How to Start Eating Clean
What is Clean Eating?
Can you eat clean on the go? Despite all of the chaos that has occurred over the past few months, restaurants have no shortage of customers. Even with the unfortunate reality of many businesses crumbling, many food establishments are overwhelmed. Without some prep, it can be very hard to eat clean on the go.
As drive thru lines overflow into roadways, ever stop to wonder how healthy these consumers are? Restaurant phone lines are off the hook to order. Even websites and apps have long wait times. Companies like Uber Eats are flowing healthily.
Want to eat healthier and "cleaner"? You begin by making healthier choices. Don't wait until you are starving so that you are stuffing yourself with anything you can find, as quickly as possible. Clean eating is eliminating the things that you shouldn't be eating, especially in excess in the first place. One of the best places to start is having healthy alternatives within reach when we feel the urge so that we are still eating clean.
Limit foods that come in packages and have long shelf lives. Look at the ingredients on labels. How many can you pronounce? Compare different labels and see what has familiar ingredients. Don't assume that because you ordered a salad, it's healthy! There are plenty of salads that have more calories and bad fats than a Big Mac! The closer you eat to how food is naturally designed the healthier you will become.
Did you know that chicken has the highest sodium level out of any meat? Well, now you do. Chicken meat is injected and saturated with saline solutions to preserve it and keep it fresh. The USDA allows the cleaning of poultry, veggies, and fruits with chlorine. Yup, you heard me. CHLORINE. The stuff you clean your pool with. It kills bacteria and contaminants in more than just water US. Working in logistics for years, I can vouch for countless truckloads of food grade chlorine I have shipped into Tyson and other facilities nationwide.
Marketing companies are very good at what they do. They thrive off of misleading us with labels that boast about being "natural" that are really full of harmful chemicals and ingredients. There are many harmful ingredients that are allowed in our foods in the US, but not allowed in other countries like the EU for a complete list, click here.
There are only 11 harmful ingredients that the US bans, whereas the EU bans 1328! The USDA allows 3000 ingredients to be added to our foods, not all of which are harmful, however checking out the list will surprise you that many of them are not ingredients that you could pronounce, or even buy at the store.
Clean Eating With Essential Nutrients
Eating clean on the go is possible, but not without proper education and preparation. We can begin to eat healthier by knowing exactly what we should be eating. There are six essential nutrients that our bodies need to maintain optimal health that we cannot produce on our own. Many of our diets do not cover all of these bases properly. Lets look closer.
1. Water - Not everyone likes drinking water and not all waters even taste good. It is, however, a privilege to have access to healthy water. Agua, wasser, eau, zui, shui, H2O, water... no matter what you call it where you are from, it’s the most essential nutrient!
Water is the source of life. Our bodies are between 50-75% water. We can only survive 3-5 days without consuming water, whereas we can survive much longer with a lack of the other essential nutrients. Your body uses water to transport all of the other nutrients throughout your body in your blood. Water promotes healthy kidney function and removes waste from our bodies through urine and sweat. Tea, coffee & alcohol are diuretics that cause us to lose water more rapidly. If you drink these regularly, make sure you are also drinking more water to replenish your body.
You should consume at least one ounce of water for every pound of body weight, each day. If you find it difficult to drink this much water, try adding some fruits or herbs. If you would like a healthy alternative to tea, coffee or energy drinks, find out about Fizz by Arbonne. All of their products have high clean standards that ban 2000 ingredients, going even above and beyond what the EU bans. Arbonne's products may be packaged, but their ingredients hold to a much higher standard than the FDA and even surpass the the EU regulations.
2. Carbs - (Yes, you need these) - Have you ever tried cutting carbs? There are tons of different diet theories that promote low carb eating to trim inches and lose weight. The problem is, these are not sustainable regimens meant for long term use. Truth is, the more we try to deprive ourselves of things we crave, the harder it becomes. Eventually we “treat” ourselves, which inevitably ends up with either bingeing or returning to our previous ways of eating.
