I have an honest confession to make. As healthy as I strive to be, nutrition is not my strong point! I come from an Italian family on one side, and a southern family on the other, and boy do we know how to eat and eat well. My favorite food is a cheeseburger and french fries for goodness sake! I don’t think any of this is wrong, but my love for food DOES need to be balanced out with healthy eating habits. While, I am still far from perfect, and usually indulge when I am eating out, we do our very best to eat clean at home.
Clean eating has taken on many different meanings and descriptions. Eating clean might even look a little different from person to person. But as I was doing my research, I came up with the definition I liked best and what has worked best for my family and lifestyle.
Clean eating is…
Eating Whole Foods
This means eating foods in their most basic, pure form. It means doing your best to stay away from the processed foods found in the aisles of your grocery store.
Eating the Best of the Best
Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it's about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. Some clean eaters do not eat dairy, but I do! I am not at a point where I am ready and willing to give that up, however, I do only buy organic dairy products.
Paying Attention to Labels
Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered clean. This goes along with the whole foods tip mentioned above!
Eating Five to Six Times a Day
Clean eaters’ nutrition plans usually contain three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.
Choosing Organic Whenever Possible
If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.
Dirty Dozen Foods:
I think what I love about the idea of clean eating is that it allows for a lot more flexibility than I feel many diets, nutrition plans, and eating trends tend to. Clean eating is something I feel like I can stick with and DEFINITELY a way of life I want to instill in my children. I want to reiterate how much I still struggle with my nutrition, but clean eating is my goal and the vision I have for my family.
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