Health isn’t just about how much you work out. Eating clean also plays a really vital role in staying fit. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to put anyone down, but if you’re only working out, it’s usually not enough. Eating a Big Mac right after a workout is essentially putting you back at zero—like you never worked out in the first place. I’ve made my diet part of my daily routine. And while it’s certainly not easy, there are ways to get your diet on the right track.
What is Eating Clean?
Not too long ago, I thought eating clean just meant eating fruits and vegetables, but it’s more than that. I’ve always run a lot, tried to stay away from fast food and anything deep fried, but once I learned about eating clean I realized I wasn’t really living as healthy a lifestyle as I could. Eating clean is consuming food in its most natural state. You can basically eat anything that is fresh and unprocessed. If you can go organic do so. And eat six times a day; three meals, two snacks in between meals.
I first learned of clean eating because of my son. He has allergy problems, mostly seasonal air allergies, but some foods as well. While researching healthy dishes and recipes, I ran across some clean eating recipes. After a little more research I realized that eating clean has way more benefits than simply keeping some allergens out of foods.
Why Does it Matter?
I have friends who will eat almost anything. They very rarely think about the consequences of the foods they’re eating. One of them asked me the other day what eating clean actually does for me. My first reaction was to say that it makes me healthy, but then I realized that was probably the least specific answer I could give her. After thinking for a few seconds I said these three things; I have more energy, I’ve lost some weight, and I don’t crave sweets anymore. My friend was unimpressed. “You don’t seem any different,” she said. And to the average person, I probably don’t look any different than I used to, but I feel different.
How Can I Start?
It all starts with the food you buy. Many people who eat clean will tell you that you have to go to the farmers markets and health food stores, but I’ve been able to eat clean while shopping at a regular supermarket. I’m not saying that farmers markets aren’t the way to go; they are. Anytime you can go to one, or a place that has local fresh products, you should; but you don’t have to. Wherever you shop take the time to read the labels on the foods you’re going to buy. If there are a lot of preservatives or sugars, or even just a ton of ingredients think about getting something else. Find simple foods with only a few ingredients, then you can combine them any way you want in your recipe. Prolific food writer Michael Pollan suggested in his book In Defense of Food that if you shop for real food in the grocery store, you should stick to the outer walls. That’s usually where you’ll find the foods that aren’t processed. Remember it is also important to make sure the water you put in your body is clean also, use the UKF8001 water filter and compatible replacement filters to assure cleanliness of your refrigerator water.
Eating clean doesn’t mean eating boring dishes. Here are some great recipes to get you started