Thursday, July 18, 2013

Do you Eat Clean?

Clean eating has made a huge difference in my life! The more processed foods and added chemicals that you can cut out of your diet, the better your body will feel! More fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates will fuel your body and help slim that waistline!

What exactly is Clean eating? Clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible.  You know, like your grandparents did back before we had all of the processed foods.  It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to how you eat food.   

  • Avoid processed foods.  If it comes in a package or a box, read the label carefully.  If it has more than 5 ingredients, or more than two ingredients that you can't pronounce, then you should probably skip it.
  • Lots of produce!!  Fruit and veggies are your best friends on a clean eating plan.  Try to buy organic, if you can.
  • Avoid refined foods.  Sugar, refined flour and trans fats.  Sugar and any foods that contain extra sugar should be out of the pantry.  Sugar has addictive properties.  The more you eat it, the more you crave it.  it leads to high insulin levels, increased fat storage, low blood sugar, and increased appetite and cravings. 
  • Drink more water!  Did you know your body functions best when you consume at least 1/2 your body weight in water per day?
  • Eat lean proteins - chicken, fish, leaf cuts of beef and beans are excellent sources of lean protein.
  • Avoid artificial ingredients and preservatives.  Artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking it is getting something sweet.  However, the body doesn't know how to respond to it and struggles to regulate hunger and appetite, leading to increased food consumption.
  • Avoid alcohol.  I love a good adult beverage, but the reality is that alcohol is a toxin to the body.  You don't have to cut it out completely, but try to keep it to only a drink or 2 per week.
  • Eat healthy fats.  Fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, eggs, and oils (olive oil, coconut oil).  Watch out for boxes that say 'reduced fat', that often means increased sugar (or vice versa)
  • Cut down on the dairy.  Or at least read the labels.  Dairy foods are often over processed.  Check the labels for "natural", and that they only contain a few ingredients.  As a side note, dairy products tend to have a bloating factor on the body, so try not to eat too much throughout the day.  

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