As mentioned in my ‘what is wellness to you’ post, wellness means more than just nourishing your body with good food, but the fact remains, you are what you eat. What you choose to put into your body today will influence your future health and wellbeing.
Many of us have been spring cleaning our homes post-winter and as one of the foundation steps towards creating the best version of your life, freshening up your body and mind goes hand in hand with eating clean.
No doubt you’ve heard of clean eating, but you may not know what it is exactly or how to go about ‘cleaning’ up what you are eating. Clean eating is a surprisingly simple concept. Rather than focusing on consuming more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the concept is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un-processed or at least minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply knowing what foods to select for your table can be a challenging proposition.
Eating clean is a great way to improve and fine tune 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 foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, added sugars, non-serving salt and non-serving fats. And since you don’t have to count calories or give up entire food groups, many people are surprised at how easy this is to implement immediately by following these three easy steps:
- Eat less processed foods
Unprocessed foods include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried legumes
- Farm-fresh eggs
Minimally processed foods include:
- Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta (assuming you do not have an intolerance or allergy to gluten), popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
- Hormone-free dairy
- Choose Pesticide-free organic foods
These are preferable to avoid consuming added hormones or chemicals. The immediate result of changing our eating habits to be closer to the foods our ancestors ate is that we no longer get bombarded with the complex and dangerous chemicals that are commonly added to the most popular foods in today’s supermarkets and food retailers. It is believed that our bodies have not evolved to properly process many of these chemicals.
- Portion control
It’s also important to note that eating clean doesn’t give you free reign to eat endless quantities. They may be healthy, but they still have calories!
It’s small changes that can make a huge difference and it’s never too late to create a new body and mind. Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit states:
“Even the slightest change in your diet can generate a new body and a fresh mind. Avoid eating anything today that creates conflict in you. Observe how instantly your body manifests a grateful feeling”.
You deserve to enjoy the BEST version of YOU!
For a tasty, clean snack, give the following recipe a try. My kids and husband just love it!
Super Easy Beetroot dip
- 250g Greek-style yoghurt
- 450g cooked baby beetroot (canned is easier however, will have additives), roughly chopped into chunks
- 1 lemon – for 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- Combine ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
- Taste and season with Himalayan or Celtic salt and/or pepper.
- Serve with sliced carrot, celery or Essene sprouted bread.