Clean Eating. Where do I start?

I hear alot of people talk about "Clean Eating". There are alot of ideas of what clean eating is. I don't think there's only one way. Personally I think if we are balanced and eat as many whole foods as we can, that is great! Staying away from proecessed foods is key.

We are in the middle of January with all of our new years resolutions. How are you doing? Applying drastic changes to our diet all at once can be overwhelming and hard to stick with. If you want to start applying a clean diet but don't want to dive in head first, here are some simple tips of how to start one step at a time.

1. Water and More Water: Water is a very important part of clean eating. Add small changes gradually. Drinking a glass of water in the morning is a great place to start. If you drink alot of soda or tea, start replacing one glass a day with water. After you have a handle on that, add more. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example: If you weigh 150lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day or more if exercising. Adding lemon will give it a little flavor and boost your metabolism!

2. Clean out the Pantry: It's hard to throw away food that you have bought with your hard earned money. So don't throw it out all at once. Get rid of a few items at a time and replace them with something healthier. Maybe start with replacing your refined pastas with whole grain pasta. Replace the cakes and cookies with delicious sweet fruit. Do you like chips dipped in something? I'm a dipper! I love hummus but it can be unhealthy to sit with a container of hummus and a bag of chips. So measure out a serving of hummus and put in a bowl and use carrots, snap peas or peppers to scoop it up.

3. Fruits and Vegetables: We all know we are suppoed to have about 6 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I find that most of my clients don't eat half that or they eat entirely to much fruit. Fruit is great but it still contains alot of sugar. Have you ever wondered why peanut butter is added to an apple or banana? It's not just for taste. Our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates much faster than fats and protiens. Adding a tablespoon of peanut butter to an apple will slow down the process in which your body digests it. In turn the food lasts longer and your not hungry in an hour as you would have been if just eaten fruit by itself. Start adding a piece of fruit to your breakfast. Mabye some berries to whole grain oatmeal. Load up a sandwich with lots of veggies or have a smoothie and fill it up with fruit (a serving) and veggies like spinach, kale and squash. The sugar in the fruit will over ride the taste in the vegetables. That's a great way to get 2 to 3 servings in one meal. Be sure you are having a portion of vegetables with dinner as well.

4. Shop the Outside Aisles: Most of the processed foods are found in the center aisles of the grocery store so your best bet is to shop the outside aisles to get most of your natural foods.

5. Labels: Get into a habit of reading the labels. A good rule of thumb for this, is if you are just starting out and not ready to give up processed foods entirely, choose foods with the fewest ingredients. The more ingredients there are, the worse it is for you. If it's a paragraph of ingredients that you can't even pronounce, then just put it back! Think about it this way, an all natural food, like a piece of fresh fruit or a vegetable, has no label. A bag of low calorie cookies probably has a long list! Stay way from hydrogenated fats, artificial colors and flavors and high amounts of sodium.

6. Cook: The best way to know what you are putting in your body is to prepare it yourself. Try adding one new meal a week to your menu. Make a double portion of the receipe to have for the next night or to stick in the freezer to have a meal for the following week. For ideas on healthy-delicious meals, join one of my Cooks. We meet about every 2 to 3 weeks. It's a great opportunity to meet other people that are wanting to be healthy, share tips and ideas. We prepare a meal together and then enjoy it together. Cooking at home will save you money and keep you healthier!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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