Start 2014 With a Clean Slate: The Art of Eating Clean
Looking to develop healthier habits in the New Year? Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your heart health, or decrease your risk for cancer and diabetes, “clean eating”, is an easy to way to do all of that and more. The lifestyle, first popularized by fitness expert Tosca Reno, is based on the idea of eating whole foods made from fresh, simple ingredients. Try it for 30 days and see if you don’t find yourself with more energy, healthier hair, and more luminous skin. Here are the basic principles of clean eating, adapted from Reno’s book The Eat Clean Diet.
- Eat 5 to 6 times per day
- Control portion size (300 to 400 calories per meal)
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (should occupy 1/2 your plate)
- Combine lean protein and complex carbs at every meal
- Drink 2 liters of water per day
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugar, and white flour
- Avoid chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners
- Avoid saturated and trans fats, but consume healthy fats every day
- Avoid soda and alcohol
- Eat the rainbow: select a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables every day
The great thing about clean eating is that you are rarely hungry. The combination of protein and complex carbohydrates keep blood sugar levels constant, curbing hunger. With meals every 2 to 3 hours there’s scarcely a chance to get hungry! Vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free? No matter, clean eating can still work for you.
The most challenging part of eating clean is the preparation. Having 5 to 6 healthy meals on hand each day takes a little bit of effort and planning. Resources such as Clean Eating Magazine, The Eat Clean Diet: Recharged, and cleaneating.com are full of recipes, meal plans, and menu suggestions to help you get started. Cancer.org, the American Cancer Society website, offers a suggested grocery list consistent with the principles of eating clean.
*photo courtesy of nptifitness.com