Just like intermittent fasting, clean eating is not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation.
Basically, clean eating stays away from anything that food corporations have processed and that includes meat. If you eat meat, beef should be grass-fed, chicken and turkey should be free-range and organic if possible and wild fish should be sustainable and free of mercury. It’s important to make sure you are buying fish that has been caught sustainably. Commercial fishing has a major impact on the health of our oceans. Check the SeaFood Watch by Monterey Bay Aquarium on a regular basis for up to date info on what fish to purchase.
Eating the right grains is also important when making the commitment to clean eating. Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, barley are on the OK to eat list. Raw nuts and seeds like quinoa, sun flower seeds, sesame seeds chia or flaxseed are also good selections. Breads and other baked goods on the grocery shelves not so much.
Commercially baked bread usually use some form of processed sugar and other questionable ingredients like high gluten white flour.
On the topic of ingredients, try to purchase foods that have no more than 3-6 ingredients and be sure you recognize each ingredient. If you find a generic ingredient such as ‘spices’ or flavourings, contact the manufacturer and ask what they consider flavour or spices to be. You may be surprised because flavour isn’t a chemical and few commercial processors actually use real herbs and spices. The general rule to follow is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, pass on purchasing it.
Some folks are a bit overwhelmed by clean eating particularly those who eat commercially processed foods on a regular basis. Their taste buds have become accustomed to high sodium and processed sugars like high fructose sugars and the other 18 versions of same. If so, the secret is to make little changes every day. Over time, your taste buds will readjust and your body will thank you – and so will your kids, ultimately.
By simply altering what and when you eat, you can dramatically alter how the body spends less time and resources on the high energy tasks of digestion and can focus on important activities like ridding the body of toxins and repairing and rebuilding tissues. In addition, clean eating puts the body in an ideal state to manage weight, without the need to count calories.