Become a Lover of Water
Aim to consume at least two liters of water each day as a part of our clean eating plan. Water comprises 60 percent of our body weight and helps to control our body temperature. Drinking water regularly will help your body to stay hydrated and your tummy full! Our belly can give us a false sense of hunger or need for food when in reality, its just craving water. Look for ways to put a bit of excitement into your drink by adding fruit or mint to infuse a bit of flavor!
Water is an excellent source for flushing toxins from our bodies and can do wonders for our complexion. Other benefits associated with water include:
• Headache relief
• Balances the body’s fluids
• Manage your caloric intake
• Improve bowel function
• Support the health of your kidneys
• Better sleep
Click Here for more health related infographics
It may be a good time for you to learn more about juicing if water is not your forte. If you are still unsure of whether or not you will be able to stick to the all-water plan, there are a few other options for you to consider including:
• Herbal or unsweetened iced tea
• Green Tea (at least 3 cups per day)
• Beet juice
• Pomegranate juice (read your labels)
• Unflavored or unsweetened coconut water
• Green smoothies
• Carrot juice
• Coffee (minus the sweeteners)
• Fresh Lemon and lime juice (must be 100 percent juice)
• 100 percent fruit juices (not from concentrate)
Meanwhile, you should try to avoid the following drinks:
• Diet Soda
• Fresh Fruit Juice
• Sports Drinks
• Carbonated water
Sodas mainly get a bad wrap because they contain upwards of 40 to 65 grams of sugar depending on the serving size of the drink. Couple that with food coloring and other additives and it’s all just a dangerous mix. Diet soda receives negative marks because it is known to include artificial sweeteners which studies show contribute to poor metabolism, poorly regulated insulin production and unwanted weight gain.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Yes, this next tip may not be what some of you would like to read within the list of suggestions, but you are looking to make an honest go at it –right? Be leery of alcoholic beverages. They can damage your efforts to remain hydrated, and they are full of empty calories.
Although some alcohol beverages like wine continue to receive high marks for heart health and antioxidant benefits, most drinks do not offer much in the way of nutrients to replenish the body. They qualify as a source of fermented sugars. You do not have to eliminate drinks for your diet entirely. If you must have a drink, opt for wine in place of a cocktail or beer and save alcohol for special occasions.
Choose Healthy Fats
As followers of a clean eating lifestyle, our goal should be to cook with or eat healthy fats. Examples of healthy fats include:
• Nuts and nut oils
• Grapeseed oil
• Sunflower oil
• Organic Ghee
• Organic unsalted butter (grass-fed)
• Coconut oil
• Extra-virgin olive oil
Many clean enthusiasts will advise you to reduce your overall consumption of all oils including olive oil. If you really would like to consume healthy fats in the right way, stick with eating the fat in its original form (i.e., olives instead of olive oil or soybeans instead of soybean oil).
Get Rid of those Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Try to avoid man-made fats. Why are there partially hydrogenated oils at all? Manufacturers of oil hydrogenate liquid vegetable oils to help them sustain a longer shelf-life and enable them to store at a more solid consistency.
The reason most clean eaters decide to ban partially hydrogenated oils is that they contribute to high cholesterol. Partially hydrogenated oils are thought to cause 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year (Prevention.com).
Try Eating Superfoods
While you are busy mulling through the supermarket in quest of something new, toss a few these superfoods into your cart:
• Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium
• Acai Berries are full of fiber, antioxidants, heart-healthy fats, and calcium.
• WebMD says flaxseeds may reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
• Goji berries may deliver a feeling of calmness and sense of well-being, not to mention improved athletic performance, sleep experience and enable you to shed a few pounds
• Pomegranate is associated with reducing inflammation in the body, cancer prevention, prevention of heart disease and improving digestion
• Cacao contains 50 times the number of antioxidants as that of blueberries, is high calcium, and contains magnesium levels that strengthen our mind and heart health
• Mulberries are packed with healthy nutrients like iron, vitamin C, and calcium. They protect our liver and heart
Do Not Self-Destruct Under the Weight of Sugar
If sugar is your kryptonite, you are going to want to familiarize yourself with which foods are naturally sweet that may be able to cure your desire for the white stuff. Bananas, berries, and dates are excellent, natural sweeteners. You want to stay away from foods containing refined sugars or corn syrup. Here is where your fruits will come in handy in your quest to dump the sugar.
Which sweeteners make the clean eating list? Think natural! Here are a few to commit to memory:
• Dark chocolate
• Raw honey
• Pure vanilla extract
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
• Date sugar
Monitor Your Sodium Consumption
We regularly hear warnings from the medical community about watching your salt intake. Our recommended daily intake is at 2300 milligrams or roughly one teaspoon of salt. If you have a chronic condition like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you will want to set a goal of 1500 milligrams or even less depending on your treating doctor’s directive.
The good news is that with the removal of processed foods from our diets, our intake of sodium substantially decreases unless you load your foods down with salt during preparation. Instead of adding flavor to your meals with salt, take a chance and step outside of the box to use spices and herbs. If you must use salt, try using sea salt or Kosher salt. These products contain less sodium than your everyday table salt.
Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains are a vital part of the clean eating lifestyle. Whole grains deliver several benefits to the body because they enable it to feel full after meals while also restoring much-needed energy. Excellent sources of whole grains include:
• Brown rice
• Soba noodles
• Whole grain pasta
• Gluten-free flours
How much should you consume? Try to limit yourself to no more than one or two services of grains (this includes wheat) per day. Ban white flour from your cuisine vocabulary and stick with those unprocessed “whole” carbs listed here.
Read Labels of the Food You Purchase
One of the best clean eating tips is to slow down to read the labels of any pre-packaged food (including jars) that you purchase such as nuts, meats, and even vegetables. You want to look out for additives and preservatives which can sometimes contribute to the addition of unnecessary sugars and fats.
Processed foods are notorious containing a long list of unhealthy, artificial chemicals that can throw our bodies into a flux.
Avoid these food additives:
• Artificial sweeteners like aspartame (E951) and Acesulfame-K. Aspartame, commonly found in diet and sugar-free foods are thought to be carcinogenic and a neurotoxin. Some studies link this addition to brain tumors, lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, and migraines to name a few.
• High fructose corn syrup is the source of so many of our calories. This highly-refined artificial sweetener is available in most of the processed foods we eat. It increases our risk for health conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol and contributes to obesity.
• Trans Fat helps to extend our food’s shelf-life. Unfortunately, studies are continuing to demonstrate that trans fats increase our risk for multiple conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
• Food Dyes may cause hyperactivity in children, although there is very little evidence to support it. Keep an eye out for Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133), Red dye #3 (E124), Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102). These are commonly found in American cheese, candy, and carbonated beverages.
• Sodium Sulfite (3221) is used to make wines and other processed foods. Common side effects of consuming too much of this additive include headaches and respiratory issues.
• Monosodium Glutamate or MSG as it is famously known to give food its flavor. Excessive consumption of MSG may affect the mood, causing depression, headaches, fatigues, and obesity.
• Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrites are commonly present in hot dogs and lunch meat.
• BHT and BHA (E320) appears in cereal, gum, rice, and candy. These additives may cause cancer.
• Potassium Bromate is known to cause cancer according to some reports. This additive is often found in some white bread, rolls, and flour.
The Rule of Six
Shop for groceries that contain six ingredients or less. Following this rule of thumb is another way to help you dodge processed foods. Take the time to read labels. Even what you perceive to be safe foods contain multiple ingredients.
Aim for Perfection but Accept that You are Human
Some clean eating experts recommend that you should try to eat 90% of the time and dedicate 10% of your time to unclean eating. At some point, we all need to indulge in something once or twice a year or even once a month that doesn’t quite align with the philosophy of clean eating. Do not feel guilty about indulging from time to time.
Do Not Focus on What You are Giving Up
Another great tip from Eat This Not That encourages us to not focus so much on what we think we are missing but instead to shift our focus to tasting healthy foods and creating nutrient-rich meals.
Don’t Forget to Cook the Food Yourself!
One sure-fire way to improve your success rate with clean eating is to cook the food yourself. Sometimes the solution to eating clean lives in our very own kitchen.
Try mindful eating to take control of your eating practices. Slow down and savor the taste of your meals by chewing thoroughly. This practice will enable you to not only better appreciate your meals but can help to reduce those nasty binge habits and support weight loss.
Exercise naturally helps to regulate hunger hormones in the body and the concept of exercise does not necessarily need to be synonymous with rigorous workouts or regimented routines that involve a commitment to gym memberships or slaves to treadmills. Being active means just that and includes taking the stairs at work, sports or a simple brisk walk after dinner.
Practice Appetite Control Methods
Hydration, eating small meals throughout the day to control cravings and eating a balanced diet area all great ways to keep hunger in control.
Add Vegetables To Every Meal
Choose Fresh Fruit for Dessert
Drink Less Juice And Eat More Whole Fruit
Stop Counting Calories
You are more than just a series of calories, nutritional values or a number on a scale. Learn to value yourself and boost your self-esteem by establishing lasting and profound.
Eat A Variety Of Foods
Choose from all food groups and in varied colors, specifically in your choices of vegetables. Variety ensures you are getting all the nutrients your body needs that offered by different foods.
Eat More Raw Food
Most of the foods that are best eaten raw, like vegetables are the most nutritious.
Focus On Changing Habits Not On Dieting
Say bye to diets and begin to enjoy a healthy lifestyle by being smart about the choices you make. Don’t follow some fad diet for several weeks, only to regain the weight you lost, instead choose to follow a clean eating lifestyle, not another diet.
Focus On Protein And Fiber
Both are essential tools in your armory of weapons in terms of your battle with your appetite control. Eggs, beans, oatmeal, and a myriad of other protein and fiber rich foods, especially when consumed in the first part of the day, are all crucial to your ability to control the willpower that you have over your appetite.
Don’t Forget The Drinks
Choose healthy drinks, like fresh water, coffee and tea without sugar. Drinks can be your worst enemy, as many are loaded with added sugar and chemicals, one such example is soda.
Eat From The Earth More Often
Nature gives you all you need for good health.
Choose The Best Cooking Methods
Grilling, oiling, steaming and baking are better than frying.
Cook For Yourself
Eating out can be risky, when you cook for yourself you control how the food is cooked and all the ingredients.
Get Your Herbs
Fresh herbs have virtually no calories and are loaded with key nutrients.
Sprouts are loaded with protein, nutrition and have almost no calories.
Make A List
List the reasons you want to eat clean and check it over often.
Ignore Bad Press
Those friends and family who are negative about your new habits can be told to be quiet.
Learn and master the art of moderation, eat unhealthy things in very small amounts and only every so often.
Make Shopping Lists
Do not go to the grocery store without a shopping list.
Never Shop Hungry
Never go to the grocery store when you are hungry, this is when you are most likely to buy junk.
Shop The Periphery Of The Market
The periphery of the supermarket has the healthy, fresh and whole foods, while the inside aisles have mostly processed and junk foods.
Limit And Preset Cheat Days
So, you want to have some chili cheese fries or pepperoni pizza? Set a certain day or two each month to indulge and stick with it.
Stop Dieting and Start Living!
Stay Grateful For Your New Lifestyle
Celebrate Your Successes
Remember Your Body Is A Temple
Treat it that way!
Skip The Flavored Coffee Drinks
Drink your coffee black or with skim milk and Stevia instead of buying those Frappuccino drinks that sometimes have as much as 2000 calories per drink.
Distract From Cravings
If you have sudden cravings for donuts or chips, distract yourself by going for a walk, to a movie or calling a friend.
Eat Real Food
Did we mention that already?
Create Healthy Habits
Focus on making profound habit changes instead of dieting.
Check your plate with each meal to make sure it is loaded with real whole food.
Enjoy Negative Calorie Foods
These are foods that have so few calories that you can enjoy them in abundance, they include:
And many others…
Make A Good Start
Start each meal with foods lowest in caloric intake which will make you eat less of foods higher in calories. Salads, soups and fruit are all good choices.
Get Into The Natural Flavors
Natural food has great flavor, once you detox from junk food, clean eating brings a whole new world of tastes, smells and textures.
Learn About Additives In Food
Learn Healthy Substitutions
There are many for baking and cooking for example, zucchini can be spiraled to substitute pasta, Portobello mushrooms make for great pizza crusts and mashed black beans can substitute flower in recipes. There are many more like these.
Find Healthy Swaps for Junk Food Favorites
Choose Water As Your Main Drink
Get To Love Tea
All teas, including black, white, herbal and green have key antioxidants for good health.
Keep Clean Snacks On Hand
Eat More Sustainably-Raised Fish
Salmon, herring, tuna and other fatty fish give you lots of omega-3 fatty acids.
Organic produce is grown without pesticide, and now since the movement has become so big, there are a lot more organic products on the market.
A Good Start
Start each day by affirming your clean eating lifestyle dedication.
Manage Mood And Stress Levels With Meditation
Commit To Adding A Vegetable to Every Meal
Did we mention that already?
Eat More Probiotics
Beneficial bacteria for good digestive health, kimchi, pickles, and kombucha drinks.
Eat More Garlic
Crush or chop garlic and use within 15 minutes to reap the benefits of natural compounds within it, known as alliin and alliinase.
Eat Real Food
It never hurts to repeat the most important points.
Stress eating is often behind some of the unhealthiest food choices. Get your stress under control and you will eat better.
Eat Raw Vegetables
They are filling and very low in calories
Don’t Let Yourself Get Famished
Eating small meals every 3 to 4 hours allows you to keep your appetite under control and avoid those situations where you become so famished that you gorge on junk.
A New Mindset
Healthy eating is not just an action it is also a mindset. Make those healthy habit changes lasting and profound by also adjusting your mindset towards food as needed.
Don’t Drink Calories
Some coffee house drinks are over 1200 calories each, what a waste!
Moderation Still Counts
While eating clean can naturally reduce caloric intake, if you gorge on steak and chicken then those calorie counts go up fast.
Learn Healthy Dessert Recipes
Get The Whole Family Involved
Clean eating is good for adults and kids.
Fermented Foods are Your Friends
Fermentation promotes “good” microbes in the gut for improved immunity, nutrient absorption, and other health benefits.
Blend Instead Of Juicing
Smoothies give you the whole fruit, fiber and all.
Ask A Friend To Switch To Clean Eating
Support makes it that much better
Discover A New Vegetable Each Week
Discover A New Fruit Each Week
Discover A New Herb Each Week
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Moderation and portion control are both key elements of not depriving yourself.
Of course, you can treat yourself on occasion, but define what that means and stick with it.
Give Yourself Time To Adjust
Switching from a processed food diet to eating clean will take patience, and time to adjust. Be kind to yourself and just do your best every day.
These are just a few clean eating tips to help you achieve and maintain this way of life. Look for ways to continue to learn all that you can about clean eating.
Take your time to determine what works best for you while making a slow, but gradual progression in the right direction. Conquer each tip one step at a time and look for ways to modify them so that they fit your preferences.
You can read part 1 of Clean Eating Tips HERE