Basically, eating clean is about sticking to whole foods that come from nature, and are as close to their natural form as possible. There are so many dramatic benefits to eating food this way: more energy, natural weight loss and glowing health. It will be easy to understand where the “you are what you eat” cliche comes from when what you’re eating is so good for you.
Deciding to Eat Clean can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to! We have a few simple tips and rules to live by when making changes in your diet to foods that are clean and simple.
Stop eating processed foods
One of the easiest changes you can make is replacing processed meals and snacks with natural, minimally processed options. If you commit to sticking to this idea, you will find your cravings change and you’ll actually prefer natural snacks and meals. There are plenty of easy options for snacks, and you can find some ideas here! It’s also important to allow yourself to indulge in your very favorites (kettle chips anyone?!) every once in awhile (and do not feel guilty!) – it’s the easiest way to keep you from throwing in the towel because you feel like you never get to have anything “bad”.
Eat more produce
If you feel like you’re going to feel limited on snacks without crackers and chips, remember that fruits and veggies are great to keep you feeling fuller longer. If you’re not in the habit of snacking on produce, you may find you will have to re-train your taste buds. Eventually you won’t even want that bag of chips mid-day!
Keep an eye on your salt intake
By eliminating processed foods, you’re automatically going to reduce the amount of sodium in your foods. Make sure you’re always aware of the sodium content, and even keep your own use of salt to a minimum to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and more.
Watch out for added sugars
Processed foods have added sugars that you may not even consider, like in breads and yogurts. The natural sugars from fruit should be your main source of sugar. Be sure to check labels and avoid added sugars as much as you can (although sometimes you just HAVE to have a cookie – again, indulge occasionally.)
Read labels, read labels, read labels
Always check the labels for high amounts of sodium, sugar and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Low calorie content isn’t always the most important information on those labels. For more information on HOW to read labels, check this out.
Try to commit to challenging yourself to eating as clean as possible for a couple of weeks or more and see how your tastes/preferences change!
For some easy recipes, tips, grocery lists and more, check out our Clean Eating board on Pinterest. Follow us for more healthy inspirations while you’re there.