7 Easy Tips for Clean and Healthy Eating for Every Season.
What is clean eating?
Clean and healthy eating means including the healthiest options for food and drink in your daily diet, and eating unhealthy foods less frequently. You must focus on including real food, like raw fruits, whole grains, lentils, beans, naturally-grown seasonal vegetables that are rich in essential nutrients, and wisely chosen meats for your dietary needs (read non-GMO, unprocessed, untreated).
Tip #1: What kind of foods to avoid: Start by cutting down on unhealthy foods
Before you dive into a whole new set of eating habits, it is best to start by cutting down on foods that offer minimal or zero nutrition. Avoid junk and processed food that have preservatives, taste enhancers and chemical additives. These include sugary drinks, refined grains, fries, etc. Aim for real food instead! Also try to avoid refined grains, unhealthy fats, excessive salts and sugars. However you don’t have to be this restrictive with every less healthy choice (yes, you can have a healthy dessert from time to time!).
Go for a clean eating style that suits you in particular! For example, some may subscribe to a gluten free lifestyle if gluten is an issue for them. Instead of switching to a new eating style immediately, little steps when done consistently, can do wonders in the long run.
Tip #2: Identify clean ingredients for consumption
Go for farm fresh, organic, non-GMO, and whole ingredients. Try different recipes for your daily meals. You can eat clean and still enjoy different delicious flavors, as long as you include all essential nutrients to nourish your body! Towards the end of this article, you can check out a list of websites and blogs to help search for inspiration on healthy, easy and simple recipe ideas and meal preps that are delicious too and all members of your family can enjoy.
Tip #3: Choose your cooking oils and fats carefully
Fats are an important part of your daily life. Not all fats in the fat family are bad – healthy fats can help you lose weight and gain many benefits. If you get cold pressed pure oils from the store, that is the way to go! When you go shopping, be sure to read the label to make sure there are no additives or preservatives. Coconut oil, mustard oil, sesame oil and olive oil are all great choices. Avoid spreads and other foods that have trans fats. Try eating moderate amounts of good fats that come from foods like fish, nuts and avocado.
Going dairy free or vegan is not a must but cutting back on meats is good for overall wellness. It can help reduce blood pressure, aid in heart health and weight loss. Including more plant based food recipes bump up the fiber, good fats and vitamins & minerals in your diet. The recommended daily amount of proteins is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can get this from dairy foods, beans, lentils and nuts. Avoid processed meats like cold cuts, bacon and sausage.
Tip #4: Eat more fruits and vegetables than meats
Going dairy free or vegan is NOT a must, but cutting back on meats is good for overall wellness. It can help reduce blood pressure, aid in heart health, and make weight loss easier. Including more plant-based food recipes bump up the fiber, good fats, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs. The recommended daily amount of proteins is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can get this from dairy foods, beans, lentils, and nuts. Avoid processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, and sausage. Chickens and fish sourced humanely make better options. And our blog here includes some healthy recipes for cooking these meats.
Tip #5: Limit alcohol/cigarette consumption
Alcohol and cigarette consumption/use causes inflammation in the internal organs and could eventually cause liver and lung disease, birth digestive disorders, and creates excess belly fat. Minimize or eliminate both entirely for maximum benefits.
Tip #6: Clean eating requires clean cookware
How you cook your food in your kitchen is crucial for its nutritive value. We must learn from how our ancestors used to cook food, for they lived healthier and longer lives than we do today. Modern cookware’s raw materials like metals, metal alloys, toxic non-stick coatings, enamels, and glazes contaminate food and damage nutrients by radiating harsh heat. The raw material used for making cookware in the past was all-natural clay without additives, chemicals or glazes. Thankfully, we can still get such a cookware for our kitchen!
Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) – a US-based pioneering cookware brand offers pots and pans made from lab tested primary clay. Their cookware is 100% non-toxic and cooks with food-friendly far infrared heat that preserves even the most delicate nutrients. This feature-rich cookware is a must for cooking your recipes healthfully.
Tip #7: Take care of your wellness AND the planet’s health
The beauty of incorporating clean eating habits is that it’s good for you and for our planet! The modern meat industry resorts to practices that cause greenhouse gas emissions and leave big carbon footprints. Overfishing destroys natural marine habitats. A vegetarian diet on the other hand requires 3 times less water and 2.5 times less energy to produce than a meat-heavy one. For example, broccoli that has almost the same amount of protein as beef has a 13 times lower footprint than the same amount of conventionally raised beef! Choosing MEC’s eco-friendly cookware is also an amazing start in this direction! Clean eating and living also requires buying fresh and local — this in turn is a big help to the planet.
Some Question & Answers on Clean Eating:
Is it possible to lose weight by eating clean?
When you choose Clean whole foods, you are protecting your body from gut toxins like chemicals, preservatives and bad fats, salts and sugars, and instead giving your cells, organs & tissue wholesome food to restore and heal. They are high in fiber and aid in weight loss and they also improve metabolism and help burn calories faster. This with some natural exercise has helped us and many others lose weight and keep it off. So the answer is YES, clean eating can help lose weight.
Is clean eating real & attainable for a busy lifestyle?
Yes! Making small changes – one step at a time, regularly – can go a long way in switching to a healthy lifestyle and reaching your healthy eating goals – despite a busy schedule!
What are some good clean eating websites and blogs?
The internet is full of many healthy eating/clean eating recipes and guides. A word to the wise when is to sifter your choices based on ones that have the least amount (or none) of processed, canned ingredients. Choose recipes cooked from scratch, and believe it or not there are many in that category that are easy and can be prepared under 30-40 minutes. A smart-tip is to do a quick search on these sites for recipes with ingredients you have at home.
This website: Minimalist Baker is an amazing blog with easy to prepare meals. Almost all the recipes are under 10 ingredients and/or prepared in one bowl and/or take less than 30 minutes to prepare. And no, the bloggers there are not just about baking or desserts, they have a whole array of amazing & fun healthy recipes to try.
Pinch of Yum is a blog run by a former fourth grade teacher, Lindsey and her amazing team. It includes vegan, vegetarian and meat based meals and recipes.
Eating Well (Free Recipes) A great blog to checkout for healthy and wholesome recipes that include breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions
Miriams Earthen Cookware’s (MEC) Healthy Eating blog includes many recipes, all of them cooked from scratch with no processed ingredients.