Clean eating is the latest craze, but it’s a food-related phenomenon with a difference. It’s not a diet – although it can help to bring about the benefits of a diet – but is instead a lifestyle choice aimed at giving you a healthier relationship with your food in more than one sense of the word.
The term ‘clean foods’ is thought to have been first coined by Gerald Celente in The Trends Journal in 1993. It refers to items that are not processed and are free of artificial preservatives or additives. It’s by sticking to these natural and ‘unspoiled’ foods that you follow a ‘clean eating’ ethos.
The knock-on effect is said to lead to a boost to your health, weight-loss (hence the anti-diet diet), better skin and hair and more consistent sleep. Clean foods are, by their nature, less likely to be full of fat, salt and sugar too, helping you to cut these down.
It sounds relatively simple, but what does that mean in practical terms?
Drink lots of water
Yes, it’s perhaps odd to start off with this but water is an important part of your regime. Don’t drink your intake of calories by consuming copious amounts of soft drinks and fancy coffees. If you fancy a change from water use unsweetened tea. Remember too that those early hunger pangs could just be a sign that your body is dehydrated and easily solved with a simple glass of water.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the order of the day – and lots of them. Take in plenty of ‘superfoods’ such as broccoli or berries as these give you plenty of nutrients while helping to fill you up with fuel for the day. Be wary of anything in a box, bag or packet – if it has been shoved in there then it has possibly been processed too.
Buying up fresh produce can mean that you stock up on fresh foods at your local farmers’ market or greengrocer – meaning that you’re eating food that’s ‘clean’ in both a nutritional and environmental sense.
Unrefined is just fine
Take in whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa as well as beans. When it comes to sugars take in ‘clean’ options such as honey or maple syrup.
Not sure whether an item has been processed or changed? Check the list of ingredients. Once you start seeing long lists of items you’ve never heard of on the packet you’ll know it doesn’t fit your clean eating regime.
Mapping out meals
Plan to eat three main meals as well as two or three snacks throughout the day. Balancing your intake throughout the day is an important part of your healthy relationship with food. Don’t sit and starve yourself until your one big ‘main meal’ as that’ll only encourage your body to store more fat. A regular healthy routine combats hunger.
A fitter, healthier body will encourage a cleaner relationship with your food. Take in regular exercise and try to cut your body fat. Looking after your body will encourage you not to reach for processed foods.
Balancing your intake of nutrients is vital to your clean eating regime. Make sure you are getting the right mix of all the elements you require with the smart use of supplements. Some of the latest products – see www.fysiqalnutrition.com for the newest brand on the market – can be a vital part of a good clean eating outlook.
If you’re ready to set aside the world of processed food, chemicals, additives and refinements and go ‘back to basics’ then cleaner eating is the way forward – and the key to an all-round cleaner lifestyle.