Sounds gross right?
Think about this for a second. What was the last "clean meal" you ate?
Are you picturing a bowl of dried up kale, topped with bland, grilled chicken? Blah!
Clean eating can mean a lot of things, but at it's core it consists of two things:
1) It's a Whole food, and 2) It's unprocessed.
Keeping a clean diet means you're doing your best to remove foods that aren't actually real foods. What does this mean?!
First, let's consider how you "may" buy your food.
If you're starving, broke and desperate, (me - countless times in the past) you pull into your favorite drive-through. You shamelessly order a #5 with a Dr. Pepper, fries and extra ketchup. Anything else ma'am? "Yeah, and a cheesecake... for my brother Brandon" you say. .. (in case I need something while I binge-watch Netflix's Dating Around).
Pause. Now let's consider how you "may" grocery shop.
You drive on over to your local Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes or nearby market. You double click the car alarm, grab the nearest cart and off you go! If you've arrived hungry, you're already in trouble. By the time you've hit the checkout line, you've got more than half a cart loaded with: frozen chicken tenders, chips, spicy guac, oj, toilet paper, wine, beer, shampoo, a bag of sliced bread, yogurt, cookies, a tub of ice cream, bananas, eggs, ketchup, coco puffs and a bag of already made Caesar salad... oh and a green juice, for your health.
Now hold up.
Did you read the label on the back of all those items? Most of us don't. I dare you to walk over to your pantry and grab a snack. Now flip it over and read the label. Go on. Do it and see for yourself.
Do you know each ingredient or are they all long and foreign words? Does it list Bisphenols, nitrites or artificial colors like red, blue or yellow? How about Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs)? Does it list high fructose corn syrup? Does it say it's "natural" but also includes "artificial flavoring?" To put it simply, artificial flavoring is paper pulp or petroleum, which is basically inedible and far from "natural" or digestible in a human body.
What's my point?
If you can't understand the ingredients on the label, it's NOT REAL FOOD, and it's definitely not clean eating.
Oh and high fructose corn syrup? It's a sweetener made from cornstarch.
It causes inflammation, swelling and redness in the body which leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and
C A N C E R.
Why would anyone eat this crap?
The truth is that nobody wants to eat fake junk, it's just that most people don't know! Certain companies have become really good at making you think that cereal for ex, is "all natural" when it's loaded with tons of sugar causing obesity in your kiddos. No amount of soccer practice will make that jiggle go away if you keep pouring their breakfast bowls with this crap. Don't fall for pretty promises on the front. Their agenda is to fill their pockets, not fuel your family with proper nutrition. Always flip and read the back.
When you eat clean, you're making the conscious decision to shop clean too, so when you prepare your food, serve it on a plate to eat yourself or feed your loved ones, it's coming from it's original source. It means that you're eating real honey from real bees - not a lab that manufactured it to look, feel sticky and taste like gooey honey.
Whether you're vegan, eat meat, dairy or fish, please be mindful of where you're getting your food and especially what's in it! If you can't understand the label, put it back on the shelf and look for something simpler. The less ingredients, the better off you'll be.
Sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store will offer more whole food options with less processing. Middle aisles tend to have more packaged, processed "foods" which you should try and avoid. This will also help you save money too. Instead of rolling through the drive-through for a meal under $20, how about strolling through the grocery store and see how much that can actually buy when you invest in REAL food? You might be surprised.
Why shop and eat clean?
When you eat quality, unprocessed, whole foods, not only do you feel better, but you sleep and rest better. You even look better too! See for yourself. When I'm hydrated and eating whole foods, protein, fruits and veggies I feel more WHOLE in my mind and body. It's true... You are what you eat!
Here's a basic starter's guide on whole foods
Apples Bananas Berries Lemons Oranges Pears Kiwis
Carrots Garlic Kale Onions Peppers Sweet potatoes Zucchini
Beef Black beans Chicken Lentils Salmon Split peas Tofu Turkey
NUTS, SEEDS and OIL:
Almonds Cashews Chia seeds Nut butters Olive oil Tahini
Basil Cinnamon Cumin Oregano Parsley Pepper Sea salt Thyme
Apple cider vinegar Raw honey Raw Stevia Salsa Tamari
Shop and try cooking at home with them. Add some new items to your cart. See what you enjoy, forget what you don't! When you cook at home, you control how much sugar or salt you're adding. You control everything that goes on your plate and into your body, and thats a good thing. No yucky chemicals please!
Here's to reading labels and clean eating!
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