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.
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:
- Eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours. Eating 5 or 6 small meals a day improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
- 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.
- Become a label reader. If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it.
- Avoid overly processed foods like white flour and refined sugar. Aim for whole wheat flour and natural cane sugar instead.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- Make sure your fats are coming from healthy sources like avocados, nuts and olive oil rather than transfats or hydrogenated oils.
- Slow down, savor your food, and learn to enjoy it’s flavor. Stop rushing through meals and make your food something special!
- 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…..