Spring cleaning…you either do it or you don’t. With the sun shining and the birds chirping their spring tunes, some of us get the urge to “clean it up” by getting rid of junk and making things organized and freshened up. Others may have no desire, never have and never will. But, whether you like things organized and put together on the outside shouldn’t affect whether or not you want to do “spring cleaning” on the inside.
I read a quote recently by an unknown author that said, “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” Good question. If you know you’re due for a little spring cleaning, let’s dig in a bit more.
What is “clean eating” anyway? I think the most simple way to put it is to say that clean eating is eating foods in their most natural state, unaltered, unprocessed, and as fresh and seasonal as possible. Even eating “mostly” clean can add all kinds of spring to your step! Here are a few ground rules for you to use when “cleaning it up!”
1. From Animal and Ground: If it came from an Animal or came from the Ground without being altered (no preservatives or chemicals were added), most likely it’s a good choice. An exception would be if it is high in saturated fats like what you’d find in some cuts of meat.
2. Boxless and Fresh: If it comes in a box, most likely something has been added to it for shelf life. Or, if the item has been pre-cooked like grilled chicken breast strips, there have been preservatives and likely, sodium added. Try to not eat out of a box and choose fresh items if you can.
3. Avoid added Sugars: If it’s on the ingredients list in any of it’s forms like corn syrup, glucose, molasses, or brown sugar, then it’s added. Many foods have naturally occurring sugars in them and that’s ok.
4. Short ingredient list: If a food has been altered, the ingredient list is likely to be longer than 2 or 3 ingredients. Try to keep the ingredients list SHORT! If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it’s probably not a good choice.
5. Be picky about Convenience food: If it follows the above rules, then enjoy it’s convenience! An apple is super convenient! But, if it has a wrapper of some sort, needs water added and then you nuke it, then likely, it’s probably not “clean”.
6. Avoid Fried and high saturated fats: Just like added sugars, watch out for added fats! There are definitely good fats, but trans fats, saturated fats and hydrogenated fats should be LIMITED!
Clean eating is not a diet, it’s an educated choice of picking the foods that benefit your body. It is food at it’s best and in it’s most natural state. If this is all new to you, then starting small is good. Pick one thing from the list above to focus on. Big changes are made in small steps.
I am doing a webinar this month on “Getting Ready for Summer” where I’ll talk about clean eating and other things you can do to give your body a “spring clean overhaul”. Be sure to click on this link to register for your date of choice! Only 100 spots available.