This section will give you a crash course on the clean eating basics. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read the How to Eat Clean section, which is essentially a quick start guide to everything you need to know about how to eat clean for beginners.
Eating clean is not complicated, nor is it confusing. You simply need to understanding the basics and you’ll be on your way to a new, happier, healthier you – looking and feeling better than you have in a long time, and enjoying delicious clean food that nourishes and energizes your body.
Clean eating simply means trading processed, canned or packaged foods for fresh homemade whole foods. Why? Because almost everything pre-made is loaded with sodium, additives, preservatives and chemicals – all of which are toxic to the body. This includes deli meats, precooked meats, packaged meats and frozen dinners. We have become so accustomed to eating packaged, premade “convenience” foods – our pantries and cupboards are filled with them and we consider it completely normal and commonplace. Problem is, most of what we are putting into our bodies today contain cancer causing chemicals and other toxins that are very bad for our health and the health of our kids and families.
Imitation food is NOT food.
People are developing increasing awareness that the vast majority of canned, packaged and boxed food products we are consuming is compromising our health in a wide variety of ways, zapping our energy levels, and contributing to obesity.
More and more people are waking up to the simple fact that eating more fresh food, and less premade, packaged, canned or convenient food is going to dramatically improve your health for the better, and you might even lose excess pounds without even trying.
Rates of obesity and diabetes are now higher than they’ve ever been. Part of the reason for this is that almost everything the average person eats these days is processed or chemically altered in some way. From a cracker out of a box to oftentimes vegetables from a can (read the label on the can to know for sure), there are additives, preservatives and artificial ingredients.
It’s interesting to note that in more primitive cultures, where people grow and produce their own food, they don’t have the same issues with obesity and high blood pressure.
Everything you eat produces a chemical reaction in your body.
Clean eating is about producing healthy reactions in your body.
It’s not hard to eat correctly. Its neither complicated nor confusing.
When you eat premade, packaged, processed and convenience foods, you are introducing a lot of artificial and unnatural chemicals into your system. The chemicals in these foods slow your metabolism, increase blood pressure, contribute to weight gain, may cause cancer, and a whole slew of other health problems.
Often times people who want to lose weight look for products labelled fat-free, thinking these products are healthy choices that will help them shed pounds. The irony is that overly refined foods, especially refined carbohydrates like fat-free cookies, cakes or chips, can trigger inflammation and actually make you hungrier through the day.
Replacing processed food with “real” food has so many positive health impacts. Many people who adopt a clean eating lifestyle notice an improvement in various health conditions after several weeks, and sometimes even a reduction in medication for conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
So the next time you crave a Twinkie or potato chips, or anything else that has been so chemically altered you can leave it on the counter for a week and it won’t grow mold or turn stale, think about what it might be doing inside your body.
My mom used to say it all the time, and nothing could be truer: “You are what you eat”.
When you eat garbage (junk food, processed food) what do you think your body is made of?
I’m not going to mince words. When you put garbage into your body, your body is made of garbage. Makes sense, right? That’s a sobering thought, now isn’t it? If you really stop to consider that, it’s enough to make anyone want to immediately change their eating patterns and start eating clean. Who wants to be made of crap?
Clean eating also involves getting table salt out of your diet and out of your home. No table salt is allowed when eating clean.
However, you can use a small to moderate amount of sea salt or Himalayan salt, which are, in fact healthy. You should still limit the amount you use – don’t overdo it. But you can add a bit of salt to your food as long as you choose one of these two health salts
After a few days of eliminating salt from your diet, you’ll start to realize how much of food’s natural flavors tend to be masked by salt. People often say that salt brings out the flavor in food, when in fact, the opposite is true – it masks the wonderful flavor our food naturally has.
Once you eliminate the excess salt from the foods you eat, you’ll find your taste buds are better able to notice the lovely subtle natural flavors in foods such as potatoes, vegetables and meats.
Keep in mind that you’re diet will never be entirely salt-free because many foods – especially meat or fish – already have natural levels of salt in them – heck, so does celery!
You’ll also find that you can add far better flavor to your food using spices and natural salt-free homemade seasoning blends than table salt ever provided.
Once you get into the swing of clean eating, you won’t miss the salt, I promise.
If you have high blood pressure, eliminating salt is going to provide a huge health boost for you. After a few weeks of eating clean and eliminating salt, you are likely to find that you’re blood pressure has gone down and your doctor may even decrease your blood pressure medication dosage or take you off of blood pressure medication all together.
So definitely, be sure to monitor your blood pressure levels before and after starting to eat clean so you can be aware of the positive effects your new lifestyle is having on your health, and so you’ll know whether your blood pressure medication may need to be lowered or eliminated due to better health naturally.
Go back to How to Eat Clean to explore everything you could possibly need to know about getting started with clean eating.