I saw a quote once that stuck with me and that I love:
“if it comes from a plant, eat it, if its made in a plant, don’t”.
This is so true! and embodies the idea of clean eating. Eating clean Isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle and when it comes right down to it, a simple one at that. Eating clean is about bringing what we consume back to the basics, removing waste and toxic items from our diet and eating foods that are more in line with nature. Getting away from overly processed, modified foods and embracing whole, natural and organic foods.
No matter what your goals are: whether it is to feel better, improve energy levels, cure an ailment or whether your goal is to: lose weight, tone up, build muscle or even gain weight eating clean is one of the keys to getting there.
“you cant out train a bad diet”
this one is also extremely true. There are so many people who seem to believe that they can train their asses off in the gym and then eat whatever they want and still achieve their goals. For the very few, this might be true but just because those people look healthy on the outside, doesnt mean they are healthy on the inside. Eating clean is about being healthy inside and out. If youre having trouble getting to your goals, chances are, you need to take a good hard look at what you might be, or might not be, consuming.
So here are the “principles” behind clean eating:
Eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day (3 meals, 2-3 snacks)
Most people are surprised when I tell them they arent eating enough. I think we get this “diet” mode in our heads and think we need to slash calories and starve ourselves. You should never ever be hungry! when you eat clean, you allow yourself to eat more nutrient rich foods, which means you get more food for less calories than all of the over processed foods you might be use to consuming. Because you’re eating more often, portion sizes are smaller (and correct!) which also allows you to eat more often without over consuming.
Eating every 2.5-3 hours (not going more than 4 hours without food)
When you go too long without eating, your body goes into starvation or hibernation mode causing your metabolism to slow down and your body to start storing fat. This is the body’s way of protecting itself and ensuring it will have enough energy stores, since its unsure of when it will be fed again. What people don’t realize is, when you starve your body, it doesn’t matter if your next meal is the cleanest meal possible, your body will naturally attempt to store it as fat. By eating every 2-3 hours, you’re telling your body that it will constantly be fed, allowing it to more easily let go of its fat stores. You are also firing up your metabolism, allowing it to burn higher longer, which will in turn help you to burn more calories and burn them more efficiently.
Eating foods closest to nature/closest to natural state/ avoiding processed foods
As I said at the very beginning, clean eating brings us back to the basics, it brings us back to the foods we were always meant to consume and away from the processed junk we find in stores today. Naturally occurring foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats and whole grains are the foods we should concentrate on consuming. 9 times out of 10, if it has a nutritional label on it, you shouldn’t be consuming it. (things like meat, etc. have a label on it so that we can see the calories etc. in the product which is different than a label needed to list all of the ingredients in the product).
If you cant pronounce it, dont eat it
Combining complex carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats at most meals
The combination of complex carbohydrates and proteins, causes food to break down/digest slower, keeping you fuller longer. It works to keep blood sugars level, avoiding highs and lows (most commonly considered a sugar crash-after consuming highly processed, nutrient void, simple sugar laden foods) It also keeps your metabolism burning higher longer.
Most people have the misconception that eating clean is bland, gross and boring. I promise you, I swear to you, this is so not true! There are countless ways to make food not only healthy but incredibly tasty. Many clean recipes youd never even guess that they were clean, its amazing the things that you can make, you just need to get creative with it.
If the concept of eating clean seems confusing or overwhelming, or if you just want to learn more about it my favourite books to introduce you to it, are called “the eat clean diet” by Tosca Reno. She has an entire series of books as well as an awesome website you can visit.
Im excited to start sharing lots of clean recipes and ideas on this blog as well! Sooner than later I will start putting up weekly recipes to give you lots of ideas and to show you that eating clean doesnt have to be bland or boring.
I hope this was helpful and informative and that it will help aid you in whatever your goals may be ❤