Clean Eating: What is it?

My 10 days of clean eating has begun!

Now, what exactly is clean eating?

Um, No

I do feel that this can be a very subjective topic and I don't think we all agree.  However, I do believe that the overall goal is this:
Put good stuff in your body.

My daughter has the book, Yummy YUCKY.  Every time I read this, I want to make my own book (and throw this one in the recycle bin) that illustrates some positive nutrition images.  I really am not thrilled that it promotes ice cream, cookies, burgers, and tells my daughter hot sauce is yuck.  Can we get a shout out for some apples and green beans?  I digress...

For me, this is CLEAN EATING:  Whole foods that are not processed and do not have any additives or preservatives.  Foods that do not come from fast food restaurants.  Foods that are as pure as you can get them.  Fresh food!

Here is how I strive to incorporate clean eating into my daily routine:

1.  Fruits and Vegetables.  This is key!  Fresh is best, but frozen is a close second.

2.  Whole Grains and Legumes.  For some folks, they also include lean meats.  I am vegan and don't totally agree with this.  Meats of any kind are a form of saturated fat.  Which you don't need at all.

3.  Water, water, water!  No sugary or high calorie drinks.  I think green tea is OK, but I'm on the fence about coffee.  Some folks say it's fine and dandy and others say it's the devil for your body.  I think my body doesn't like it, but I disagree.  So, I try to only have it occasionally and not make it part of my daily routine.

4.  Trade your bad fats for good fats.  No fast food, nothing fried.  There is some debate about "healthy" oils.  I personally, try to cook with as little oil as possible - do you know that you can saute items in water and they turn out just fine?!  If you are going to use oil, I recommend coconut oil and maybe olive oil.  Nuts and avocados are a yummy, healthy fat.  And as I mentioned before, a lot of folks tend to consume lean meats on a "clean" diet, but again, this is a source of saturated fat and has no business in your body.

5.  Dairy or no dairy?  Well, for me, no way Jose.  Dairy is full of fat and casein, which is why you are addicted to it in the first place.

"Casomorphins—protein fragments, derived from the digestion of the milk protein, Casein. The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect."

Dairy is one of those things that most people love and could "never" give up.  I would encourage any one who is serious about treating their body well to give it a try.  I think you will immediately see how addicted your body is and when is that kind of addiction ever a good thing?!

Things like yogurt and other dairy items are also full of sugar!  Take a peak at that label the next time you reach for your low-fat yogurt.  Cow's milk also can typically have about 13g of sugar in only 1 cup.  Couple that with one banana and you've already exceeded the daily recommended sugar intake for one day according to the World Health Organization.

6.  And this brings me to my personal nemesis, sugar.  I will tell you that even the soy, coconut, and almond milk varieties of yogurt are full of sugar as well so I won't be promoting those either.  Of course there is sugar in fruit, but this is sugar in it's whole food form.  All other sugar is processed in some way or another and your body doesn't need it.

To start of my 10 days of clean eating I am kicking it off with a 3 Day Refresh.  This program will kick-start my healthy eating and give me a clean break from bad nutrition habits.  It's easy to follow with good stuff for my bod and simple recipes to follow.

This will get all the junk I've consumed out of my system (ahem, coffee and football food) and start me fresh without crazy cravings.  My goal is simple.  Refresh my body, remind myself of all the good food out there, and keep those habits close.  I am not perfect, but I do really believe that getting back to basics every once in a while is good for my body and my personal growth and learning!

Today, I will have my daily Shakeology with some bananas.  The rest of my day will be filled with lots of fresh, raw fruits and veggies, and some healthy fats like avocados and hummus!

Cheers to a clean and healthy body!

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