Summary: What does “eating clean” really mean?
My definition for “eating clean” is eating a whole foods, plant-based diet full of both essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It means steering clear of processed or packaged foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, avoiding artificial, genetically modified, pesticide laden foods and eating organic as much as possible.
Our bodies are amazing machines that need quality macronutrients and micronutrients to function properly. But wait a minute? what the heck is a macronutrient and micronutrient? Good question, and it’s really simple….. macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are the chemical foundations of our food and essential to the health of our bodies.
Unfortunately, due to modern food production methods, getting quality nutrition can be somewhat challenging. Most of us have hectic schedules and rely on convenience foods to sustain us. But most convenience foods are loaded with sugar, bad fats, are genetically modified, and laden with pesticides and herbicides which have the opposite effect of nourishing the body. Processed convenience foods actually create stress and inflammation in our bodies which is the root of almost all disease.
You might be wondering what are convenience foods, well convenience foods are usually those products which are not longer alive. They come in packages, boxes, wrappers, are frozen, and packed with chemical preservative to make them last, in some case literally for years. Now that’s not to say that all foods that come in a package or box are bad for you of course but most don’t qualify as “real food”. I actually don’t even consider convenience foods, foods at all. A more accurate name for these types of foods would be “food-like” products. The good news is that by just slowly starting to eliminate “food-like” products from your diet you’ll be well on your way to eating clean.
What happens when you are constantly bombarding your body with these types of processed foods? Well, imagine what would happen if you put regular gasoline in high performance racecar? It would have a hard time performing up to its potential, in fact It might not even run! It needs high test quality gasoline to due its job. Well the body is the same way. The better quality fuel you are putting in your body, the better performance you’ll get. So by eating clean living foods, you will be able to perform at a optimal level. Your mental clarity, your energy or life force vitality will increase, your mood will improve, you’ll look and feel better, and will overall be able to get more done. What you’re risking by not eating “clean” is having low energy, being more tired, and irritable, and just not having the gas to get past the finish line each day…
Getting started eating clean is really simple. Start by adding one or two clean food choices to your daily diet. A simple example of a clean food choice would be any fresh organic fruit or vegetable. By incorporating more clean food choices into your diet, eventually you will begin to crowd out “unclean” foods. The more crowding out that takes place, the more in-tune you will become with your body and your food choices. Once you become in-tune with your body you’ll be able to listen to what it is truly asking for which is nutrient dense foods that provide you with sustained energy. You’ll begin to notice that your body will be more attracted to these new healthy clean foods and reject “food-like” products.
As you begin adding more and more clean foods into your diet, you may notice your body also beginning to cleanse itself. This doesn’t take place overnight but rather over weeks and months of eating nutrient dense clean foods. Sometimes you may experience detox symptoms like headaches, nausea and a possible upset stomach. Don’t worry, these are normal and will go away as your body gets re-calibrated to your new healthy clean way of eating. Look I know this may seem complicated but it’s really quite simple. The less processed convenience, fast-food you eat and the more fresh living nutrient dense food aka “clean food” you start to eat the healthier you’ll begin to feel. To get started try avoid eating food that comes from bags, boxes, packages and cans. Replace this food with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and organically farmed animals.
Remember it’s by making small consistent changes now that lasting results are experienced later…
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