The newest trend in the world of food has actually been a step in the perfect direction: clean eating.
Simply put, it’s not about what you eat, what its nutritional stats are or whether or not it’s pricey – it’s about how it got to your plate. Supported by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, clean eating focuses on food that is as natural as possible. Forget processing, refining or any other form of making the food less natural. The ideal scenario is you growing your own food without any pesticides, and then consuming it raw. But as we live in a less-than-ideal world, let’s see some more realistic options to get you eating clean.
This doesn’t mean that you need to cut meat out altogether, or that meat is particularly bad for you, but if your focus is clean eating, then it’s not the best choice. Not only does it create a lot of methane and increases your carbon footprint, but it’s usually a lot more processed than plant-based options. Going meatless for at least one day per week will give you a clean boost and allow you to discover the wonderful world of plant-based food that you might have never tried if you didn’t ditch meat for a day.
CAREFULLY PLAN EATING OUT
The food served in most restaurants today is highly processed and has a lot of sodium packed into it to make it taste good and have you coming back for more. However, the moment you try eating clean, you will realize how different the food tastes, and start to appreciate the natural flavors of food. But when you do go out, try to choose restaurants that offer clean food, or ask them to prepare something for you from fresh ingredients. Alternatively – make your own food and go for a picnic!
USE PROFESSIONAL HELP
Eating clean can be easy in some cases, but it’s not always the case. Clean foods can sometimes be more expensive, and unless you want to eat them raw, the recipes can take some time to master. Luckily, there are many great catering companies that are picking up on the trend and offering clean food, either for events, or for everyday eating with breakfast and lunch packages, or smoothies for on-the-go. It will make your life easier as well as give you inspiration for your own recipes in the future.
READ THE LABELS
Not everything we eat can come from our yard, or a local clean farm. Sometimes, we need to go to the grocery store and pick up those packages. But it’s not the end of the world, as long as you know how to navigate the labels. A good rule of thumb is to only buy things that have six ingredients or less on the label. On top of that, if you don’t know what any of the ingredients are, put it back on the shelf, or do the research before buying. There are clean options out there, it just might take you some digging to find them.
LOVE THE CARBS
Carbohydrates are not the enemy. They get a bad rep because they’re the main part of many highly-processed, sugary foods, but that’s like saying that you should never eat tomatoes because they are in ketchup. Carbs – and primarily whole grains, vegetable, quinoa, rice and fruit – are great for you, and you shouldn’t give them up. They might actually be even more important for your body than protein and fat, so don’t cut them out, but instead learn to work with them in their natural form.
Starting to eat clean is not a huge step that will change your life to the core, but if you do some careful thinking when buying produce and eating out, you will in return gain more energy, a healthier lifestyle and a mindfulness around your food. So the next time you’re wondering how you can make yourself a bit healthier, give clean eating a try!