Eating healthy is a concept that we all understand – and it is very easy, actually. Choose the right food and avoid those that are high in processed fat, refined sugar and avoid all other processed food.
As simple as the concept behind it is, it can be quite difficult to manage, especially when you have a lot on your plate. You may be juggling with work responsibilities, tasks at home, volunteer time and the like, which often leads to quick-fix meals which are canned, boxed, processed or those that come in take out boxes.
Unhealthy eating can lead to extra (or a lot of) pounds, lack of energy, fatigue and the list goes on. Not only will it make you feel sluggish and tired, it also has many detrimental effects to your health. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do, and one thing includes eating clean, organic whole food.
Here is a quick cheat sheet to healthy eating, that you can incorporate in your everyday routine, no matter how busy you are.
Understanding clean eating
Before starting a clean eating diet, it is important to understand what it is and how it is done. First, it is not one of those many fad diets. It is a lifestyle choice, and it is the choice to regularly eat healthy, fresh, organic and whole foods instead of packaged and processed ones. Clean eating allows you to get the right nutrients and macronutrients without all those bad compounds, so you become healthier, more vibrant, more nourished and energetic. Some dietary changes and first steps that occur when you start with clean eating include:
- Getting as much as three servings (or more) of whole fruits and vegetables daily (preferably raw and grown organically)
- Avoiding processed, canned and boxed meals
- Choosing whole foods over processed foods
- Replacing bad fats with good fats (replacing hydrogenated processed oils with cold pressed organic oils and coconut oil for cooking)
- Reducing (or totally eliminating) soda and sweetened processed juices
- Stop drinking tap water and switch to Spring water or use a good water filter to clean your water
- Replacing table salt with good Himalayan and Celtic sea salt
- Reducing sugar intake and replacing processed sugars with honey or coconut sugar (Low GI)
- If you consume dairy products, switch to organic (or raw) dairy
- Eat fruits 30 min before meal never after
- Start adding minerals to your body (start adding a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic salt in your drinking water; ‘ Where minerals go water goes’!)
- Get your body as much alkaline as possible!
Eat fruits and veggies
The first thing that you can do when you decide to eat clean and healthy is to get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. You should aim to get at least three servings or more each day. The idea is to get as much of these to replace other unhealthier portions of your meal.
Fresh is best, so choose produce that is in season over canned or frozen versions. It also helps to choose those that are organically grown as opposed to those which are grown with pesticied etc…
Avoid boxes and TV meals
Cooking may sometimes feel like a chore, which is why it is so easy to pop food boxes and TV meals in the microwave, or call for delivery. Processed foods are usually loaded with preservatives, unhealthy salts, prcessed fats and other ingredients which add unnecessary calories to your meal. What you can do is prepare healthy meals in big batches and then refrigerate or freeze them in portions. Think about instant meals, but healthier and better!
Chop up veggies and fruits at night and place them in zip-loc bags or individual containers, so you have instant snacks throughout the day.
Say no to soda
Say goodbye to soda (even diet versions) for good! If not for good, then limit your soda intake and keep it as minimum as you can. This also goes for sweetened juices and other similar drinks as well. If you are craving for flavour, infuse some fruits in regular water or enjoy unsweetened teas. If you are faced with many options and you don’t know which is healthy or not, stick to the simplest and healthiest drink there is: water. (spring or filtered)
Give up the junk
Steer clear of junk food – chips, crisps, fries, cake, pastries and the like. They are not very filling and load you up with empty calories. They’re either high in sugar or high in sodium, which are not ideal at all. If you like snacking, make healthier choices like fruit cuts, nuts or healthy sandwiches. If you’re a junk food addict or a serial sweet tooth, this can be very difficult. Give yourself a few days and the cravings will eventually go away.
Whole food is best
Some diets have a very strict aversion to carbohydrates, but you really do not have to say no to them. The key is to choose whole grains over refined versions all the time, so whole brown rice, whole grain gluten free oats, whole bread (organic spelt or gluten free made with organic brown rice, millet or buckwheat flour) and the like. You also don’t have to give up meat as well, as long as you choose organic grass fed meat over processed versions.
When you look at it, clean eating can certainly be done. It’s not so difficult and you don’t have to memorize a list of rules or count your calories. You just have to make the right choices and set aside a little bit of time to prepare your meals beforehand. If you are considering this idea, go ahead. In the end, clean eating goes beyond nourishing your body with fresh food and excellent nutrients, it’s about saying NO to unhealthy habits and finally making the conscious choice to have a healthy life!
With love and care