Eating Clean for Improved Health
By Donna Stark
We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning lately since spring has come. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to clear out your pantry and start eating clean as well. Clean eating is nothing new, in fact the theory behind it has been around for years now, but eating habits are hard to break and embracing a new diet can be difficult. Many people just can’t seem to let go of that Doritos bag or the cereal box filled with neon-colored flakes, but there are others who are ready for a change and will stand committed to doing whatever it takes to nourish their body naturally. Which one are you?
Clean Eating Isn’t that Hard
Clean eating stems from the idea that the best diet you can have is when you consume food the way nature delivered it. It’s about eliminating or reducing chemicals from the body, and avoiding the processed and packaged foods you find on the grocery store’s shelves. It’s about having a back-to-basics approach with food selections and cooking. But most importantly, it’s all about nourishing your body and fueling it with nutritious, whole foods. Here is what you want to look for:
- Produce - The idea is to try to eat foods in their natural form, and you can never go wrong with including more whole fruits and vegetables in your diet. If you are fortunate enough to have a local farmers market in your community, don’t pass that up!
- Meat - Meat is a fantastic source of protein, but when you are deciding which kind to buy, stick to lean grass-fed quality meats. Trim all visible fat before cooking and choose low-fat cooking methods such as grilling or roasting.
- Grains - This is where you want to steer clear of the color white and choose brown instead. Foods like brown rice, quinoa, seeded bread, and oats are all good options whereas white bread, white rice, and pasta should be avoided.
- Water - Staying hydrated throughout your day cannot be stressed enough and the best way to do that is with good, old-fashioned water. You can even enhance the taste by infusing it with fruits or mint leaves.
What to Avoid
Now that you know what to look for when starting on this new approach to eating, let’s take a look at what to avoid.
- Processed/packaged foods - Just because it claims to be healthy doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Many packaged foods are filled with sugar, refined grains, and hydrogenated oils, all which can negatively impact your health. Learn to read the ingredient lists so that you become familiar with what you are putting into your body.
- Eating Out - When you go out to eat, you are essentially placing your health in the hands of a stranger. That’s not to say all restaurants are unhealthy, but you do need to pay attention to what you order and you will need to avoid making poor food choices.
It’s vital to your health to learn how to eat well. So take a walk to your pantry and start clearing out the junk. Clean eating is the way to go!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn.