What is clean eating? Is it something that's hard to do? Does it mean starving yourself for days?
I'm asked these questions repeatedly so let's answer them!
What Is Clean Eating?
Clean eating simply means to eat foods that are rich in nutrients that energize and revitalize you.
The opposite of nutrient-rich foods are foods that don't have any nutrients. Those foods are often processed, sold in a package or a box, and full of harmful ingredients like sugar, rancid oils, additives, and gluten.
These foods have no real nutritional value, and often rob you of energy. How?
Well if you're not eating foods that have essential vitamins and minerals, your body will have to tap into its stores to find what it needs to function.
If your body doesn't have those stores, it can't work properly.
Then you experience fatigue, mood swings, poor sleep, bloating and more.
If this continues, your body becomes chronically stressed opening the door for problems like IBS, food sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies, to name a few. And eventually sickness and disease.
When you eat clean, nutrient-rich foods, you can lessen your toxic overload that wreaks havoc on how well your body absorbs and processes the food that you eat. This is how clean eating can protect, energize and help you thrive.
Is Clean Eating Hard To Do?
The key to being successful at clean eating is planning ahead and being prepared. When you have a plan and are prepared, eating clean can be an easy thing to do.
Some people are intimidated by the idea of having to prepare fresh food to eat. Even if you don’t have the time to make elaborate meals, you can still eat clean and feel amazing.
Here are my “no-sweat” clean eating tips:
1 | Don’t Be Overwhelmed
All you need for a clean eating meal is lean protein, fresh vegetables, and a healthy fat. This can be as simple as half an avocado and some grilled chicken on a bed of greens.
2 | Healthy Condiments Can Make Any Food Taste Fabulous
Adding salsa, hot sauce, wheat-free tamari, tahini, garlic, or other seasonings and spices can enhance the flavors of your clean meal.
3 | Explore Your Options
If you're always on the go, consider take-out options at local restaurants and health food stores, or even clean food delivery services if they’re available in your area.
Take a look at some ready-made protein options offered at your local health food store, and have some on hand in the fridge.
4 | Designate One Hour A Week for Food Prepping
Chop veggies and salad greens to have ready to go in the refrigerator. Or you can keep your favorite salad recipes in a mason jar in the fridge then toss with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, and raw apple cider vinegar.
Make extra servings, and freeze them. Try to make the prep fun – put on some music or have a cooking party with your friends to make a bunch of meals for the clean eating program together.
Have healthy snacks on hand, so the vending machine doesn’t tempt you. Prepare little bags of pumpkin seeds with shredded coconut or have a green apple with you.
5 | Start Small
If eating clean foods feel overwhelming (hey we all have to start somewhere), start with drinks. Yes, clean drinking is a thing!
A lemon water elixir first thing in the morning is an excellent way to keep your gut healthy. You can prepare a morning lemon water elixir by combining water with a capful of apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon (or lemon essential oils) the night before or make a batch that will last several days.
Prepare natural Gatorade by adding six tablespoons of Himalayan sea salt and two tablespoons of raw honey to a gallon of water. Carry your bottle of water around with you to remind yourself to hydrate.
Prepare your breakfast smoothie the night before. Store it in a BPA-free container or mason jar overnight.
If you want to juice, but it feels like too much, then simply buy juice at your local health food store.
Clean eating does not have to be difficult. It is not about starving yourself, taking pills or powders. It is a way that you can awaken your senses, renew your body, and restore balance to yourself.
If this is something you've never done before, or perhaps have been going about it the wrong way, or if it feels overwhelming, all you have to do is to take one step forward and then another and then another. Eventually, you'll reach a place where choosing cleaner, healthier foods is second nature, and no longer feels like a choice or even a chore - it's just what you do.
When you make an effort to eat clean, you no longer will need quick fixes like Diet Coke to get you through the morning. There will be no need to visit Starbucks for a latte and pastry at 3 pm for the jolt of energy.
If it's lasting energy, you're looking for, eating clean is the answer.
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Hi, I'm Naomi!
I help smart and savvy women who suffer from chronic stress, unexplained weight gain and burnout, breakthrough their healthy blind spots and relieve symptoms through natural healing with whole foods and by making lifestyle and environmental changes. Why feel tired when you can feel fired up and ready to go every single day?
I love running outdoors, connecting with like-minded people, and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area with my pup, Coco Pop.