Operation Skinny Jeans: What Clean Eating Means To Me

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Clean Eating Means To Me

Clean eating is, at its simplest, eating foods as close to the way nature gave them to us as possible.

The easiest way to do this? Avoid processed foods.

"But Alex," you say, "are you implying that it's a raw food diet? After all, cooking is a form of processing."

Yes, cooking is a form of processing. And no, clean eating isn't a raw food diet. Cooking is totally okay.

 Here are the rules I'm going to be following:

-No Processed Foods (duh)
     My personal biggies to avoid: refined sugars, white flour, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and food additives (artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, maltodextrin, etc.). Now I'm going to be up front with you here -- I have been eating PB2, which contains sugar. However, it only contains 1g/serving, and I usually don't even use a full serving, so I'm allowing myself to be a little lax there.  Other than that though, I'm only using locally-made honey and organic pure maple syrup to sweeten things (and no, I'm not talking Aunt Jemima!), and I've switched bleached flour for whole-wheat (and I'm actually just eating pita bread right now...I was shocked by how many kinds of bread have HFCS in them!)

-Choosing Foods With Fewer Ingredients
     Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food goes by the five ingredients or fewer rule, which is a good rule of thumb. I generally follow that guideline, but there are occasions that I will go a few over, if all the ingredients are natural.

-Make Sure to Read Food Labels
     This goes along with the last rule. Just because something looks like it will be good and clean doesn't mean it is.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was really surprised to find HFCS in some of the seemingly healthiest bread.

-No "Diet" Foods
     "Fat-free" foods are not a good choice, because the reason they're fat-free is because all kinds of additives have been put in to add flavor that was lost with the fat. These things aren't good for your body. So yes, I'm choosing butter over margarine -- it's not full of synthetic junk, and a little goes a long way.

-Drink Lots Of Water
     Water is the best thing to drink.  It's good for your body and has no calories, fat, or anything.  It's recommended to drink 64oz a day. I'm also drinking 100% juice, tea, and my fake milk.

-Buy Local and Organic When Possible
     I know buying local and organic costs more, and isn't always possible, but they're good decisions to make when you can.  When you buy local, you know where your food is coming from. Many farmers are willing to let you check out their farms.  Organic foods don't vary nutritionally from non-organic foods, but when you buy organic, you know there are no pesticides on your foods (and I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in having a can of deet for dinner).

So those are my eating guidelines.  Pretty simple, but still challenging (and yes, I know that made very little sense).

Have you tried eating clean? What guidelines do you follow?


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4 comments :

  1. Hey both.....new followers from the GFC Blog hop. Good luck with the weightloss...i recently did a trial for Slimavate and their 3 week wieghtloss plan....lost over half a stone so pretty pleased...look forward to your updates!
    http://toxylicious.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the follow! I'll be sure to check out your blog :)

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  2. I have not tried strictly eating clean, however I have been eating "cleaner". It just makes sense!

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    1. Right?! When I think about some of the things I've been putting in my body for the last 20+ years, it makes me kind of sick. It's definitely hard, and I know I won't be 100% clean 100% of the time, but I normally eat SO MUCH sugar and bleached flour in my foods that cutting back is definitely going to make a difference in how I feel.

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