We've all heard this. "Eat clean". Focus on "clean eating". But what, exactly, does that mean? I've been doing some research. Here's my take on this subject.
The conclusion I have come to is that 'eat clean' basically means = cut the crap. Plain & simple. Stop eating crap. Fresh foods, organic when possible. None to very limited processed foods. It's not a diet. Clean eating is truly changing your mindset & the way you eat. In my opinion, changing/improving the way you eat 90% of the time. I don't say 100%, because I believe life is short, food is yummy & everyone needs to indulge every now & then. That said, only 10% of every now & then. Enough to fill that void, but not enough to ruin one's health. So, for me, 90/10. I can do that. The bottom line is clean eating makes everyone healthier, in more ways than one. There truly is nothing negative about it, other than it might sting the pocket book every now & then if you buy organic & honestly, it takes more time to eat clean. Cutting, chopping & cooking 'clean' takes a lot of time. But health-wise? Priceless. All that to say - it's anything but easy. I'm sure the longer you eat clean the less time it takes, because you fall into a routine or pattern & it becomes the norm. But just starting out? Wow. Purchasing & cleaning & prepping & cutting & cooking - holy cow. No wonder the world is obese. Eating clean is inconvenient! Truthfully, we all know it's much simpler to just buy the processed. Much simpler to just hit a drive through. I guess this is where one has a decision to make: health over convenience. I have chosen health. Why? Simple. Because if you ain't got your health, you ain't got nothin'. And opting for convenient has gotten me to where I am today - a little unhealthy with substantial weight to lose.
Have you ever noticed how everyone loves Grandma's cooking? It's because she learned to cook clean. They mostly grew their own food & cooked their own food. There weren't preservatives, additives, dyes & all the fake stuff. It was fresh & it was good. Even Grandma's high-fat fried chicken? It was fresh. Her food wasn't loaded with high fructose corn syrup. In addition, there wasn't cardio or yoga or boot camp - a lot of them harvested their food & worked out doing it. If they didn't harvest their food, they cleaned their house & kept busy. Ever notice Grandma's house was clean? And they didn't have a lot of the (unnecessary) modern convenience tools that we all have access to today. They did it the old fashioned way. Most of our ancestors weren't fat. They did it right. Our society is fat. Most of us are do it wrong.
Here's a great article I found on Fitday.com - click here. There is a lot of great information via Google re: clean eating. As a matter of fact, I'm still researching, myself.
Some important changes I personally am making - more protein & less carbs & sugar.
Example: Nightly, I am incorporating greek yogurt (keep in mind I am a very picky eater, so when I find something I like, I don't venture from that). I only eat the Fage brand, 0%, with one tablespoon Chia seeds. I go to sleep with yogurt & water. (This was actually recommended by my dr. a few years ago. Eat protein before going to bed. And one super duper side effect, for me? Every time I do, the scale is lower in the morning.) Oh, & protein? Necessary for beautiful hair!!
Breakfast, lunch or dinner:
Fried eggs, with celtic sea salt, black pepper, Lawry's seasoning & topped with shredded cheese. Sometimes, with a side of Mrs. Baird's white whole grain bread. Just as healthy as whole wheat, but without the red wheat. Whole grain is white, softer & I think, tastes better. I was just introduced to this bread a few weeks ago & my entire family loves it. Winning! No more margarine for us, Though we've been eating real butter for quite some time now, I now buy Land O'Lakes butter. I do use the butter with Canola, simply because it's spreadable. I love the non-Canola, but with a busy family of six, it's challenging to remember to set it out 20+ minutes in advance of a meal, in order for it to soften. So I switched. I am so not happy about that, but nonetheless, it only contains 3 ingredients & I consider it way healthier than margarine. Butter is a good fat & totally ok to have in moderation. Our bodies need some good fat.
Truth be told, I am a huge carb junky. I could live off of carbs. Like, the bad, overkill carbs. I'll take the rice, potatoes & pasta! Yum, yum, yum! Being that I'm high risk for Type II Diabetes, this is a problem for me. Carbs turn to sugar (figures - why can't veggies turn to sugar?). I am really hoping that making even more significant changes, I can kiss this 'high risk' crap to the curb, once & for all. I've been high risk for literally, years now. I don't want that burden anymore. I don't even want to have to think about it. These continued, improved changes should help with that.
I encourage you to give clean eating a try! What do you have to lose? Nothing! It's not easy, quick or convenient. It takes time to learn to read labels & rid the bad while introducing the good. For most of us, I doubt it's an overnight change. Baby steps! But remember - any change is better than no change at all!
We have been making positive changes for quite some time now. Nontoxic cleaners, nontoxic detergents, quality supplements daily, healthier food choices. However, there is always room for improvement. And it's never too late! Time to go that extra mile, if routines have gotten a little laxed or convenient, then it's time to pick up the pace. Improve here. Go the extra mile there. My family still has a ways to go. And, I've stated before, I will never take away all fun foods from my children. I believe treats & fun foods are a part of their childhood. That will not change. That said, we have made great strides. And for the most part, my children are right on board! And that makes me very happy.
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From a blog I read years ago & I have never forgotten: "If it doesn't take very long to make it, then it's probably not very healthy."