Hey there guys!
No WIAW today. Instead, I have a real treat for you all!
A few weeks ago Tracy from Healthline contacted me about some guest posts. She had some really interesting topics in mind that I thought would be super great reads for everyone here at Clean Eating Teen!
This edition is all about WHAT Clean Eating is, and why it is so important to one's health and fitness.
I am honored to have Healthline post here of Clean Eating Teen. I have a few more in store so watch out for them! ;)
What is Clean Eating and Why You Should Give it a Try
The basis of clean eating is eating foods in their most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet. Rather, it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life and an improved environment.
The term “clean eating” is being used just about everywhere these days, from dietitians to doctors to personal trainers, but the underlying message is the same -- Eat Clean. So what is clean eating?
Clean Eating Explained
As already mentioned, clean eating is about consuming foods in their most natural state. This means avoiding foods with a lot of added sugars, foods with high levels of saturated fat & trans fat, foods with a ton of preservatives, packaged foods and processed foods. Additionally, you want to stay away from foods that have been stripped of their nutritional value and have been injected with chemicals.
Clean eating isn’t an exact science, and does not have standard guidelines, but there are some primary “do’s” and “don’ts” when referring to clean eating. They are the following:
* Eat healthy fats from natural sources such as coconut oil, avocados and nuts
* Make healthy cooking choices, such as sauteing, steaming and baking
* Drink water, not sugary drinks, sports drinks or sodas. They are killers
* Eat more organic and local fruits and vegetables, and less meat
* If you do eat meat and dairy, choose grass-fed and free-range
* Eat unrefined, whole-grains
Again, keeping foods you consume as natural as possible is key. For example, if you eat cauliflower, but you cover it in cheese, butter and bake it for too long, you’ve just destroyed its nutritional value and you’ve added a lot of preservatives, chemicals and fat to what would have been a wholesome, nutritious food source. A better option would be to lightly steam the cauliflower, toss with a little coconut oil, lime juice, and fresh shredded cheese. Learning to eat and cook in a clean manner is all about learning to simplify things and not overdoing it with your meal preparation. When you keep things simple, meals normally turn out to be more healthy and nutritious.
Clean eating is not a diet or eating plan with rigid rules, and does not require counting calories. There is no set definition for clean eating. Rather, it is about simplicity, and no, you’re not going to develop an eating disorder or inappropriate feelings towards food. Don’t over-analyze every ingredient of everything you eat. That’s not good. Progress is made and goals are reached through consistency, not perfection. Be consistent most of the time, and the good health and fit body you’re seeking will come.
A good approach to clean eating is the 80/20 rule. In other words, make the right choices 80% of the time. If you’re going out to dinner and you have spaghetti instead of salmon, don’t beat yourself up. You’re still maintaining your 80% standard of clean eating. And what’s more, that one dish of spaghetti doesn’t negate the rest of that day’s good efforts.
Ultimately, you’re going to have great success, improve your overall health and make plenty of progress as you stay consistent and make the right choices more often than not. When you strive for perfection you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment, bad feelings and failure. Relax and tell yourself it’s about steady consistency, not perfection.
Health Benefits of Clean Eating
Clean eating is attractive because it improves your health. By avoiding refined sugars, chemicals and preservatives, you’re cutting down on the likelihood of developing serious health conditions, like cancer and diabetes.
If you’re trying to lose weight, improving your diet could be just the thing you need to shed those pounds. If you’re used to a diet full of preservatives and added chemicals, suddenly pulling them from your daily intake may help get your body back to normal and optimized. It’s uncanny how small changes in a diet can drastically change our body, and affect your ability to lose weight, get fit and have a sense of well-being for the rest of your life.
Other health benefits of clean living include better sleep and mood, blood sugar balance, improved cholesterol levels, more energy and a more robust immune system. The decision to start eating cleanly is a personal one, but once you make it, you will find that there are tons of food options to choose from, and you will reap the health and weight-loss rewards for years to come.
David Novak is an international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world.. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries. He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com/.