Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What is Clean Eating?

so i've already had some "what exactly is clean eating" questions. if you were to google clean eating, you may get slightly different answers, but this is what it means to me - in my own words.

clean eating is:

+ eating food in its most natural state. this includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. complex carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. choosing whole grains (whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, whole wheat bread, etc) is much better for you because they have more fiber, are easier to digest, and don't cause your blood sugar to spike the way refined white flours and sugars do.

+ no sugar. period. i use agave nectar when necessary. honey is fine because its natural and i use sucanat sometimes for baking. if the label on your food item has sugar, aspartame, or corn syrup in the ingredient list - put it back!

+ avoiding processed foods. basically, if it looks like it did when it was in the ground/on a tree - go for it. if it comes in a box, limit it.

+ eating 5-6 smaller meals a day. this usually means breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as 2-3 snacks. eating every couple of hours keeps your blood sugar steady and keeps you from getting so hungry you eat everything in sight.

+ limiting alcohol intake. but let's be serious, i am very lenient on this one.

it is amazing what i discovered when i simply started reading nutrition labels. in america, we put sugar in everything! no joke. actually, it's really sad and it's why we are an addicted nation. cutting sugar out was very hard at first. but now, i feel a difference. i feel tried, irritable, and very crappy when i have sugar now.

i aim to do most of my shopping in the perimeter of the grocery store. all of the middle isles have the man made, processed, boxed food. food that more likely than not had sugar added to it. your produce, meat and seafood counters, and dairy all are usually on the perimeter of the store. shop the aisles just for whole wheat/whole grain things.

there you have it. feel free to add things/give your opinion - i'd love to hear from you!

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