What is Clean Eating?
Confused about all the talk of “clean eating”? It seems like every other post on Instagram is hashtagged “eatclean”, but what does clean eating actually mean?!
Clean eating isn't a diet or way to make you eat less - it’s more of a concept and lifestyle. Although there isn't really an official definition, for most foodies clean eating means avoiding highly processed foods in favour of natural, whole foods. So it's not about starving yourself or living off smoothies (!), but fuelling your body with real food.
If you're keen to give it a try, here are a few easy ways to eat clean based on my journey over the past six months:
- Steer clear of processed and refined foods. Sugar, white bread, white pasta, white flour and are devoid of nutrients. They are quick to fill us up but leave us tired, sluggish and generally feeling a bit "blerugh"
- Eat whole foods as much as possible. Clean eating often means home cooking with fresh ingredients - this is really the best way to control what's going in to your food. So give the ready meals (even "healthy" ones) a miss.
- Avoid any foods that have a long list of ingredients, especially ones you can’t pronounce! Sodium Erythorbate, diacetyl tartaric acid, ester of mono and diglycerides. Basically if you can't say it (or don't know what it is), don't eat it.
- Eat regularly. Try and eat 6 times a day - 3 meals and 3 snacks to keep you going. This will keep your energy levels up and reduce the chance of you making a hunger-fuelled food grab.
- Aim for balance. Mix up your foods and try to eat whole grains, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats every day. This means planning ahead, which can take a bit of getting used to at the start. Books and apps are great for this.
Since starting to eat clean and avoid processed foods, I've lost weight and had bags more energy. Some of my friends have seen dramatic improvement to their skin and nails too. If these aren’t enough reasons to jump on the clean eating bandwagon, then I don't know what is!
mouth-watering to share?