It's one of the most common buzz phrases in nutrition today but do you really know what it means? Or how to follow it? The Clean Eating Team at Clean Eating Magazine has done an exclellent job explaining it for us with these simple guidelines:
The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.
1) Eat five to six times a day
Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.
2) Drink at least two liters of water a day
Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic; we’re friends of the environment here! Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of antioxidant-rich red wine a day.
3) Get label savvy
Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered clean.
4) Avoid processed and refined foods
This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead.
5) Know thy enemies
Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.
6) Shop with a conscience
Consume humanely raised and local meats.
7) Choose organic whenever possible
If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.
8) Consume healthy fats
Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day.
9) Learn about portion sizes
Work towards eating within them.
10) Reduce your carbon footprint
Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.
11) Slow down and savor
Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!
12) Take it to go
Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go.
13) Make it a family affair
Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family’s life along with your own.