My philosophy is Eat Clean, Live Green… so you might be thinking to yourself, “clean eating, yes, I know to wash my lettuce before I put it in a salad” or “green living, well, I think I have that covered, I recycle my plastic bottles and use re-usable grocery bags”. Well, this blog takes the meaning of Clean Eating and Green Living beyond those simple concepts.
Eating Clean is more about what your food is comprised of than how much dirt is on the outside of it. While I am all for washing produce before you eat it, my goal is to get you to think beyond the concept of dirt. The soul of Clean Eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It’s not a diet, although you could drop a few pounds in the process, it IS a lifestyle approach to choosing and preparing food, ultimately improving your nutrition and health along the way.
You can start clean eating habits by drinking 48 ounces of water a day, put more green vegetables on your plate than meat and grains, avoid artificial sweeteners and by cutting back (or even better, eliminate) your visits to fast food restaurants. Other ways to incorporate Clean Eating in your life:
• Get Label Savvy – Clean foods contain just a few (five or less) ingredients. Longer ingredient lists mean a less clean food item.
• Avoid processed and refined foods – white flour, sugar, white flour pasta and most breads. Choose sprouted, whole grain varieties instead.
• Steer clear of foods that are fried, high in sugar or have saturated and trans fats
• Fresh is best – choose produce that is in season and is locally grown. Follow the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list on buying organic produce.
• If you don’t know what the ingredient on the label is, then don’t eat it.
• Avoid Genetically Modified Ingredients wherever you can! Yes, choosing organic is a good place to start, but not all items need to be organic to be clean. Visit the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org) for shopping guides and www.organic.org to learn more about why to choose organic.
• Stay away from non-fermented and fractured soy products. Researchers are finding that genetically modified soy can be a contributor to inflammation in the body. Unless your label says the soy is organic, you can be sure it’s genetically modified. READ YOUR INGREDIENTS LIST, soybean oil and emulsifiers are everywhere… steer clear.