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This ‘What Does Clean Eating Mean?’ discussion was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I am generally not the type of person to follow strange ‘diet’ trends. I am not going to eat grapefruit at every meal to lose weight. You will not find me making ‘raw food pancakes’ because I have decided that all food we consume should be uncooked. The only ‘food philosophy’ I really follow can be summed up by a quote from Michael Pollan who says ‘Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’ That is why I really love the concept of clean eating. What does clean eating mean? Let me share a little bit about this food mindset with you and how I interpret it in my own life. I will also share a few great salad kits from Eat Smart that are completely clean and will make following a clean eating diet easy and delicious!
What Does Clean Eating Mean?
The concept of clean eating has been around since the 60’s so it really isn’t all that ‘new’. Basically, when people saw what the industrialization of food was doing to our daily diet, they decided it was NOT a good thing. They turned their noses up at processed foods. Instead, they opted for simple ingredients, made from scratch meals, and minimally processed foods. This was the very beginning of the clean eating diet.
Basic Concepts of Clean Eating
So, you have decided that you want to give clean eating a try, right? What are the basic concepts that you need to know? Focus on these ideas for your clean eating lifestyle:
- Limit highly processed, packaged foods: That means you need to read ingredient labels. In fact, if it HAS an ingredient label, you should eat it only as a small portion of your diet. You want to eat actual ingredients (carrots) rather than things with labels (carrot muffins, for example)
- Cutt back on foods with added salt, sugar or fat. Some fats are better than others. Olive oil is better than ‘vegetable oil’ for example. Choose honey rather than processed sugar and limit salt. Boost flavor instead with fresh herbs.
- Look for food close to its natural form: What does clean eating mean in the barest sense of the word? Get back to the simplicity of unprocessed foods. Rice rather than rice crackers, for example.
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How to Eat Clean in a Hurry
So, you want to follow a clean eating diet but aren’t sure you have time to commit, right? Clean eating requires you to cook from scratch as much as possible, skip the easy to make prepackaged frozen meals, and read labels. It sounds intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Learn to use your slow cooker when you know you have a busy night coming up. Prepare your foods on the weekend so you have time to dice, mince, and chop all those vegetables. When you cook a recipe, make double so you have leftovers for another meal. Yes, it takes a little bit of planning but I really do think it is worth the effort!
Another great way to eat clean is to look for products with the 100% Clean label like Eat Smart salad kits. I received several kits to try out and was very impressed with the quality and simplicity of the ingredients. Sure, vegetables are (by their very definition) clean, right? But what about the other ingredients in salad kits? The dried fruit, cheese, meat, and salad dressings. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in those? With Eat Smart, you don’t have to worry!
Eat Smart 100% Clean Labelled Salad Kits
Eat Smart is committed to clean ingredients and labeling, with plans for all of their products to contain a “100% Clean Label” by the end of 2018. Eat Smart clean labeled salad kits are free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Nearly 90% of Eat Smart products already contain a clean label, including all cut vegetable products, salad blends, the most popular nutrient-dense Vegetable Salad Kits (Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest, and Sunflower Kale) and the recently launched Salad Shake Ups.
Eat Smart Gourmet Salad Kits
I absolutely love gourmet salad kits. They make eating salad much easier and faster than if I had to chop everything myself. Especially on a busy weeknight. Eat Smart offers several different salad kits that contain six or more superfoods. They are perfect for busy moms on the go who want to eat clean. They offer three varieties that are already 100% clean, including Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest, and Sunflower Kale.
Eat Smart Salad Shake Ups
Eat Smart offers a new 100% clean product called Salad Shake Ups, which are perfect for days that you need to take your salad on the go. They feature a unique lockable lid for easy mixing and a sturdy and deep bowl. They have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and are available in three flavors:
- Avocado Ranch, a crunchy blend of cabbages and vegetables, crispy toppings, and a creamy avocado ranch dressing
- Tropical Lime, vegetables and dried fruits blended with a creamy coconut lime chili dressing
- Raspberry Acai, vegetables and dried fruits with a variety of seeds (hemp, flax, and chia) and a tangy raspberry acai dressing
Connect with Eat Smart
Want more clean eating diet tips and information about Eat Smart products? Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also head over to the Eat Smart website and sign up for their newsletter. Just subscribe under the “Receive Exclusive Offer” on the bottom right of the website homepage.
Clean Eating Is a Lifestyle, not a diet!
I like to set clean eating as a type of ‘goal’ for my daily diet. That means for most meals, I eat lots of ‘clean’ foods. Many of the processed foods I do buy are organic and natural whenever possible. And then I have my own personal cravings that I refuse to give up. I aim for about 80/20 in my life when it comes to clean eating. Remember, this is a long term, lifestyle change…not a quick diet to lose a few pounds! Make smart choices at the grocery store and take the time to really change your food mindset! Check out my clean eating meal planning tips for more ways to eat clean in a hurry!
What does clean eating mean to YOU?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked 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 and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.