If you want to eat clean, be lean naturally, and give your body what it needs to work optimally, there’s a few basics you need to know. These tips are great if you’re wanting to lose weight or keep the weight off without working out to an exhausting extent. It’s totally possible and doable to get started immediately, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start benefiting from a clean diet.
There’s an easier way to eat clean once you know the basics
So, what do you need to know about clean eating? First off, it’s important to know that this choice is a lifestyle change and not a temporary diet. It’s a way of eating and achieving vitality in your body and life. Having said that, it doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require that you do some learning and unlearning of your eating habits.
01. Clean up your diet by knowing your foods
Real food is filled with a wide and full range of nutrients. These nutrients will support your body with what it needs to work at its best. Here at Well + Easy, we teach a low glycemic way of eating, as it aligns and lends itself so naturally to how our bodies work. The first step to cleaning up your diet, is by understanding the following food groups:
- Less: sugar, fried food, saturated fat, cheese, white flour, margarine, hydrogenated oils, and alcohol
- Moderate: whole grains (brown rice, pasta, bread), meat, fish, cold pressed oils, starchy vegetables (potatoes,cooked carrots, and cooked corn), dairy, eggs, and legumes
- Plenty: fresh fruits and green vegetables
TIP: 50% of your plate should be green vegetables (kale, green beans, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, greens, bok choy, etc)
02. Take care of your digestion
Going poop is essential! If you didn’t already know. Sadly, many people suffer from digestive issues like constipation, bloating, and IBS. Our diets are seriously lacking fiber resulting in poor digestion, toxic overload, and leaving us feeling sluggish.
How many times should you be going. In a perfect world, we should have a bowel movement each time we consume food other than liquid. That said, you should be having at least one bowel movement a day. Clearing out your digestion is important and when you eat clean, movements become much easier and hopefully more frequent.
How to support good digestion. Increase your intake of fiber by plenty of eating fruits, vegetables, and some whole grains.
03. Eat clean by lowering salt intake
When you start to eat clean, you’ll naturally gravitate towards salt or seasoning with spice. This is because we use salt to bring out the flavors in all those veggies you’ve begun eating. Most of us though, consume far too much salt which can lead to a number of health issues. Salt also increases fluid retention in the body, and this looks like: swollen ankles, puffiness, or stiffness, among other manifestations. Also, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s vital to lower the amount of salt you’re consuming.
What to look for on labels: sodium chloride, sodium, or added flavorings.
What to use instead of salt: fresh or dried herbs and spices! Honestly, you can add a pinch of salt and then go wild with herbs.
04. Drink plenty of water
The simplest of the bunch, but not to be overlooked. We lose water everyday through our sweat glands and urine. Drink plenty of clean water throughout the day to flush toxins out of your body and keep your hydrated.
How much water should you drink? 8 glasses of water per day should do you well. Eating plenty of water rich fruits and vegetables will also be beneficial. Fruits like watermelon (when in season) and grapes, and vegetables like lettuce and other fresh greens.
Eat clean, related read: Detox water: clean water tips to improve your overall health
05. Alkalize your body
The alkaline acid balance of the body is a lot of information to disperse in one tip. For the most part, you can balance the acidity in the body by increasing your intake of alkalizing foods. Why does this matter? An over acidic body depletes the body of nutrients and creates deficiencies. In order to be well we want to balance the acid and achieve strength and vitality.
Acidifying foods: red meat, animal fat, margarine, refined sugar, white bread and pasta, coffee, tea, wine, to name a few.
Alkalizing foods: potatoes (small with skin on), green vegetables, bananas, almonds, fruits, avocados, cold pressed oils.
Although these are only the basics you need to know to eat clean, they’ll help you get started in the right direction. A lot of wellness advice out there is filled with “do this, do that, and NOT that” and it can be overwhelming. It’s very likely that you already have a bunch of healthy foods in your kitchen—we created this checklist to help you see what you have: Healthy Kitchen Checklist.
Let food by thy medicine and medicine by thy food – Hippocrates