Carbs are essential! Depriving ourselves of them doesn’t work in the long run. We need them for energy. There are both good and bad carbs. It’s very important to know the difference for healthy living.
Good carbs moderate energy, balance our blood sugar, keep us feeling full and eliminating regularly. Fibers and starches are found in fruits, veggies, legumes, potatoes and grains.
Bad carbs cause spikes and crashes in our blood sugar, cause cravings, and sabotage our energy. Sugary foods, breads, and processed foods all fall under this category. What type of carbs are you consuming most?
3. Proteins - How much protein are you getting? Most of us know that protein helps us build muscle and makes up our physical structure, like your skin and hair. Did you also know that it also regulates your glucose and insulin levels to provide balanced energy and stabilize your blood sugar? Protein also transports oxygen throughout your body.
There are two types of protein:
🌱 Animal (complete)- lean meats, poultry & fish
🌱 Plant (incomplete) - beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, cheese & eggs
Overworking your metabolism can cause you to be sluggish and delay your digestive system from breaking down food and increase weight gain and bloating. Try giving your digestion a break with Arbonne’s vegan protein, which contains...
🌱 20 grams of protein per serving
🌱 20 vitamins & minerals
🌱 13 grams complex carbs
🌱 essential amino acids
Despite being vegan, our bodies identify Arbonne's protein as a complete animal protein. Digestion of this protein actually begins in the mouth, which makes it easier for your body to convert to energy and will keep you fuller, longer. It’s also gluten and common allergy free.
Better yet, Arbonne holds itself to high ethical and quality standards with an ingredient policy that prohibits 2,000+ harmful ingredients and heavy metals found in many proteins available in the US. They have led the industry for the last 40 years with their research based products and are certified through third parties, like Vegan, GF, BSCG, PETA, Non GMO Project and more. Are you getting enough protein in your current diet?
4. Fats - (Only the good kinds) - Who told you fat was bad? Low fat diets have it all wrong. Not all fats are bad for you! In fact deprivation of healthy fats lead to all kinds of issues. Your body needs healthy fats aka lipids for healthy...
🌱 skin, muscles & joints
🌱 transportation & absorption of vitamins A, D, E & K
🌱 eyes, bones & nails
🌱 cognitive function
🌱 energy levels
🌱 cellular communication, growth &
🌱 insulation & protection
🌱 hormone levels
🌱 immune, reproductive & nervous system
Avoid or limit saturated or solid fats like those found in butter, cheese, dairy, red meat & processed meats. Increase unsaturated or liquid fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut & its oil, nuts & fish. Omega 3 is vital to your health. Omega 6's should be consumed in moderation.
If you are having issues with infection, inflammation, blood pressure, bloating, blood sugar or body temperature your body is trying to tell you something!
5. Vitamins - An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We’ve all heard this, but could an apple really help us be healthier? It’s complicated. While eating an apple every day isn’t going to cure you of anything in and of itself, creating the habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day will.
God knew what He was doing when he colored our food. We love colorful things! What better to entice us to eat it?! The beautiful colors boast of His glory and by them we are supplied with the vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health.
🌱 Red and oranges are high in vitamin c and boost immunity
🌱 Dark greens are full of iron for energy, blood and cellular health
🌱 Blues and purples are full of antioxidants and are cancer and disease fighting
🌱 Whites Are full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin b, potassium and iron to fight disease, repair cells and fight inflammation.
Vitamins are essential to your nutrition. From growth, vision, metabolism, and cell regeneration and repair to healing free radical damage, boosting immunity and preventing and healing diseases, vitamins are essential. If you don’t like fruits and especially veggies it can be hard to get enough in your diet. What does your typical plate look like?
6. Minerals - Much like vitamins, minerals are found in plants, animals and even water. Your body uses these essential nutrients to help you grow, regulate your metabolism and system functions. They help you stay healthy by building and developing your bones, nervous system, hormones and even help maintain a regular heartbeat.
Minerals form from the earth and things that thrive off of it like plants, animals and water. Macro minerals, which means large in Greek, are what our bodies need in big amounts. These are elements like salt, potassium, magnesium, water and calcium. Trace minerals require smaller amounts to maintain optimal health, like iron and zinc.
