The phrases eat clean and clean eating are being used increasingly within healthy living circles a way to eat and live that is far different from dieting and calorie counting. Let’s take a look at what it means to eat clean and explore the top 20 ways to practically eat clean every day.
To eat clean means to eat whole foods that are nourishing, which come directly from the Earth or come from a living creature and not a factory, and includes a diet of healing such as fruits, vegetables, good proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. Eating a clean diet also means avoiding processed and packaged foods, and cutting down on refined grains, sugars, salt and bad fats.
Following are the top 20 ways to eat a clean diet in a way that is practical and easy.
1. Load up on fruits and veggies
One of the easiest ways to eat clean is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and if possible, organic. It doesn’t get more natural than these two food groups which provide loads of vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning healthily. They are also high in fibre and low in calories. It is very easy to incorporate fruit and vegetables into every meal- aim for up to 3 cups a day.
2. Reduce Processed Foods
This is one of the most important ways to eat cleanly and involves avoiding foods that you will find in tins and packets. These non-foods usually contain more than a few ingredients on the label. A good rule of thumb is, “if you can’t grow it or raise it don’t eat it.”
Processed foods are usually full of sodium, fat and sugar which you want to stay away from if you want to eat clean. Junky snack foods also contain refined carbs and usually includes cookies, crackers and cakes. Read your labels carefully to ensure that the packaged foods you eat are only minimally processed and providing you with nutrients that are good for you.
3. Eliminate Saturated Fats
Not all fats are bad for us, and we do need good fats in order to be healthy. It is the bad, saturated fats that you want to avid when eating clean. You will find these in butter, cheese and meat and are associated with heart disease risk. It is easy to swap saturated fats with their healthy associates that are heart healthy by choosing nuts, avocado and olive oils.
4. Cut Back the Sugar
A clean diet is one that has less than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons of sugar per day for men. The problem is that sugar is found in so many foods we eat these days, although by following the eat clean principle of avoiding processed foods, you can easily avoid sugars found in soda and candy. Make sure that sugar is listed low on the ingredients label when you choose low fat foods ad do your best to minimise your intake.
5. Cut Back on the Booze
A clean diet includes clean drinking, and keeping your alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. You need to try and drink alcohol moderately and be particularly wary of pre-mixed boozy drinks when you choose to imbibe.
6. Mind the Salt
Most people consume too much sodium every day, eating more than the recommended 2,300mg per day. By avoiding packaged foods you will avoid consuming too much salt but you can also cook with less salt by using herbs and spices, citrus and vinegars to flavour your food.
7. Consume Less Meat
Due to the saturated fat content in meat, it is recommended to reduce your meat intake to 3 ounces per day. Replace meat with proteins such as beans, tofu, and tempeh and if you do eat meat, make it a small portion.
When eating bread and pastas, make sure they are made from whole wheat, which means they still contain the bran and germ. Good whole grains include oats, brown rice, wholegrain brad, quinoa, and whole grain flours.
9. Cut Out Refined Grains
Refined grains are those which are usually in junky, packaged foods and are processed so that nutrients such as magnesium, selenium and fibre have been removed. Choose whole wheat bread and pasta over white rice, white bread and white pasta.
10. Increase Your Water Intake
You don’t want your body to become dehydrated so it is important to consume plenty of water every day. This will ensure that your body works optimally and can help to reduce weight gain. Often dehydration can occur when eating junky foods, caffeine and alcohol, so eating clean will also help to ensure your stay hydrated enough to be healthy.
11. Limit the Fake Foods
There are many artificial ingredients which can be found in our diets and includes preservatives, additives and artificial dyes. These are easily avoided by eating clean, real foods.
12. Eat Seasonally
Make an effort to connect with nature and consume foods that are only available to you locally. This means your food is fresher, as well as cheaper, and will have gone a lesser distance to get onto your plate from the farm.
13. Drink Green Tea
14. Avoid Fruit Juices
Many fruit juices that you buy from the supermarket ae only flavoured sugary water with dyes and other preservatives. It is much better to make your own unsweetened cold pressed juice when you choose to drink a juice.
15. Cut out Processed Meats
The cold cuts you find in the deli section of the supermarket are not at all wholesome, instead made up of mystery meats, salt, preservatives and MSG. They are definitely not clean foods and are best to avoid altogether from your clean eating diet.
16. Increase your Fish Consumption
Swap your saturated fats for the lean protein of fish which also contains healthy oils and fats. Good clean eating fish to choose incudes salmon, halibut and bass.
17. Go Raw
One easy way to improve your clean eating game is by eating 50% raw foods every day. This means including fruits and vegetables that are uncooked and in their most natural state on your plate with each meal.
You are more likely to eat food that is nutritious and healthy when it is also Earth friendly, meaning that it contains minimal pesticides and chemicals and has a low carbon footprint.
19. Grow Your Own Herbs
Fresh herbs are a great way to season your meals without excess salt, butter, or cheese and is also fun to grow.
20. Shop the Outside
Generally, when you shop at the supermarket it is best to avoid the middle aisles and to stick to the outside perimeter where you will usually find the fresh produce, meat section, bakery items and nuts and seeds in the bulk bins. Some healthy stapes will be in the inner aisles but avoid the packaged products and other non-food temptations.
Hopefully you can see that the choice to eat clean does not need to involve deprivation nor is it a way of eating that is so strict you can never enjoy your favourite food again. The decision to eat clean is simply one small step in your journey to healthy living. Taking mall steps toward eating leaner with every day will help to make clean eating a habit and then you will notice big changes in how you feel. Remember, you can reach a far healthier lifestyle than you ever imagined just by making clean eating choices every day.
When you come to Bootcamp you will also get a tastes for the clean and healthy lifestyle and you will see just how fun and easy this way of living can be. Our menu is not only clean but also very tasty too! We follow these principles and show you first-hand how to eat clean every day.