I have been asked a few times what is clean eating and how to eat clean without going broke. So let me start by explaining what is clean eating so you can get a better understanding of what it is.
The soul of clean eating is consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate.
Eat five to six times a day – three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories all day long.
Choose organic whenever possible.
If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy your organic priorities.
Drink at least two litres of water per day.
Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic. Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of antioxidant rich red wine a day. Don’t drink your calories. High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, or my personal favorite, unsweetened tea (any flavor). Other clean drinks: low-fat or skim milk and 100 percent fruit juice diluted with sparkling water.
Get label savvy.
Clean foods contain short ingredients lists. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered clean.
Avoid processed and refined foods.
Such as white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole gains instead.
Know thy enemies. Steer clear of anything high in trans fat, anything fried or anything high in sugar. The key is to avoid foods that are ‘ultra-processed’, basically, anything food-product-like or ready-to-heat.
Consume healthy fats. Essential fatty acids every day.
Learn about portion sizes and work toward eating within them. I always encourage people to think of their plate in terms of fifths: three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth healthy carbs.
Reduce your carbon footprint. eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less expensive for your wallet.
Shop with a conscience.
Consume humanely raised, local meats and ocean-friendly seafood.
Slow down and savor. Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite :-).
Take it to go. Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go.
Make it a family affair. Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family’s life along with your own.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.