Over the past few years, we’ve been exposed to a new term everyone is calling “clean eating” – but what does it really mean?
And how on earth can we all achieve healthier eating habits?
While it may seem that regular gym-goers and personal trainers are the only ones with the know-how of what clean eating really means, we feel that it’s been somewhat over-complicated.
That’s why here we’re going to be debunking the myths around clean eating and explain what it really means to entertain a healthier, more balanced diet.
We’ve been working really hard to come up with the right grocery shopping lists, cooking tips and tricks to help get you eating clean – even on a budget.
Here is a quick crash course in clean eating with some great facts, tricks and tips and advice to get you started. So watch this space, as we’ll be sharing with your our repertoire of clean eating secrets! We hope you find this beginners guide to clean eating useful.
So, what does clean eating actually mean?
In the simplest form eating clean means having a balanced diet of real wholesome foods and unprocessed natural foods to achieve a healthy living lifestyle.
Clean eaters generally avoid foods altered by humans or manufacturers (yes, we are trying to avoid any packaged foods), but don’t despair – that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cheat day!
Balance is a core part of the clean eating process and bearing this in mind, it’s fair to say that there’s many different variations and levels to the process.
While some people have very strict clean eating diet plans to support their physical activity, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
Clean eating is actually a simple way to provide you with the right eating habits, and know-how of what nutrients and meals are right for your body to function at it’s best on a daily basis.
It’s more about being the most comfortable in your own skin, and a balanced diet can really help you achieve that. With that said, the first myth we need to debunk is that eating clean means eating boring!
It’s simply not true. We’ve concocted a number of super tasty and wholesome meals that are simple to make and truly delicious that we’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks.
Clean Eating in a Nutshell
In today’s society it has become more challenging to eat unprocessed foods with simple, pure ingredients. With the rise of fast food over the last decade and the food supply chain getting a little out of hand, we’ve lost our way a little bit in terms of understanding and recognizing what our bodies really need to be healthy.
Clean eating is actually a simple way to provide you with the right eating habits, and help your body to function at it’s best on a daily basis.
One super simple way of combating this and having more natural products and fresh foods stocked in your kitchen: ingredients that haven’t been changed through an unnatural preservation process (e.g. using additives to preserve an ingredient for longer).
If you’ve ever seen Michael Moore’s experiment with McDonald’s then you’ll know what we’re referencing to… Basically anything that alters the organic shelf-life of an ingredient isn’t good for achieving a healthy, balanced diet.
This is especially true when talking about the FDA-banned trans fats: which last year was removed from the food supply by regulators as its effects on the human body were scientifically proven to actually harm your health and clog your arteries. It’s time to be a bit more cautious with what is in your foods, as food companies and farms still have until 2018 to comply with the new ban to remove trans fat from their foods – be sure to check the label. Twice.
A quick tip to getting started is trying eat out less and get more comfortable cooking meals at home. Like we mentioned earlier, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice juicy burger with your colleagues for lunch on a Friday, it’s just about striking a balance.
These are still in much smaller quantities than dining out every lunch or dinner time. Therefore to keep clean eating simple and delicious the best method to go about is by either simply cooking yourself or following our clean eating meal plan.
Here’s a few tips to help get you started:
1. Fill up on vegetables and fruits: Strive to eat the rainbow, one serving from each color.
2. Eat lean unprocessed meats: Including chicken, fish and beef to get your fix of lean proteins.
3. Eat wholegrains such as bulgur, wild rice, couscous and quinoa to accompany your intake of lean proteins.
4. Don’t over-eat: 3 main meals a day along with a few healthy snacks (fruit is good) are recommended for a balanced diet.
By following this four simple tips, you can significantly reduce your intake of artificial and processed foods and really get yourself on the track to a more balanced eating lifestyle.
The Benefits of a Balanced Diet
There’s a common saying in England that “the proof is in the pudding,” which simply means that the end result is the mark of the success or failure of your planning. To get started eating clean, adopting this mentality will take you a long way.
If you plan ahead, inspect what’s actually in your foods and where they come from (is it an organic farm, what type of harvesting process did my food go through, what pesticides are used) you’ll become pickier and more interested about what you choose to put in your body.
After all, there’s only one thing nutritionists agree on, and that a balanced, healthy diet requires wholesome, unprocessed foods with a primary focus on plants. Whether it’s Paleo diets, vegan diets… it only really matters that they’ve been grown without modification and in their natural environment.
There are a vast number of benefits to changing your diet and deciding to eat clean, not only can it help you maintain a healthy body weight but also many other things, such as:
1. Be happier: Forget the chocolate box when feeling down, top up on clean healthy veggies and fruits (more on this to come in our clean eating grocery list). A balanced and varied diet enables to keep your mood intact and steady throughout the day.
2. Sleep better: More and more studies prove that eating wholesome and clean can get those bumpy, unsteady sleep patterns straightened.
3. Achieve a balanced lifestyle: Healthy, nutritious foods boost athletic performance, regenerate muscle tissue faster after a workout, improve endurance and boost recovery.
4. Better skin: beauty comes from within, eating nourishing real food will make your skin happy and you shine bright both from inside and out.
5. Manage your finances better: Learn to love your own kitchen, not only does eating out mean eating more processed food (no thank you) but also cost you more money. Why pay more to ruin your health?
The trick is to find a balance, but usually that comes at the sacrifice of time. If you don’t have that luxury, then you can always get quick and healthy food to your home or office with Everdine meal plans.