Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Clean Eating Defined

Having recently discussed the notion that eating needs to be a ‘lifestyle’ and that we should take all measures to avoid ‘going on a diet’ (any diet!), I thought it would be entirely relevant and complimentary to explore the current trend of ‘clean eating’.

Clean eating is simply eating the way nature intended. It means eating the foods that our greatest ancestors would have had available to them. Our bodies function best on these foods – they help us to look and feel fantastic, and are natural managers of our bodyweight.

Tidying up what is actually going into our mouths is one of the most difficult challenges when we’re faced with improving our health or achieving a fitness goal. The variety of highly processed, packaged, long-life, and convenient meal-in-a-minute foods that our supermarkets and grocery stores have brightly displayed is difficult to forego. Not to mention how tasty it all is!

Food has been overcomplicated in two respects: 1) The majority of foods we eat today have undergone a complex rigmarole to make them last the distance whilst maintaining a great taste; and 2)We have been overloaded with an abundance of ‘do’s and don’ts’ in terms of what we should be eating.

The emerging trend of clean eating brings everything to do with food back to the basics. Keep it clean. Keep it simple. In a nutshell (so to speak), clean eating is the practice of eating foods in their fully natural state, and avoiding foods that are highly processed and densely packed full of chemicals that inconspicuously harm our bodies. If man made it, then we should avoid it.

Clean eating encourages you to do the following:

  • Eat wholegrains – This means eating grains that are complete and haven’t been tampered with. For example, brown rice, wheat, oats, barley, maize, spelt, rye, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
  • Eat meats – Pick meats that come straight from the butcher or the butchery department at the supermarket (if you cant get it straight out of the paddock that is!). If the meat is wrapped in a brightly coloured package then leave it where you found it. Pick raw meats, and avoid any meats that have been cured, smoked, or ground, because you don’t know what has been added to them.
  • Eat loads of plant foods – Pick fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and legumes straight from nature or straight off the supermarket shelf. Go organic where available. If it comes off a tree, plant, shrub, or vine, then you’re bang on the mark when it comes to eating clean.
  • Read labels – If there’s more than 4 or 5 items on the ingredients list, if there’s words you cant pronounce, or if you can see numbers in brackets next to listed ingredients, then don’t bring it home with you.
  • Drink wisely – Avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks, juices, refined sugar, and caffeine. Our ancestors had only water and tea available to them, so drink these in abundance. Smoothies packed full of raw plant materials (i.e. fruits and veggies) are incredibly tasty too and are of a high nutritional value.
  • Eliminate saturated fats – Trade bad fats for good fats by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat, and consuming nuts and fish.
  • Eat several small meals – By eating 5 or 6 smaller meals a day you will keep your blood sugar stable, and will reduce the risk of overeating.

Clean eating will become harder and harder to adjust to because our bodies and taste buds, over time, are being taught to adjust to the many fake and man-made flavours of the modern day. Clean food will taste boring and will not satisfy in the short-term. But to give our bodies the best chance of longevity and survival, we must eradicate the brutal pesticides, hormones, additives, refined sugars and bad fats. As long as you eat clean 80% of the time, it doesn’t matter if you are slightly more relaxed about what you eat the other 20% of the time.

Just as you cannot get healthy without eating healthy, you body cannot get cleaned up if you’re not eating clean. Food is a critical element of the good health equation. If you eat whole, healthy, and clean foods your body, skin, and soul will beam with radiance and emit endless energy. It’s time to clean up your act, and you can start by cleaning up your eating – eat clean!

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