Happy Spring everyone! You are probably looking at your closet, your shelves, your garage … so many clean up jobs to tackle! Which will bring the most satisfaction? Which is the most pressing? All of these projects are worth- while, yet somehow, you have overlooked the most glaring cleaning opportunity that will positively change your body, your attitude and yes, your life. Sounds dramatic? It is.
Forget about cleaning out closets and scrubbing floors to welcome spring. Instead, start by cleaning up your eating habits. With winter overstaying it’s welcome this year, it’s likely that rich soups, stews, pastas and feel good desserts have become home menu staples. Say goodbye to winter comfort foods and welcome spring with a fresh new take on food by eating clean.
What is clean eating?
This trend is suddenly everywhere! Eating clean is not a diet, it’s about more than just getting lean; it’s about choices that promote optimum long-term health. It is a shift in perspective and lifestyle.
The basics of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, embracing foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins. This includes staying away from junk foods and processed foods. Clean eating is not necessarily about weight loss, but focuses on general health; giving your body the best fuel that’s out there. Clean eating can also entail looking more closely at where your food comes from. This could mean buying organic produce to avoid pesticide residue, or avoiding meat that comes from large factory farms.
What’s the food situation in your kitchen at the moment? If you haven’t used your fridge’s vegetable drawer in, oh, quite a while, it’s time for a spring clean. Eating clean might mean tweaking what you’re doing right now, or it might require you to turn over a whole new leaf, and this is how:
• Forget the D-word. Focus on nutrients, not calories.
• Load up on fresh produce. No matter if you’re a carb-cutter, carb-loader or Paleo warrior; the golden rule of clean eating is to include as much fresh produce in your daily diet as possible. The fresh produce aisle is your territory now. You’ll probably venture in deeper for some olive oil, but keep your blinders on. Very few of the items you see in a store’s interior promote good health.
• Eat whole foods. Here’s a good rule of thumb. Try to select foods that contain one ingredient. Next time you’re in the frozen food section grab a pack of frozen peas. It may state something like this on the back: “Ingredients: Peas”. Now that may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s exactly the kind of food we should be buying for ourselves and our families. Keep it simple!
• Drink plenty of water. The benefits are real. Flavouring water with lemon could make for healthy sipping during a long working day.
• Avoid processed foods. Cook your own meals. Plan ahead and flex your kitchen skills.
• Eat good fats. Monounsaturated fats, that is. Olive oil, salmon, nuts – get at least a little bit every day.
• Avoid sugar. C’mon people. You know the answer to this one. Don’t touch the stuff! White sugar is an instant hit to your body and is linked to diabetes, inflammation, decreased immune response and some cancers. If you’re drinking soda of any kind, stop. Period.
• Use smart flour substitutes. Yes, you can enjoy baked goods and eat clean. Try almond flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour, and oat flour, and still create joyous treats.
• Cut down on alcohol and caffeine. If you’re going to drink, try a glass of red wine (richer in the antioxidant resveratrol) or vodka with tonic water and fresh lime. Aim to consume no more than 2 cups of organic coffee per day. Herbal teas such as green tea are great; they are natural energisers full of antioxidants.
• Be prepared. Keep a bag of almonds at your desk or make a pot of butternut squash soup for weekday lunches to go. Being prepared will be your bestie.
What better time to to change your lifestyle than the start of spring! The goal is to improve your health, one meal at a time. You can also read our article on juicing here.
Source: fhfitness.com, www.womanshealthmag.com, www.bodybuilding.com, www.skinnygeneproject.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.womanshealthmag.co.uk, www.orlandoweekly.com, www.besthealthmag.ca, www.skinnyms.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.