Eating Clean 101

Being told “just eat clean” is all the craze nowadays. We are pulled in a thousand different directions without a clear definition of what “eating clean” really means. The good news is that most of us are eagerly and desperately trying to accomplish that but how can it be done if you are not exactly sure what it means? I’ve noticed with most clients that there is some confusion between eating dietary foods that may assist in weight-loss versus incorporating eating clean into their every-day diet. I’d like to provide you with a brief post with my take on what it means.

Pick up any 100 calorie products lately? If you have, then you are considering that since you are staying within your daily caloric intake you are eating healthy right? Wrong! I say this to my clients all the time: I would rather you ate a snack or meal that may be higher in calories but has all natural and clean ingredients. For example: I would rather any of you ate a 200 calorie granola bar that is made of non-processed ingredients, such as unsalted almonds, raisins, brown sugar, whole oats and grains versus a 100 calorie granola bar that has preservatives , artificial flavoring/sugar and ingredients I can’t even pronounce! Why you ask? Because your body knows what to do with REAL food versus dietary low caloric food. Your body will digest the two differently. Dietary foods may be low in calories but they don’t hold much nutritional value because it is not eating clean. It only contributes to losing weight and half the time consists of preservatives, substances and additives that are genetically modified or made up, and artificial ingredients. This holds the most truth for my artificial sweetener lovers! What’s better good ol’ Sweet N Low or Brown Sugar? Brown sugar may be higher in calories but at least your body will know what to do with it and how to digest it because it is an all natural and non-processed ingredient. Artificial/Dietary sugars contain substances such as saccharin and aspartame that our bodies aren’t too sure what to do with. This post would not be brief if I went into all the long-term detrimental effects these 2 ingredients have on our vital organs. Our bodies are the physical vehicles that carry our vital energy and spirit so let’s do it a solid and stay away from such substances because that is not the fuel it asks of us.

When in doubt ask yourself these simple questions to begin your familiarity with eating clean:

1. What is the makeup of what I am about to eat?
a. What’s in it?
b. Are there any chemicals/substances detrimental to my health found in this item?

2.Is there anything artificial in this product?
a.Flavoring
b.Sugar?
c.Color?

3.What is the sodium and refined sugar content?
a.Too much sodium or refined sugar is unnecessary, unhealthy and will keep you retaining water.
4.How much did this product go through from when it grew, was picked and made into what it is now? (Processing and Refining)
a.The more processing the more the product becomes unreal aka not clean.
5.Lastly what will this do for my body? What is the nutritional value?

Again let’s remember eating clean and dieting are two different things! Eating clean is a lifestyle choice where you ingest foods that are whole, non-processed and high in nutritional value. Eating clean provides your body with the proper nutrition, works as preventative medicine to avoid illnesses of any form and assists in weight loss. I want to leave you with this last thought: how good can dietary UNREAL food make you feel at the end of the day? Eating clean whole foods contribute to your overall wellness and this includes your emotional well being. So if you are eating dietary foods but feel miserable this may be the culprit. Let’s reconsider why it is essential to eat clean versus being on a diet.

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