Ask your friends what “Clean eating” is and you’ll likely get a range of different answers. It can mean different things to different people.
Transitioning to a healthy, clean diet might come easy for some, but for others it can be a challenge. The temptations of modern convenience food are all around us, from the work canteen, to the lunch time sandwich bar, at the supermarket and many places in between. If your body has been accustomed to eating a poor diet then suddenly switching to a healthier, more nutritional one can be a shock to the system.
Take it easy at first
You can ease this shock by being conscious of the poor dietary choices on offer and tell yourself to step away and resist. Eating regularly throughout the day, with highly nutritious food will help you move to a healthier eating lifestyle long term.
Eating between 5 and 7 times a day will keep your all-important energy levels up while supressing your desire to snack on the bad food, such as sugary foods, like cakes and sweets. This can also help to curb the cravings for such food items too.
So if you’re looking to start cleaner eating, let’s take a look at the following key points to consider.
A healthy diet should consist of protein, fruit, vegetables. In addition, eating complex carbs with your meals is also important. Complex carb foods include beans, peas, vegetables and whole grains, and contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to the human body.
Snacking doesn’t mean you eat unhealthy food. Far from it. You can raw nuts which contain plenty of protein. Just make sure they are oil and salt free – so always check the packet for the list of ingredients. If it contains anything artificial then it’s probably best to pass it up. As a general rule, the more ingredients listed on the label of a food item, the more likely it can’t be considered as part of your clean living diet.
Look out for ingredients such as Aspartame, Saccarin, Stevia, food colouring, MSG etc as these are often found in highly processed foods. If you have organic food available in your supermarket or food store then consider buying that, if your budget permits. Organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides which can be harmful to health.
Drinking water, and plenty of it is also important to a healthy diet. It keeps you hydrated and helps your concentration throughout the day. Check your urine when you go to the toilet. If you’re hydrated sufficiently, it should be clear. If it’s dark yellow, then you need to drink more.
If you live with other, your family for example then getting them all involved with clean(er) eating makes sense, because you won’t have to prepare separate meals (for you and them). If your children eat healthily from a young age then they will be able to make good food choices when they’re adults.
As a clean eater, it can sometimes take longer to prepare food to eat so one way to overcome this is to prepare your own clean eating food in advance. Plan ahead and know what food and snacks you’ll need and when. Stock up your fridge and freezer and grab what you need as and when.
Cooking with healthier options
Cooking when on a clean eating diet does mean you should avoid the unhealthier forms of cooking such as deep fat frying. If you enjoy chips but don’t want to sin by having them deep fried or from the local chip shop then you could use an air fryer instead. These appliances use minimal oil but cook food evenly using circulating hot air. The good news is, you can still enjoy fried food, but without the added calories that such foods would have. You can find reviews for a range of air fryers at healthfryers.com.
Grilling your food also help to keep the calories down and there are various health grills on the market. Health cooking is key when trying to maintain a well balanced, diet.