The Body Retreat

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What is Clean Eating?

Have you heard about Clean Eating?

If you have been reading the newspapers recently then you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s a whole new diet craze in town. It’s called Clean Eating.

Just this weekend the lovely Nigella Lawson told the papers that she was against clean eating as it could promote eating disorders. I’m not sure that Nigella gets what Clean Eating is really about. Clean Eating is not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle.

True there are a number of high profile trendy advocates of Clean Eating, some of whom add their own twist to Clean Eating, so you may have read that you should avoid wheat, dairy, red meat sugar etc etc.  No reason to if you don’t have an allergy or intolerance.

What is Clean Eating?

Clean Eating is a deceptively simple concept.

The heart of Clean Eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; its not a craze and its not a dangerous fad….it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation leading to improved health – one meal at a time.

The idea is to avoid processed foods and only eat ‘real’ and so therefore Clean foods.

Unprocessed foods to include in your daily diet:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dried legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Organic Free Range eggs

Minimally processed foods include in moderation in your diet:

  • Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, quinoa and brown rice
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed Organic meat
  • Hormone-free Organic dairy
  • Sustainable Fish and Seafood
  • Oils
  • Raw Honey or Maple Syrup

Sticking to this golden rule of choosing real clean foods can involve a bit more cooking from scratch, but when you choose to eat clean then you can enjoy anything from steak to cake.

Why Eat Clean?

Going back to basics, by reducing the chemicals, preservatives or additives along with heavily processed foods tend to be higher in salt and calories, and may also be less nutritious places additional strain on your body, especially your liver, which means that your overall health can be compromised in the long term.

Clean Eating emphasises whole grains, lean cuts of meat, sustainable fish and seafood, healthy fats and lots of fruits and vegetables. No whole foods are completely banned, and the plan promotes an overall balanced diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, and protein.  Nothing faddy here.

Six Simple Strategies to Eat Clean

 Only eat ‘real’ foods: Put simply, this means buying recognisable ingredients to prepare at home and avoiding processed and packaged foods.

Cook your own meals. Instead of buying meals in a box or packet, cook the majority of your meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds. Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond a bit of chopping and light cooking to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.

Keep meals simple: Delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Keep your ingredients to a minimum. Just be sure to include a source of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal.

Eat regular meals: Don’t let more than four hours go by between meals or snacks. This will help regulate blood sugar, which will keep you energised and help curb your appetite.

Eat Proteins and Fats. When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs, meaning you are less likely to be tempted by quick and convenient processed foods.

Listen to your body: Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, not full up or over-stuffed.

So there you have it , Clean Eating in a nutshell.  Eat what you like, just make a conscious choice to eat real whole foods where possible and then enjoy it in moderation.

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