DEFINITION OF EATING CLEAN: Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats.
The older I get the more I feel an enormous connection between what I put into my body and how my mind and body feel as a result. I used to be able to skip breakfast, eat a burger and fries for lunch and then wolf down some ramen noodles or a Subway sandwich for dinner (basically my College diet) without noticeably feeling horrible. But all that has changed now that I’m approaching my late 30’s.
I now feel the need to eliminate fast-food, processed crap and refined sugars from my diet as much as possible, in order to feel energized and healthy. Eating processed/fast-food literally makes me feel tired and sluggish and even moody. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good greasy burger, a bag of potato chips, chocolate ANYTHING and even the occasional poutine, but these foods are now eaten more rarely as a treat as opposed to being part of my regular diet.
I didn’t start out eliminating processed food from my diet in order to feel better. I started to decrease my ‘crap food’ intake because I wanted to lose weight. But the more I substituted processed foods for healthy ‘natural’ ones the more I realized there were SO many other reasons to eat well besides weight loss (although that is a great reason). Basically, eating well makes me MUCH healthier, happier and more energized. I also look better when I’m eating well. I notice a significant difference in the appearance of my skin, my hair and even my nails.
Another important reason I’m trying to embrace eating healthier, more natural foods is because of my kids. I want to ‘live what I preach’ and set a good example. I have found that they are generally willing to try almost anything I’m eating and they usually really LIKE what I introduce. I have them eating chia, flax and sunflower seeds, all kinds of nuts and a wide variety of beans/lentils along with a wide variety of fresh fruits,vegetables and fish. I honestly thought it would be more of a battle than it has been but they’re really embracing the healthier foods and it makes me feel much better about our weekly pizza night, the occasional hot dog from Costco, or their nightly dessert (:
So now when I, or my kids, are feeling lethargic or snackish, instead of reaching for a sugary, fatty snack, I/we reach for a handful of nuts and dried berries or throw some seeds and fruit onto yogurt and we’re good to go!
I almost ALWAYS eat a ‘clean’ nutritional breakfast within an hour of waking up. This sets the tone for the entire day and makes me feel GREAT. (My go-to breakfast is quick-cook oatmeal with 1/2 a cup of frozen blueberries, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of flaxseeds and 1 tsp of chia seeds. It’s the PERFECT breakfast to keep me full and energized for the entire morning and amazing for a pre-workout meal or snack).
Below I’ve found some GREAT links to really interesting articles that are related to eating clean:
- I watched an episode of The Nature of Things on the link between micro-organisms in the body and obesity and it blew my mind. It was one of the most interesting and thought-provoking shows about the how our body processes food that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a MUST WATCH if you’re struggling with your weight or just want to be educated on how our bodies process food! I HIGHLY recommend it!
- This is a GREAT (and short) article I read in Bon Appetit on how to be a healthy, political savvy, environmentally friendly eater (:
- In the winter particularly, it can be difficult to stay happy and energized. Below is a great read about foods that actually help to make you feel happy!!
- Lastly, I’ve included links to some of my favourite ‘clean’ recipes! Here’s to a healthy, happy, AMAZING 2016 and many more to follow!!
FARRO AND VEGETABLE PILAF
OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES