What does it mean to “Eat Clean?” It’s simple.
It means choosing unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible.
Essentially, it’s food that was either plucked out of the ground, or butchered, then barcoded and set up for sale.
Free of additives, chemicals, refined sugars and a bunch of garbage you need a PhD in chemical engineering to decipher, it is, in a word, clean. That other stuff? Your body doesn’t know what it is and so stores it as fat. And honestly, that’s the least of it. Poor food choices can have health implications beyond a chubby belly which is reason enough to hop aboard the Clean Eating train.
So what’s it look like? Your fridge and pantry should be bursting with fresh vegetables, lean proteins (if you eat meat- poultry: organic & free-range; beef: organic, grass-fed; seafood: wild), fruits, nuts and whole grains. Think, sweet potato, avocado, kale, spinach, carrots, beef, salmon, chicken, quinoa, brown rice, lentils, black beans, etc.
These are single word ingredients that haven’t really been effed with. You don’t need to do much to them. Cook with simplicity and enjoy. The flavors? Awesome. The nutrition? Out of this world.
Talk to anyone who’s “cleaned” up their diet and a pattern emerges: more energy; mental clarity; weight loss; incredible sleep; clear skin; an overall feeling of wellness and vitality; better workouts.
The proof is in the pudding. Results don’t lie.
And the beauty of eating clean? It’s not a diet. Diets suck. The word alone kind of makes your skin crawl and your shoulders hunch, doesn’t it?
This is a life. Your life in fact. And I think you should enjoy it. No calorie counting. No going hungry. No subsisting on spicy lemonade for days on end only to eat a forkful of food at the end of your juice cleanse and watch the weight and crappy feelings come creeping back. There’s none of that. It’s taking a different approach to your life; a thoughtful one that puts your health and vitality on the front burner without sacrificing your ability to, well, enjoy your life.
So what does a day of clean eating look like? It might go something like this:
Egg omelette with sauteed veggies and a side of strawberries
– The veggies are sauteed in a stick-free pan with a little olive oil or real, whole butter. The eggs are beaten in a bowl and then folded in with the veggies.
An apple with a handful of raw, unsalted almonds
Monster kale or spinach salad with unlimited green veggies, quinoa and grilled chicken. All dressed with a lemon garlic caper drizzle.
– The chicken is roasted, broiled or grilled on its own.
– The dressing is made by combining extra virgin olive oil, fresh-squeezed juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of capers and a clove or two of smashed, minced garlic in a blender.
Power Protein Shake or Greek yogurt with raspberries
– The protein shake is protein powder with water, unsweetened almond or hemp milk, or iced green tea. Or those two items with some frozen fruit and veggies.
Rosemary thyme lemon grilled sea bass with roasted asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes.
– The sea bass is stuffed with sliced lemon, fresh rosemary and thyme. Coated in extra virgin olive oil and grilled or broiled.
– The asparagus was tossed with a touch of evoo and sea salt, then grilled or broiled till slightly charred.
– The sweet potatoes are baked till fully done, then mashed with a touch of cinnamon.
You can look at each item at every one of those meals and identify it as an unprocessed food as close to its natural state as possible. And none of it was hard to make. Yes, it takes a little more preparation and mindfulness but it’s not back-breaking labor either.
And can you honestly tell me that after eating like this throughout the day, you’d be hungry? How about grumpy? Miserable? Sucking at life to anyone within 5 feet of you?
Nope. You’d be awesome. Wildly, uncontrollably awesome.
Eating well to lose weight and gain health isn’t complicated. People (read: experts and marketers) just confuse the hell out of you in order to sell you more sh*t you don’t need.
No need to hate. Just take a breath, hit the grocery store and empower yourself with a fridge full of nature’s best.