WHAT IS CLEAN EATING?
Everyone is talking about clean eating these days and for important reasons. When you eat clean food consistently, you fill your body with the nourishment it needs to thrive. Here are a few benefits you get with clean eating.
- Safe fats that support a healthy heart, improve brain function and promote happiness
- Vitamins and minerals that increase energy levels and provide stamina
- Healthy proteins that can build muscle and keep your body trim
- Antioxidants that provide immune support and healthy blood
- Enzymes that help your body fight pain and heal faster
Plus, clean eating is free of toxic chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and other harmful substances that may cause a plethora of diseases and discomforts in your body. Simply put, clean eating is a lifestyle approach to food that seeks to choose, prepare and eat food the way nature intended. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, keep reading to learn how you can begin to implement this type eating program in your life.
LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU
Too much food is not healthy. Can you remember a time when you felt good after eating that third plate of food or that fourth piece of cake? Your tummy fills up for a reason. Our bodies are designed to tell us when they don’t need any more food. It is our responsibility to listen. If you heed carefully to the signals, your body will guide you to the foods that are healthy and away from the foods that are not. Eating too much sugar can have serious detrimental effects, leading to mood swings, hypoglycaemia and even diabetes. It is also addictive.
GO FOR ORGANIC SELECTIONS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
Always buy organic foods when your budget allows. Toxic pesticides and other additives approved for use in conventional foods can cause a host of health issues and even chronic illness over time.
AVOID GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
There are so many products sold on the market that contain genetically altered ingredients. Clean eaters avoid GMO products. Most GMO products contain high levels of the herbicide residual called glyphosate.
A manufacturer of glyphosate, Monsanto, recently lost a lawsuit. The courts ruled that their flagship product contributed to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Beyond that, we don’t know what other harmful effects GMO products might have on our immune systems and overall health. But this leads to the next crucial clean-eating protocol.
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LABELS
The best choice is to eat whole, natural foods (which will be discussed next). But if you buy anything in a can, carton, container or another package — always read the label.
Dangerous chemicals are lurking in many food products that can be found up and down the aisles of your favourite supermarkets — even if they have organic labels.
If you look at the label and see a long list of ingredients, it is probably not clean. Pick items with the fewest ingredients possible (and with real ingredients).
MAKE WHOLE FOODS YOUR PRIMARY CONCERN
Clean eating is about putting lots of natural foods into your diet, things that are as nature intended.
When you walk through the produce aisle at the supermarket, you are seeing real, whole food. These are things that have not been altered from their original design (in most cases).
Meat should be grass-fed; fish – wild caught. Avoid mercury and other pollutants by sticking with the smaller species. Grains should be avoided these days as most Australian grains have been subjected to hybridisation and genetic engineering. Also, whole grains tend to irritate the colon. If you are concerned about getting enough roughage to facilitate regularity, eat more good fats. The bi-product of fat is water. It is healthier to lubricate rather than to irritate. Eat a variety of fresh vegetables, especially those rich in colour. Berries are a major source of health-promoting polyphenols. Milk should be whole, unpasteurised and non-homogenised. Fruit is best eaten in season and in moderation.
DRINK WATER AS CLOSE TO NATURE’S DESIGN
When you turn on your tap, there are probably more chemicals and additives than you realise. This is especially true if you are using city water.
Tests have shown that tap water can contain more than just chlorine and fluoride. City water can also contain pesticides, prescription drug residues (even birth control) and other dangerous chemicals.
Natural water ordinarily has a pH of around neutral or slightly alkaline and is loaded with naturally occurring minerals. Avoid water stored in plastic or that has been purified in a way that has removed the vital minerals.
JUST SAY ‘NO’ TO REFINED FOODS
Society is always trying to improve on nature’s design, but it comes with a cost. When you refine foods like flour, sugar and salt, it removes vital nutrients that are needed for digestion and absorption.
Honey in moderation is a delightful, clean sweetener that can replace the white granules in your pantry. However, it is always better to develop a savoury palate. Sugar only came onto the market as a commercial food product in 1820. Prior to that, most people enjoyed a savoury or even bitter palate. Longevity studies conducted by Dr Weston Price over ten years confirmed that the population groups that enjoyed the longest disease-free lives consumed a diet that was high in good fats, moderate in protein with controlled consumption of carbohydrates. His brilliant book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is available at the Living Valley shop, or online at https://livingvalleyshop.com.au. Or call 1 800 644 733.
EAT THE RIGHT FAT
Your body needs fat to thrive, but eating the wrong kinds of fat is dangerous. Clean eating incorporates good fats into the diet and kicks the others out of the house.
Good fats to include in your diet:
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Cold-pressed Avocado Oil
- Grass-fed Butter
- Soft and semi-soft Cheeses
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Lamb Fat
- Chicken Skin
- Duck Fat
Bad fats to avoid:
- Soybean Oil
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- All Heat-Pressed Oils
- All Unsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Hydrogenated Oils and Fats
MAKE A DECISION
Clean eating can be fun and rewarding, especially when you start getting your energy back and feeling alive again. Our bodies are made to eat natural, whole foods by design. Hopefully, this guide can start you on your clean-eating journey with confidence. The concept of ‘Clean Eating’ is covered on a personal level by the Naturopaths at Living Valley. It is also presented in more detail during the health lectures at the retreat, where many people each year make a new start for a healthier and happier future.