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Tips for Clean Eating and a Healthy Recipe Roundup

This healthy recipe roundup and discussion on clean eating is a sponsored opportunity with Foodie.com. All opinions expressed here are my own.

I have been trying to get back in the swing of eating healthy now that the holidays are over and one hot food topic I keep coming across is the phrase ‘clean eating’.  I’ve been wondering what that means exactly.  If I wash my cookies does that make them ‘clean’?  Yeah, probably not!  I thought I would share what I discovered about clean eating and include a healthy recipe roundup to kick start your new year.  Now, not all of the recipes in the roundup are considered worthy of the clean eating label but they are a step in the right direction for a healthier YOU in 2014.

clean eating sesame ginger salad dressing recipe

What is Clean Eating?

Clean eating is all about eating foods in their simplest forms.  It is about avoiding artificial ingredients and foods that are heavily processed.  There is a focus on choosing  local, organic ingredients whenever possible and avoiding foods that have been stripped of their nutritional value.  Rice is ‘cleaner’ than pasta and brown rice is even cleaner than white rice.  An organic apple would rank higher on the clean eating scale than grapes that traveled from Chili and were sprayed with pesticides.  However, clean eating isn’t a defined diet plan with rigid rules.  It is more of a broad concept of being conscious of the things you put in your body and striving for simplicity.  Here are a few general guidelines for moving yourself to a clean eating sort of lifestyle:

  1. Eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours.  Eating 5 or 6 small meals a day improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
  2. Drink lots of water.  You are aiming for about 2 liters a day.  Yes, you will be peeing a lot but it helps flush toxins out of your body.
  3. Become a label reader.  If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it.
  4. Avoid overly processed foods like white flour and refined sugar.  Aim for whole wheat flour and natural cane sugar instead.
  5. Avoid conventionally raised meats.  Look for local, free range and humanely raised meat products.  You can occasionally find these in your major grocery store but search Local Harvest for farmers closer to home.
  6. Choose organic whenever possible.  It is better for you and better for the planet.  Of course, a non organic apple is better for you than organic cookies.  Common sense must apply  here…
  7. Focus on plant based foods and reduce your meat consumption.  Meat should be a small portion of your diet.  Humans do not need anywhere near as much protein as most people think and you can easily get a lot of that from nuts, seeds, etc.
  8. Make sure your fats are coming from healthy sources like avocados, nuts and olive oil rather than transfats or hydrogenated oils.
  9. Slow down, savor your food, and learn to enjoy it’s flavor.  Stop rushing through meals and make your food something special!
  10. Make it from scratch whenever you can.  Peanut butter made in your kitchen from real peanuts will be fresher and more nutritious than peanut butter you bought at the store, even if it is organic and natural.

Healthy Recipe Roundup

If you want to start eating clean, this healthy recipe roundup is a good place to start.  While splurging on junk occasionally is totally understandable (I do it myself frequently!) it is best to try to overhaul your diet for a healthier life. While you are on the road to healthier eating, don’t forget to think about the products you use every day like shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, etc.  Everything we put in or on our body should be as safe and healthy as possible.

I wonder if coffee is acceptable on a clean eating plan…..

About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. Eating clean is a goal my family and I try to meet. It’s easier with my husband and I, but getting the kids to eat clean is pretty darn impossible. One is pickier than the other, and another claims to be allergic to everything green. *sigh*

    • Kids definitely make it harder and it doesn’t really get easier as they get older. I try to get them to eat as much good stuff as possible but they eat lots of processed stuff too, especially when they go over their friends houses!

  2. Hi Diane, thanks for the great tips on clean eating (I shared it on my twitter and Facebook page!). We try our best here to eat clean, but sometimes you just can’t get an organic ingredient for that recipe you want to make. Speaking of recipes, I’m not sure if I just can’t see it but shouldn’t there be links to the recipes in your Healthy Recipe Roundup?

    • the widget at the bottom should include an arrow to scroll through them. If you click on the widget it should take you to the foodie site where I have them all collected. Let me know if you don’t see it!

  3. We try really hard to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Organic is the way to go.

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