Clean eating… the latest buzz phrase in the world of eating.
While the term “clean eating” is one of the hottest buzz phrases in the past few years, it can often be confusing to the end user of exactly what this term means.
At its core, clean eating simply means choosing foods that are closest to nature as possible. In other words, minimal processing.
In the world of whole food, plant-based eating, the foods are void of any and all animal products including meats, fish, chicken and dairy. This leaves beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables at the core. This is as clean as it gets.
Clean eating doesn’t need to be complicated. If anything, it’s quite simple.
Clean eating is about making lifestyle choices that will enhance your health in several ways including your weight.
Release Unhealthy Weight
In many cases, going from a highly processed, junk food way of eating will literally melt the weight off your body.
When you eat clean your body will begin to release the unhealthy weight without having to feel deprived. As of this writing, I’ve released 37 pounds of unhealthy weight by choosing a clean plant-based diet. I feel like the handcuffs of bad foods has been unlocked.
I consciously choose the word “release” rather than “lose” for one simple reason; when we lose something, we often subconsciously search for the thing we lost until we find it.
By releasing it, we have let it go.
Because eating clean is about reducing processed foods, that means you will naturally eat fewer processed (refined) carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and sugars.
Complex vs. Refined Carbs
There’s a lot of confusion about what carbs are and if they are healthy or unhealthy. With the popularity of “low carb” diets, healthy carbohydrates have been demonized to the point that people have no idea what they should and should not eat. With “bad” carbs, you get lots of empty calories which leads to a very erroneous belief… portion control
People think the answer to weight challenges reside in portion control. Nothing could be further from the truth. The answer resides in the type of carbs we eat.
Our bodies do require carbohydrates, but it’s the type of carbs that can be healthy or unhealthy.
Refined carbs are what can be very unhealthy. Things like white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars. They are also added to all sorts of processed foods.
Because of this, carbs have gotten a bad rap. Processed carbs are the unhealthy carbs. But complex carbs are good for you and part of clean eating. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as legumes, beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
Again, clean eating means you are removing junk food from your diet. The very food that is responsible for many of the diseases people are dealing with in addition to the unhealthy weight gain that so many people struggle with.
The simplest rule of thumb with clean eating is to eat foods that are as close to what nature intended as possible. If you have to drive up to a window to get it, there’s a strong possibility it’s not clean and definitely not healthy.
Since going plant based, I rarely eat out anymore. My distaste and downright dislike for cooking is a thing of the past. I enjoy using my crock pot and experimenting with recipes that can easily be discovered on the Internet.
The Best Section of the Grocery Store
My favorite section of the grocery store is the produce and the bulk foods section. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy cooking black beans, chili beans and lentils from scratch. But I do.
When in the produce section, I find myself grabbing different types of vegetables imagining the type of meals I can prepare. It’s turned into quite a fun ritual to me.
Yesterday, I picked up zucchini, leek, cilantro, mushrooms, red onions, and potatoes. I’m not quite sure what the end result will be with these ingredients, but I know it will be healthy and tasty.
When you focus on the quality of your food, you won’t have to obsess over the quantity in order to lose weight and be healthy.
One of the greatest benefits I’ve experienced since going plant based is the increase in physical energy. Although I have been more active than most, I’ve found that since eating a cleaner, plant based diet, I am even more physical than usual.
You Can’t Help but Move
You too, will likely have these types of outcomes. Due to eating healthier foods, your body is getting more of the best type of fuel. Give your body great fuel and you will want to move. Have a desire to move and you can’t help but release unhealthy weight.
Release the unhealthy weight and you will want to move even more. Move more and you get more oxygen in your system. Get more oxygen in your system and your thinking becomes clearer.
Clearer thinking allows you to make better choices. Make better choices and…. on and on.
The bottom line is this; when you make the decision to eat a clean, plant-based diet, your life can, and will, dramatically change. It’s beyond anything I ever imagined.
Why not give it a try? In as little as seven days, you will likely notice incredible outcomes. And, as I said to one woman I often see in the gym who was telling me how bad her inflammation is, “Try it for a week and if you are not convinced, go back to the way you were eating. After all, isn’t your health worth a week to see how dramatic the change can be?”
One reason I wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Plant Based Eating is to provide proven information to anyone who is willing to give their health seven days to a lifetime of change.