What is clean eating? What does it really mean to have a clean diet? What types of foods are clean foods? How do you eat clean on a regular basis? These are all interesting and relevant questions.
Clean eating is one of those terms that’s so widely used these days in a variety of different contexts, that it’s not always really clear what it implies. Here’s a crash course on what types of foods you should include in a clean diet, and how you should consume them. Start slowly incorporating these ideas into your life and you’ll be feeling energised, light and healthy in no time.
Fruits and vegetables should form the core part of your diet. They have such high nutritional values for the amount of calories they provide, which means that you can and should eat a lot of them. Green plants should hold highest priority, so try to incorporate more of your favourite greens into your diet every day. Don’t forget about herbs, spices, or plants from the sea.
Local, organic produce: Reduce your carbon footprint by eating foods that are grown locally and without chemicals that affect our bodies and the environment in ambiguous ways, at best.
Unprocessed foods will be digested more easily by your body than foods that have been altered from their original form. Processed foods will also likely include any number of additives that aren’t really meant for us to eat, like nitrates, preservatives and food colouring.
Eat with intention: It’s really important to eat in a way that is measured and calm. This is my main challenge right now, as I am still subject to intense cravings, emotional eating patterns and find myself easily influenced by the people and energy around me. I find it easy to overindulge when I’m not being very careful and conscious of my eating.
Eating with intention means choosing to really experience your food, by slowing down enough to taste it and be curious about it. Be grateful for the wide variety and quality of food available to you.
Hydrate: We all know that our bodies are made mostly of water. Don’t you want that water to be as fresh and clean as possible? Then you need to replace it regularly.
Healing foods include what many people call ‘super foods’, but I like to think of them as healing foods. If you’re not well, you’ll need to drastically increase the intake of these foods. If you are well, these therapeutic foods will go to work on any of your deeper cells that need support. This is how disease is reversed, cavities disappear and muscle cells are rebuilt. Your body tissues will literally begin to grow younger as they rebuild themselves more often and more efficiently with the help of these incredible foods.
Some examples of healing foods are anything with naturally occurring probiotics, very high nutrient densities (calories: nutritional value), foods that have balancing effects on your endocrine systems and/or your organs, purifying foods, alkalizing foods, and foods that make you feel genuinely incredible. Some of my go-to healing foods are natural sauerkraut, green juices, seaweeds, and dandelion. Watch for a more in-depth post on healing foods in the near future.
Avoid foods that make you feel crappy: Foods that affect your digestion, moods, and body in any strong way should be avoided. The goal here is achieving a steady state that feels really good, really calm. Ask yourself if you could go for a long, brisk walk or interact in a clear and engaging way with other people after you’ve eaten. If your thoughts are scattered, your body heavy and your emotions running away from you, it’s likely that something you’ve eaten has affected you adversely.
Eat enough to sustain you. If you’re eating lots of whole, unprocessed foods, you’ll be able (and will probably need to) eat more to keep you feeling full and energised and not reaching for unhealthy snacks.
It’s that easy. Remember that clean eating is a diet in the purest sense of the word diet. This is another term that’s come to have fractured meanings, but your diet is quite simply what you eat. It’s not a short-term plan to help you achieve a certain goal. Everything you ingest is part of your diet, and it’s a big part of your lifestyle. Embrace clean eating by incorporating some of these foods and ideas into your life, and see if you notice a difference.