Clean Eating Made Simple
What is Clean Eating? Well, in a nutshell it is simply eating real, whole, unprocessed, unrefined food in its most natural state. Here are some basic guidelines to help you make good food choices daily:
Fruits & Vegetables – Your plate should look like the rainbow at every meal and include lots of dark, leafy greens and fresh fruit. Consume a minimum of 6-9 servings of these daily. Enjoy fresh or cooked without *salt, oil or sugar. Veggies are delicious lightly steamed, grilled, roasted, or sautéed in light oil or broth and use herbs and/or spices to add flavor. (Spices and herbs are full of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Use abundantly!)
Whole Grains – (And by whole I mean NOT PROCESSED) These are the backbone of a healthy, balanced diet and contribute calories, fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins, and trace elements. (Corn, wheat, oats, brown rice, Bulgar, barley, quinoa, polenta, etc.)
Protein – Legumes are an excellent source of protein and fiber, so make a great choice for a protein serving. Enjoy in dried or canned (rinse well) form; lentils, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc. Lean meats, low fat dairy products and eggs are also good sources of protein.
Healthy Fats – Get your fat from whole food sources whenever possible, so eat plenty of raw nuts, natural nut butters, olives, avocados, seeds (sesame, flax, chia, hemp, etc.), and plant milks.
Processed foods, Refined foods and Sugars – Avoid altogether as they provide no benefit and do much harm. Use honey, pure maple syrup, or agave in place of refined sugars if needed, but try to eliminate added sweeteners as much as possible. Fresh fruit and whole dates make a fabulous sweetener and are a whole food so they are good for you! A good rule to follow is to consume as little prepackaged, processed, preservative filled food as possible. In today's healthy living climate, it is easier than ever to find fresh, healthy real food readily available in grocery stores and restaurants wherever you go.
And finally, for those of you who may be thinking that real, whole food is more expensive than processed, fat laden, fast foods, just ask yourself how much a triple bi-pass, high blood pressure medication, or chemotherapy will cost compared to whole wheat bread and organic apples...