Eat Clean, 8 Simple Rules

8 Rules for Clean Eating

What is Clean Eating?

Clean Eating is eating mostly whole, unprocessed real foods and being mindful of the path the food has taken to get to your plate. In other words, eating food in its most natural form, i.e. vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.

How do I start Clean Eating?

In order to start I believe you need to know what isn’t considered “clean” food. You will want to avoid processed foods. If they have had anything added to them – salt, sugar, fat, preservatives, natural flavors and even vitamins are to be avoided if you are focusing on eating clean. If the form has been changed, for instance mashing apples to make applesauce or removing the bran in order to refine bread. I know you are thinking, “What’s wrong with applesauce?” Nothing, except food manufacturers often add sugar or acid to the process, so it’s healthier if you make your own.

Why is clean eating good for you?

Read what Fitnessmagazine.com has to say –Thanks to extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health, “we do know that largely plant-based diets are healthy,” says Fanzo. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there’s research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair — as if you needed more motivation.

Now that you know what it is and why it’s good for you, let’s learn the 8 Rules for Clean Eating.

  1. Eat Real– Can you imagine it growing out of the ground? Can you picture it hanging from a tree? Do you recognize it in its original form. If so, then eat it.
  2. Choose 1– Reach for foods that have only one ingredient, i.e. apple, carrot, pecan. You get the idea.
  3. Eat Naked– No, I don’t mean ditch your clothes. I mean pick foods that don’t have packaging, bar codes, plastic wrap, etc. It is okay to reach for frozen fruit or vegetables as long as they haven’t been processed. You wouldn’t want them covered in chemical cheese goo or citric acid to retain freshness. Only reach for the ones with nothing added.
  4. Go Organic– Organic is always best because its the cleanest food that has been grown without pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers. If that isn’t possible for your pocketbook try to avoid the Dirty Dozen.Those are the twelve fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residue, so you want to avoid them and buy organic if possible.
  5. Eat What You Can Pronounce– If you can read all the ingredients on the label and don’t need to Google it, it’s probably clean. Remember, it probably shouldn’t have a label at all, i.e. Eat Naked.
  1. Prioritize Plants– No need to worry about how much sugar is in that apple or fat in that avocado. No one ever became fat from eating too many vegetables and fruits. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Eat them and enjoy them!
  2. Give Up Sugar– If you want to eat clean avoid it in all its forms and its sickly cousins – artificial sweeteners. If you want to keep your food as clean as possible, reach for raw honey or pure maple syrup since they are less processed. However, keep in mind its still sugar.
  3. Cook At Home– When you cook at home you choose exactly what does or doesn’t go into your body. Most restaurant meals are loaded with sodium, fat and sugar, not to mention the portion sizes are out of control.

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Paige

Paige Baggett-Riggins, a self-proclaimed "Information Junkie," is addicted to the exploration of all modalities that improve our mind, body and spirit. She relies on a daily mindfulness practice to control her "speed eating" habit and the constant urge to add more to her ever increasing book "situation."

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