Who would have thought the word “clean” could have so many different interpretations? But, the reality is, if you do a Google search on “clean eating,” you will find hundreds of different interpretations on what clean eating is and isn’t. Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out which interpretation best matches your needs and goals. But if you want to check out the recipes on my blog and are curious what guidelines I’m personally following, here’s a brief rundown of what clean eating means to me!
For the purposes of this blog,
Clean eating IS…
1). Choosing quality, nutrient-dense foods.
2). Cutting out “junk” calories – like white flours, added sugars, and preservatives (just to name a few!).
3). Focusing on body-boosting fruits and vegetables, and incorporating them into every meal.
4). Choosing lean proteins, and using non-meat protein sources where appropriate.
5). Trying to choose the least processed options where available.
6). Still enjoying delicious, flavorful food that will fill you up and keep you healthy!
Clean eating IS NOT…
1). Strictly vegetarian or vegan – I still like meat (and my husband has jokingly threatened to divorce me if I drop meats entirely)! However, many recipes can be modified to fit a vegetarian or vegan diet if that’s what you prefer.
2). Grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free or any other free… I will definitely try to include some recipes with these options (and recipe modifications, where possible), if that’s the sort of clean eating you need to follow. However, we don’t have any specific dietary requirements of this sort in our house, so we don’t abide by any of these restrictions.
3). Expensive. Yes, there are some specialty ingredients that are more costly, but I try to keep these to minimum. We’re not millionaires, so I don’t grocery shop like one!
As you can see, my definition of clean eating is pretty broad, and that’s one of the reasons I love it! My family can still eat healthy, delicious food without having to be overly restricted in our options. Now, if you are trying to use clean eating as a means to lose weight, keep in mind that portion control is still important – don’t assume that because this food is healthy that you can stuff yourself uncontrollably at every meal. However, because the emphasis is on vegetables and fruits, you’ll find that you can add a lot of bulk to your meals without adding a lot of extra calories. Also, another great best practice for any person (clean eater or not!) is to consume LOTS of water every day. Set a goal that is practical for yourself, with a minimum of 64 ounces a day. I aim for 96 ounces per day (more if I have a strenuous workout), and love water flavored with lemon, cucumber, other citrus or fresh herbs.
If your definition of clean eating differs from mine, and you still want to use some of my recipes, please feel free to reach out to me! If it’s possible to modify the recipe, I’d be happy to offer suggestions. But if you’re simply looking for a way to improve your overall health and wellness, then my guidelines should do the trick! Clean eating it not a meal plan, it’s a lifestyle – and a commitment to your health and happiness, which can be just as fun, delicious and convenient as any other way to live.
What has kept you from eating clean in the past?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, personal trainer, dietitian or nutritionist – I’m just a busy woman who loves to eat clean! If you have specific concerns about your health and wellness, please contact your own doctor or other professional directly.