What does it mean to eat “clean”?
Clean eating is essentially eating foods that are not processed. Food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat. The processed foods that I am talking about is really anything that comes in a box or bag with preservatives to keep it edible for a long period of time. These are foods that, when you look at the ingredients list, have ingredients that can’t even be pronounced. Only scientists know what the ingredients actually are. I know that we cannot get away from processed foods altogether, but you can definitely cut them out most of the time. This can be accomplished by just taking the time to make the items you liked that were processed.
I am not saying that I am perfect and don’t eat anything processed. I will say that I eat mostly unprocessed food. The processed food that I do consume has a lot of good ingredients and I trust that I am not consuming a bunch of high fructose corn syrup, sugars, sodium, etc. Our society is a very “on the go” society. We don’t want to take the time to prepare meals. We want everything to be grab and go. I was part of this mindset for a long time. I would just say I was too busy and didn’t care what the ingredients were.
I know that if I eat a ton of bad foods, my MS will let me know really quick. If I eat clean and fresh foods, I feel great. Since I started eating cleaner last month along with exercise, I have slimmed down really fast. My diet has consisted of mostly lean proteins (chicken, lean beef, fish, nuts), fresh or frozen vegetables, and fresh or frozen fruit. I also have been drinking a ton of water. I try to limit myself to water, tea, or black coffee. Every once in awhile I will drink coffee with very little cream. If you want to put cream in your coffee, try to get an almond milk cream or use something unsweetened.
The time factor is what keeps most people from the whole clean eating business. People are busy and have to work, take care of their kids, workout, etc, etc, etc…. Who has time to cook these days?? Well the answer isn’t great, but you have to make the time. You can meal prep for the week and have everything ready and waiting for you to just grab and reheat when you need it. You take one day and make everything up and then it is ready to go for you later. This helps with controlling your eating habits extremely well. If you know you have these healthy foods that you prepared and can just reheat, then you won’t hit that drive-thru or throw a frozen pizza in (well unless you made that frozen pizza yourself). Meal Prepping is an awesome way to control what ingredients are in your food too. You know exactly what you’re consuming because you made it. Some people also use those meal services that advertise fresh ingredients. I know that can help with not having to go to the store and buy everything, which can be time consuming. I can’t really afford that service, but I do hear good things about them.
If you are unsure how to prepare fresh foods, just get on pinterest or google and look it up. When I first started eating fresh foods, I had no idea how to even prepare them. I had to learn what eating clean even meant. I had to learn how to even cut stuff up and how to cook them. I was used to having everything boxed or frozen with the instructions on it. In this day and age we are lucky to have the internet at our fingertips so we can just look up what we need to know. Take advantage of that. Use that knowledge and then make the time to take care of yourself by eating clean fresh foods.
I dreaded eating cleanly because I thought it wouldn’t be good. I will have to choke down these terribly bland meals. I was totally wrong! I have found really delicious AND clean meals. Most of the meals I eat don’t even taste like clean meals. Because of this, my daughters will even eat a lot of what I make. That part is the best part, because I know my kids are eating the things they need to be healthy while they’re still growing.
My motivation for this blog is really is to get the fact that eating a lot of processed foods is like putting a bunch of foreign products into your body. Your body doesn’t know what to do with them so it’s like a gigantic science experiment. I feel like if we as a society get rid of a lot of processed foods, then we wouldn’t have most of the cancers, autoimmune diseases, mental disorders, etc. Diet is a huge factor in all of these. What we put into our bodies affects how it operates. If you put diesel into a car that doesn’t run on diesel, it will not run. Think of your body as a machine. It needs the right fuel. If you don’t put the right fuel in, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t run properly.