Have you been thinking about Clean Eating?
There has been much controversy in the press recently regarding clean eating. Many people including Nigella Lawson have said that it ‘puts pressure on women’ and that it could be hiding ‘an underlying eating disorder’.
For the record Clean Eating is not eating 51 bananas a day, nor is it eating only organic melon nor is it a purely vegan diet, nor is it pure paleo.
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available.
The soul of eating clean is consuming food the way nature delivered it, 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.
Clean eating isn’t a diet, a fad or a trend…of course some people will always take things too far and modify the basic principles to suit their own end.
For the record, clean eating does not exclude any whole food group, unless you have an allergy, intolerance or have ethical or religious reasons to not eat certain foods.
The only “rules” for clean eating are
- No processed foods
- Less refined sugar
- No additives
You can eat Meat, Dairy, Grains, Fruit, Seafood & Fish, Vegetables, Pulses & legumes, Nuts & Seeds. Clean Eating is the most inclusive way of eating there is.
Yes it is true that for many of us our current diets of highly processed foods, foods high in added sugar and other “stuff”, daily diets that are high in processed carbs can and do result in many of us experiencing negative symptoms and reactions. Leaky Gut, IBS, GORD, Candida, inflammatory conditions, skin conditions very often have their source in the foods that we eat.
Our recommendation is that you do exclude dairy, wheat, white carbs such as white rice, white pasta and white bread to begin with as in our experience these are the foods most often associated with digestive complaints. Excluding these from your daily diet for about a week or two and then slowly begin to reintroduce. This way you can tell for yourself what foods impact your own system and health, this is when you make the decision to exclude in the long term.
Our top 5 principles for Eating Clean
- Eat wholefoods
Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. The foods you eat by eating clean will be straight from the farm, whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pulses & legumes, grass-fed and free-range meats, seafood, dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
The closer you are to nature the closer you are to health, so look for foods that have had the least amount of processing. So wholegrain rice is a better nutritional option than white rice which has had the outer fibrous husk removed and so its just a little sugar and starch bomb.
- Eliminate refined sugar
Refined sugar provides nothing but calories, and temporary energy that fades fast. Sugar is everywhere, you will find sugar hidden in all sorts of processed foods, often in places you would not expect. Sausages, Pesto, Coleslaw, Bread…all can have added sugar. These are exactly the products that you do want to exclude from your regular diet. Look for the “clean” alternatives that have no added sugar.
Completely cutting out refined sugar is not an easy task, and it’s not something that you necessarily need to do. Eating some chocolate or cookies here and there (in moderation),is really what makes life, well, a little bit sweeter. But that doesn’t mean you should overdose. Luckily for you, once you are aware of how widespread sugar is, it’s relatively easy to avoid.
- Eat smart
Eat 3 meals a day and add in a healthy afternoon snack to get you through until dinnertime. Eating smart is all about listening to your body and what it needs. When your blood sugar levels are stable through the day you will find it much easier to make a conscious clean choice when it comes to meals times.
- Cook your own meals
Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That really isn’t as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond a bit of chopping to seasoning to make satisfying, delicious meals. At The Body Retreat we like out recipes to be either fast or quick cooking or fast preparation and leave alone slow cooking. Cooking doesn’t have to be laborious.
- Combine protein with carbs
When you do eat a meal or make sure that the meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you will be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein, fats and fibre for a balanced, healthy diet. This simple act will fuel your body and quash your hunger pangs.
Just remember that Clean Eating isn’t about weight loss, it’s not a detox. Clean Eating is eating for health and wellbeing, it is a way of making healthy clean choices about food every day of your life.
What are your thoughts on Clean Eating? Have you been put off by the recent stories in the press? Perhaps you are already a Clean Eater without the label, We ‘d love to hear from you , please leave us a comment in the box below.