So what the heck is clean eating? There are different definitions out there and different levels of eating clean, as in how extreme clean do you want to be.
Here’s my version: trying to cut out (or at least significantly reduce) foods that have ingredients in them that I can’t pronounce.
My understanding is that as we have evolved, we continue to want and strive for faster, easier, and cheaper in so many areas of our lives. In the food industry, the “faster, easier, and cheaper” concept has led to incredibly processed foods. Yes, they last longer. Yes, they can be more convenient. (Think frozen dinner and fast food restaurants.) But with that said, I think the missing part of the equation– “better”– was completely lost.
Overly processed foods has actually been ripped of it’s original nutrients and often filled with ingredients that #1 aren’t even food to begin with and #2 are actually harmful to our bodies. Eating like this means long-term health issues (think cancer, diabetes, heart disease) and short-term issues including more fat. Why? Because when our bodies don’t recognize a nonfood ingredient, it can be turned to fat for storage, rather than used as fuel. Or worse, actually poison our bodies
So…clean eating to me means paying more attention to labels and cutting out the stuff that isn’t really food to begin with. I mean I want to have the best chance at health in the long run and a better chance at looking and feeling better today. (You can check out some great clean eating recipes here.)
There are other principles to clean eating. My introduction to the concept included reading a great book by Tosca Reno called The Eat-Clean Diet: Recharged!
Some of the other principles she outlines include:
- Eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours, which equates to 5-6 meals per day.
- Pairing a complex carbohydrate with a lean protein at every meal (even snack) to keep your metabolism going all day long.
- Getting enough healthy fats
- Eating breakfast within 1 hour of rising
- Getting enough water each day
How I got started with this whole clean eating thing was long after the birth of my third son, I just couldn’t seem to get the extra weight to go away. I lost a little from regular exercise, but my weight plateaued. Nutrition was the missing link for me and clean eating is a concept that I learned about and embraced.
All the other diets out there seem to come and go, but who can argue with eating real food?
Additionally, the idea of long-term health was something that hit home for me with this clean eating concept. Through my work as a social worker at a cancer support community, I took a nutrition class specific to prevention and treatment of cancer. What I learned was that the concepts of clean eating for weight loss are also the same concepts for overall health, including cancer prevention and treatment: cut the processed crap, eat real food equates to overall health. Amazing.
So clean eating isn’t just about cutting processed foods out. It’s also about getting whole, natural foods in.
Enter Shakeology. At the same time I was learning about clean eating, I was introduced to this amazing drink: Shakeology. Made with an astounding 70 nutrients and world super foods, anti-oxidants, pre and probiotics for digestion, and on and on, Shakeology is one meal where I know I’m getting all the nutrients I need that I may not be getting in my other meals each day. I’m talking quinoa, acai berry, green tea, maca root, sacha inchi, flax, and the list goes on.
Now would it be best to make a super food shake yourself with fresh quinoa, acai berries, and kamut grass (plus 67 more superfoods)? Of course! But who has access to those world super foods or has the money to afford buying all those things separately? Unlike the other processed crap, Shakeology actually makes good on the concept of “faster and easier” AND it also actually is BETTER. (And my boys even approve of the taste and have a yummy way to get all these awesome nutrients in THEIR little bodies.)
Are you interested in learning more? Join our FREE online 5-Day Clean Eating 101 Facebook Group by registering here. Groups form monthly.