Clean Up Your Plate!

What if the key to you losing weight, clearing up your digestive woes, having more energy, lifting your brain fog, and managing chronic health conditions was in your control?

Well, it actually is! And it’s pretty simple. It’s about changing habits to “clean” up your plate!

You eat to nourish and fuel yourself, right? Most of us in the US have been following the recommended Standard American Diet (SAD) for the past 30 or more years by eating low-fat foods, whole grains, and avoiding cholesterol. And food manufacturers have made it so easy for us! We conveniently stop by the grocery store and pick up frozen, boxed or canned foods to take home and pop in the microwave. Or even easier, drive-thru your favorite fast food restaurant and someone’s already cooked for you. Dinner is served!

Dietary advice followed? Check!

Food is accessible, plentiful and available? Check! Check! Check!

So why then are Americans’ rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancers, auto-immune disease and other chronic health conditions skyrocketing?

Because we stopped eating “clean” foods — REAL food.

Our American diet consists mainly of cheaply-made processed and refined foods that are stripped of minerals and nutrients in the manufacturing process. Yes, often those are added back in, but mostly in the form of synthetic, chemical compounds that our body doesn’t recognize or know how to deal with.

We have plenty of food available to us, but we have become undernourished despite the fact that we’re overfed. Our cells are always craving something because we are deficient in getting the essential nutrients we need from processed foods.

So, with that in mind, maybe your overeating isn’t really your lack of willpower after all. Maybe it’s more about missing nutrients in your diet.

What if you went back to eating clean like your great grandparents used to eat – straight from the farm and garden? 

Clean eating means avoiding processed and refined foods, and sourcing your diet from nutrient-dense whole foods. Eating a clean diet gives you proper nutrition through real nutrients that your body recognizes as food — the raw materials, the fuel — it needs to run efficiently and at peak performance.

The Basics of Clean Eating

1.  Avoid processed food: Processed foods are any food with a label. Become a label reader and look at the ingredients. If you can’t recognize or pronounce any ingredient, don’t put it in your cart. If you must eat processed foods, try to eat foods with no more than 3-5 recognizable ingredients on the label.

2.  Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that are natural and have not been tampered with through manufacturing or processing. When you eat clean, you eat foods from the farm. The bulk of your meals should be fresh vegetables along with grass-fed, free-range meats and eggs or wild caught seafood, organic whole-milk dairy, along with raw nuts, seeds and fruit for snacks. Here are some recipes to try: Arugula, Grape and Sunflower Seed Salad, Avocado Crab Boats, Brussels Sprout Salad, and Crockpot Beef and Sweet Potato Stew.

3.  Eliminate refined sugar: Research is showing sugar, not saturated fat, to be the culprit behind many of our current health issues, so weaning yourself off sugar and sweet foods will benefit your overall health. Refined sugar offers no nutrient value, only calories. Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and fruit. Try coconut palm sugar, which, with a much lower glycemic-index than refined sugar, also contains amino acids, B Vitamins and trace minerals.

4.  Ditch table salt for sea salt:  Table salt is a refined product that is mined from the earth and then striped of it’s nutrient value through chemical processing. Sea salt, on the other hand, is obtained directly from the evaporation of seawater. It is not usually processed and therefore retains trace minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients. Because of its fine grain, a single teaspoon of table salt contains more sodium than a tablespoon of sea salt.

5.  Cook your own meals:  Instead of going through the drive-thru or buying meals in a can, a box, or a bag, cook clean meals from scratch. Whole food ingredients need little preparation beyond chopping, sautéing or roasting to make delicious and nutritious meals that you and your family will love.

6.  Spice up your meals: Clean food is not bland or boring! Fresh, whole foods are delicious on their own, but adding herbs and spices can add variety to your dishes.  Have fresh or dried organic herbs such as oregano, ginger, basil, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin on hand to create dishes such as Rosemary Chicken, Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs, or Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa.

7.  Eat healthy fats: Using the right healthy saturated and unsaturated fats and oils (see PDF list) is essential to good health – in fact it’s essential to the structure of every cell in your body and especially your brain health. This is the hardest change for most people to grasp after years of being misled that fat will clog your arteries and cause heart disease! Hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, and “butter” spreads along with processed vegetable and seed oils should be avoided as they are pro-inflammatory and will cause arterial damage. But best of all, eating healthy fats makes food taste great and keeps you satiated longer! Read Top 9 Biggest Lies About Dietary Fat and Cholesterol for more information.

8.  Combine carbs with protein and fat:  When you snack or eat a meal, make sure your meal is balanced. It’s important to combine carbohydrates with protein and fat. If you remember to do this, you’ll be less tempted by junk food, satisfy your taste buds, fuel your body, and suppress hunger pangs. Enjoy apple slices with cheddar cheese, hummus with carrot sticks, almond butter and raisins on celery sticks, or eat green olives stuffed with almonds, and liberally add butter to your steamed broccoli or baked potato.

9.  Enjoy your food: Whether you are eating by yourself or have dinner companions, take time to sit down and enjoy your food without distractions. Focus on the smells, the flavors, as you thoroughly chew each bite. Enjoy the clean food that is nourishing your body and your being. This alone can improve your digestion and will give your stomach a chance to signal your brain as you start to become full. Listen to your body; be thankful for your food.

Your rewards for clean eating?

Clean eating can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but by taking baby steps you can make small changes every few days. If you make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. You’re only human. Just start fresh with your next meal or snack.

Clients say that after 30-Days of Clean Eating they:

  • Have a deliciously satisfying diet
  • Notice changes in their overall health in a matter of 4 weeks
  • Have more energy and mental clarity
  • Have less muscle aches and joint pains
  • Experience weight loss (noticed on the scale and more so in how clothes fit)
  • Never feel hungry or deprived because there is a huge variety of food to choose from

Isn’t it time to live the healthier life that you deserve?

If you’d like more information about how to begin eating clean or would like some coaching to get you eating clean, contact me and we’ll set up a free consultation.