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What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating is probably the best thing you can do for your health overall. If you’re looking to lose weight, get healthy and get fit, you will have a really hard time seeing any progress without it.
Clean eating may sound complicated. But it’s not complex at all, it’s not even an actual diet. Clean eating means eating real, organic food.
In it’s simplest form eating clean means eating foods the way nature intended. Eating fruits and vegetables in their natural states (preferably organically grown) and eating meats raised organically (hormone and antibiotic free for starters.)
Clean eating means different things to different people. The key is taking the basic philosophy and applying it to what works for you. You can apply clean eating to any diet.
Why Eat Clean?
So many people have a hard time losing weight and getting fit. A big problem is our modern day eating. A large majority of foods in the grocery stores (and especially fast food places) don’t even resemble real foods. Boxed and prepackaged foods, even when marketed to look like real foods, are loaded with chemicals and preservatives.
In a time where people are loaded with a constant “to do” list each and every day and constantly feel pressed for time, it’s hard to resist such convenient and quick foods. But here’s the thing, clean eating doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Clean eating meals can be as simple, or as complex as you wish them to be.
The bombardment of these toxins has left our body confused with how to process these so-called “foods.” When our body is confused, it doesn’t work as it’s supposed to and this causes weight gain and a wide array of health ailments and diseases.
Common problems affected by diet:
- Skin conditions
- High blood pressure
- Blood sugar disorders
- Auto-immune conditions
- (Along with so many more!)
Think of your body like a car. If you are constantly filling up your car with contaminated oil, it may be okay for a little while. But you can definitely expect some problems down the road. There’s no way a car filled with cruddy oil will last years and years.
Chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, preservatives. They are in so many of the foods we eat. Sometimes they are hidden really well too. There are a few general rules that can help you avoid these.
- Stick to the outsides of the grocery store: Meaning produce, meat and dairy sections. This is where the majority of “real food” lives. The inner aisles are full of processed foods, which most have some form of chemicals in them.
- Avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce: If you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t know what it is. It’s probably some sort of chemical or preservative.
- Avoid some of the ones you can: Things like dye and corn syrup are very common in foods and can cause a variety of health problems. (Although with dyes some studies suggest it can cause our brains to act funny, even contributing to things like ADD.)
- Avoid GMOs. Genetically Modified Organisms. Avoiding these is kind of a hard. GMOs are starting to pop up everywhere, and we don’t actually know the long-term health effects. When trying to find non-GMO you are pretty safe with organic produce. (Although there are some contamination issues.) The absolute BEST way to make sure its Non-Gmo would be growing your own produce. But realistically speaking, local organic farms are a great option! For more info check out the Non-GMO Project.
What to Eat
You want to stick with unprocessed food. Again, think outer rim of the grocery store.
You can also have some minimally processed foods such as:
- Unrefined grains such as brown rice, popcorn (not microwaved,) quinoa and steel cut oatmeal
- Organic and hormone free dairy
- Unprocessed meats: Wild is best then pastured (avoid grain fed) (also avoid deli meats)