When our bodies are exposed to free radicals, like pollution, allergens, food, radiation or smoke, our cells begin to oxidize. The damage done through oxidation harms our PH levels, immune system and causes diseases. Vitamins and minerals are extremely important in your diet. Many of our foods contain different amounts of them, so variety is best.
It’s important to note that a well rounded diet, containing a variety of healthy options, should provide you with adequate nutrition, but if your diet is lacking some elements, you may find that supplements can help maintain healthier levels. Everything in moderation can help you avoid toxic overload due to excessive amounts of individual nutrients.
If you are lacking in any of these nutrients it can zap your energy or worse, cause a myriad of other health problems. It’s so easy and convenient to grab food on the go because of our lifestyle, but so difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Are you getting enough of all of these nutrients with your current food choices?
Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Diet
If we want to start eating clean, we need to be more aware of what our foods contain. It's no secret that chronic diseases are high in the US. Heart disease, chronic inflammatory diseases, immunity issues, digestive diseases, diabetes and obesity are just a few.
"It's disturbing that the U.S. has not chosen to protect its citizens from these food additives. Then we wonder why we spend more on healthcare than any other nation." Keisha Brown
It may not be affordable to eat nothing but organic foods, but we can start by only consuming foods with ingredients we can pronounce. Read your labels! By limiting our food's ingredients and the processed and packaged foods we eat, we can have a better control over our intake of harmful ingredients.
Eating more fruits and veggies can increase the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. A little bit of extra food prep can also help eliminate some of the toxins. Try soaking your fruits, veggies and even meats with a white vinegar and water solution and rinsing thoroughly before consuming to clean them better. Preparing more of your own food ahead of time can help you eat clean on the go, instead of falling trap to the fast food industry.
Only eat healthy fats. Vegetable oils and spreads, including margarine, actually counteract the healthy fats you consume with omega - 6's, which are known to cause inflammation, heart disease and weight gain. Stick to healthier versions of fats, like olive and avocado oils as well as avocado's themselves.
Eat healthy carbs, not refined ones. Eating grains that are as closed to their natural state is best. Highly processed cereals, crackers, chips and products made from bleached white flours will not help you eat clean. Instead opt for quinoa, steel cut oats, and sprouted grains.
Limit alcohol. I know this can be a tough one for some, but alcohol is actually a toxin. Small amounts of wines can be used to boost health benefits, but this is not the norm. Alcohol causes all kinds of liver and digestive diseases, excess fat and inflammation.
Increase your water intake. With needing water to maintain a healthy body, the more you drink the better you will be at flushing toxins out and transporting nutrients around your blood. Opt for spring, distilled waters and filtered which remain PH neutral to slightly acidic. Avoid tap and purified waters which tend to be highly acidic and can affect your body's PH negatively.
Choose grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free animal proteins. Organic is best, but not always affordable. Grass fed animals are higher in omega-3's which have anti-inflammatory properties, rather than ones fed with grain.
Cut out as much added and refined sugar as possible. Fake chemical sugar substitutes are a no-no as well. Read your labels, you might be surprised to find that items that don't even taste sweet have added sugars. Clean eating can include natural sugars, like honey and maple syrup in small amounts. Sugars cause many issues ranging from diabetes, obesity, cancers and fatty liver. It's best to avoid excess sugars in your diet to begin your clean eating journey.
More Ways to Start Eating Clean
It's never too late to begin clean eating. The best news is that once you begin to see the benefits that clean eating has, you won't want to go back. This isn't a fad diet, its a way to live a healthier lifestyle in all moments at home or on the go.
Visit the Food Revolution Network for more insight on ways to eat clean. It's very important that we learn to better protect our health and the healthy of our families. You can also fill out our healthy living checklist to learn how to eat and live cleaner. Clean eating begins with increasing fresh and nutritious foods and limiting and eliminating heavily processed ones.
Comment below, or reach out to learn more about how you can begin to eat cleaner and suggestions for a healthier lifestyle.
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