The phrase ‘Eat Clean’ can not have escaped you by now. You can be forgiven for thinking it is the buzz word of the moment, because everyone seems to be talking about clean eating, clean recipes, clean food. And there’s a good reason for that because it really is more than a buzz word. For some, its more than a phase. It’s a way of life. Not sure? Here are five little ways to start eating clean NOW.
What is clean eating?
First and foremost, clean eating is not a diet. It’s not about depriving yourself of calories and it certainly is not about starving in order to lose weight. Rather, clean eating is a simple concept. You eat food in it’s most natural state. No additives, no preservatives and no processing at all. You eat only food that is good, wholesome and therefore ‘clean’. And in doing so, it’s likely that you will eat more than you used to, and you will consume more calories too. But this doesn’t mean that you will gain weight. Instead, because you are consuming only clean food, your body is more likely to learn how to regulate it’s metabolism better. So few people know that eating more actually speeds up your metabolism and helps the body to lose weight. So rather than eating less and slowing the fat burning process, you eat more (of the right foods) and your body burns fat more efficiently.
But to say that clean eating is all about losing weight is doing it a disservice somewhat. When you follow a clean eating lifestyle, you are more likely to experience a whole range of other benefits too. People have reported feeling more energy, less emotional mood swings and an increase in positive energy overall. More so, clean eating is likely to help improve your skin, hair and nails too. So why would you not want to adopt this lifestyle NOW?
How to make the switch
Making the switch to a healthier, cleaner diet need not be hard work. True, at first you will need to make some practical and possibly emotional adjustments, but once you are on track and your body is responding to the new regime there can be no turning back! Nor would you want to. Here are our five top tips for eating clean…
Clear the kitchen of foods that don’t fit
Take a good look through your cupboards and get rid of the things that are going to make you ‘slip up’. At first, you are probably going to crave all the foods that are no good for you, so in preparation for this you need to be ruthless. And when your fridge is also empty, it’s time to shop. But you need to know your enemies! Generally speaking, processed foods are a huge no no but so are some other, more innocent looking foods. It’s best to avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Trans fats
- Food colourings
- E numbers
- Refined sugar
Plan your meals
So you know which foods to avoid, and which to stock up on. Now to plan your meals. If you don’t usually plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this may be a little new for you. When you first start a clean eating journey, its a good idea to plan for snacks too. You should aim to eat at least five times a day, and make sure that everything you put into your mouth is good. Clean. So meal planning is a must. Scour recipes (in books and online) for foods you know you’ll enjoy, but go for some new dishes too. And make sure you take your plan with your to the supermarket so that you can’t be persuaded by special offers! One of our favourite clean eating recipes is a simple steak with salad and sweet potato wedges. Delicious, simple and nutritious. So there is no need for your meals to be complicated at all!
Don’t ditch the carbs altogether
While you should be mindful of the amount of carbs you consume, you should also know that cutting them out completely is not a great idea, and not in keeping with a clean eating lifestyle. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy and cutting them out will simply mean that you will feel tired and sluggish. That said, too many carbs can cause your body to react too. So make sure you eat around two carb portions per day and make sure that the main part of your meal is protein. The protein in your meal will keep you feeling fuller for longer and stop you craving all the foods that are not so clean.
We’re brought up being told not to eat between meals, aren’t we? But if you’re hungry then eat! Just make sure that what you put into your body is clean. Go on to Pinterest and see what clean snacks you can find- there are SO many! Three of our favourite clean eating snacks are:
- Nuts. Eat up to 100g per day. The naturally occurring fats will be burned by your body in replacement for carb overload.
- Berries. Strawberries, raspeberries, grapes, blackberries, blueberries… all great foods to snack on.
- Clean chocolate. Yes, you heard right. To make it you need 40g coconut oil, melted, 25 g cocoa powder, two dessert spoons maple syrup and your choice of up to 100g chopped nuts. Ground almonds are also good to use for a slightly more praline texture, and a spoon of cashew nut butter is also wonderful here. Simply combine all the ingredients and pour into silicone moulds. These quantities make four portions.
When YOU are cooking your meals, you are in charge of your destiny. What we mean is, if you cook, you know exactly what is going in to your food. So get your apron on and take charge of your menu. You won’t regret it!
What are your top clean eating tips?