For the New Year while you’re getting ready to clean out old storage items and organize closet spaces, why not spring clean your bodies as well by throwing out processed foods in your kitchen and replacing it with fresh fruits and vegetables? Spring clean your metabolism by clean eating and improve your life one meal at a time.
“Clean eating” is a trend that is suddenly everywhere, but what does “clean eating” really mean? The term means to eat the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups, embracing foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins. This includes staying away from junk foods and processed foods. When you are eating clean, you try to give your body the best fuel that is out there, which are foods that will keep you healthy and at a healthy weight. Clean eating is not necessarily about weight loss, but it focuses on general health.
The current craze of “cleansing” or eating only raw food or fresh juices for a set period of time is not the same as clean eating. In fact, our organs are what cleanses are bodies of toxins. The main idea is to replace processed foods, pastries, and fried foods with more fruits and vegetables. You’ll definitely feel the difference!
Clean eating can also entail looking more closely at where your food comes from. This could mean buying organic produce to avoid pesticide residue, or avoiding meat that comes from large factory farms. It is possible you might spend a little more money on high-quality meat and produce and more time preparing meals from scratch rather than heating up packaged convenience foods. But, as clean eating advocates say, it may be more expensive to eat clean and healthy, but it is an investment in your future health that you may otherwise pay for in the long run.
Here are some tips to get you started on clean eating:
• Try fresh fruits and vegetables instead of salty and sugary packaged foods to eat as snacks.
• Instead of buying blueberry yogurt with added sweeteners and less than 5% real blueberries, buy unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.
• Try to buy meat from a farmer’s market in your area or at a grocery store, look for grass-fed meat and dairy products without hormones or antibiotics.
• Instead of margarine, try substituting it with grass fed butter or avocados to have with your whole grains or veggies.
• When you’re screaming for ice cream, save calories and fat by drinking a fruit and low-fat yogurt smoothie instead.
• If you love to savor the crunch, skip the full-fat chips and try more satisfying crunchy snacks such as pretzel chips, nuts, or whole-grain tortilla chips. www.skinnyjeanproject.com
By Rennie Aranda, Nutritionist