’s a key principle that everyone can adopt as part of their lifestyle. We all have different needs and wants different health concerns or sensitivities. Clean eating can be adapted to fit your own bio-individuality.
Quality over Quantity
Whole foods, clean foods, are more filling and fuel your body with high quality calories that burn much cleaner. Highly processed foods like sodas, ice creams, chips, and candy do nothing for you nutritionally. These foods might give you an initial boost but make you hungry and ready to snack again shortly after. Whole foods are higher in fiber which keep you fuller longer, aid in digestion, help regulate cholesterol levels. They even help fight against cancer and other chronic diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.
This plate illustrates what the USDA recommends for all of us to eat on a daily basis. What they don’t account for are your primary foods such as your physical activity, career, relationships, and spirituality. They also left off a huge food group, FATS!!!! and notice how dairy takes the place of water? Yes big Food industry plays a part in what the government recommends to us, just like big Pharma plays a part in what doctors prescribe.
Here in the United States we are so removed from our food and often jump to a quick remedy instead of getting to the root of a health problem. Doctors are a big part of the problem. Most doctors have limited time to listen to their patients and have packed schedules. They are often driven by big Pharma, money, and hospital administration to drive numbers up. Let’s not forget hospitals have a big business to run. Not all doctors are desensitized by the system but a huge number really don’t listen to their patients. They are quick to prescribe a pill to treat a symptom, not what is causing that symptom. It’s so important to find a doctor who’s goals are inline with your own. If you are someone who wants to get off medications then find a doctor who can help you do that. Don’t just sit back and think every word coming out of your doctors mouth is GOLD. You need to take action in your own health and if you are sick look at what is on your plate because phytonutrients in your foods are powerful, especially in combating against chronic disease and cancer.
What’s the Point?
If you are struggling with weight loss, have skin issues, inflammation, low in energy, diabetes, arthritis, heart problems, can’t sleep, IBS, then it’s important to pay attention to what goes in your mouth! What you eat has a direct immediate effect on how you feel. Use your food as your medicine. When you eat a variety of whole foods you get in the essential nutrients and vitamins for optimal wellness. Often times when you care about your food you tend to have better self care practices all around. How you eat translates into other areas of your life. When you fuel yourself the right way it makes it easier to enjoy life. Eating better has an insane ripple effect. When you eat well you can move your body with greater ease, which leads to feeling better emotionally. When you feel better emotionally you make better decisions with your career and relationships. You create a joyful surrounding and put positive energy into the things and people you love!
Tips for Clean Eating:
- eat whole foods
- Shop around perimeter of grocery store
- visit your local farmers market
- experiment with cooking (like a vegetable you’ve never cooked before)
- Limit refined carbs (stay away from sugar)
- balance your plate
- don’t skip meals (unless you’re doing intermittent fasting or detoxing)
This list provides a great starting point when shopping. If you don’t know what something is… pick it up at the store next time and try a new recipe! Who knows you may stumble upon something that you love! Make eating clean fun and exciting, involve your partner or kids! Get close with your food because when you’ve cooked it you appreciate what you’ve prepared and about to eat so much more than if you’ve gone out or picked up something quick.
Love yourself enough to eat clean. Watch all aspects of your life improve dramatically and you WILL nourish yourself happy!