Cut It Out: Clean Eating

October 8, 2013

I’ve never seen two other words go more viral than ‘Clean Eating’ in the last few months in my life.  A phase until the next best thing? Are you cringing at the sight of the two overly used #hashtags on instagram? Are you chowing down on a beefy burger just waiting for the craze to pass you by?
Sadly for you, it’s not a craze. It’s a lifestyle. Treat it as a lifestyle. Educate yourself. Educate your family. Call it something else to make yourself feel better. But I can guarantee you this… its not going anywhere.
Our generation is becoming more educated on the food that properly fuels and nourishes our bodies. How can you go back to binging on Oreos and grabbing a soda to quench your thirst once you’ve learned how companies actually make these “food” products?
Once I quit eating the really unhealthy food, I stopped craving them. Soda? Haven’t ordered one in 10 months. The downside? Absolutely nothing.
I understand that beginning to eat clean aka to eat ‘very healthy’ can be difficult for some people to make habitable. Where do I start? I always say to begin with cutting out a few no brainers. The basic no no’s. Try to eliminate all or one of the items below and go from there. Continue to educate yourself and you’ll be preaching in no time!

1. Soda. On your next grocery trip… don’t buy it! Don’t give your family or yourselves the option to grab a can when you’re feeling thirsty. Did you know the average can contains 10 teaspoons of sugar? Drinking as few as two soft drinks a week can nearly double a person’s risk of getting pancreatic cancer? Consuming more than 2.5 sugary sodas per day significantly increases your risk of death from cardiovascular disease as well as your risk of developing diabetes.
No thank you.
Eat this: Drink water! Lots of water!

2. Processed Meat, aka the hotdog. These products tend to have a lot of salt, fat and cholesterol, including very few nutrients, like fiber.
Eat this: Eat good quality lean meats.

3. Low-Fat Foods. Food that is labeled low-fat can be a tricky one! Low-fat means it’s better for me, right? False. They often substitute sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to add flavor and texture to bland processed products. Choose the real stuff.
Eat this: Real food!

4. Butter. Like soda, I haven’t cooked with butter in months! Opt for sautéing your vegetables in a little bit of oil and the products natural juices. No need for butter!
Eat this: Olive oil/Coconut oil

5. White bread. “What are you in elementary school?” was a quote from an old boss in Syracuse who was clearly more into his health than I was. White bread has a high glycemic index because it’s made from refined grains that are rapidly absorbed during digestion, causing sharp spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. White bread is low in fiber, which is essential to a well balanced diet.
Eat this: Whole grain bread

6. Milk Chocolate. Who has a sweet tooth? This girl does! I used to eat an endless amount of chocolate and candy without a care in the world. I still have my moments of giving into my cravings… but when I do, I reach for the dark chocolate. Not all chocolate is bad for you! Dark chocolate is high in vitamins and minerals, full of antioxidants, helps control blood sugar, and increases blood flow to the brain. Just watch your consumption 🙂

Eat this: Dark chocolate.. even better? Reach for a fruit.
Helpful tip: Cook your meals at home. The other week I joined my husband at the local bar for a 7am viewing to watch Arsenal play. I ordered egg whites, chicken, and spinach for breakfast. Healthy choice, eh? I thought so. When they came out… the eggs were dripping in butter and could taste so much salt in each bite. I don’t know about you, but that was disgusting. Restaurants use an abundance of unhealthy ways to cook your meals to make them taste “good.” When you cook at home, you’re the chef and you decide what you put into your meals.