Fundamentally, clean eating focuses on eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains that are as close as possible to their natural form, and avoiding refined and processed foods. It is about being more mindful of the ingredients that you are consuming so that what you eat nourishes the body.
I first started clean eating around 6 years ago after reading a Tosca Reno book and I really haven’t looked back since. While I do still have the occasional treat, this way of eating has really made me so much more aware of what I eat and where it comes from.
If you are interested in the clean eating diet, here are my top tips to start.
- First of all, I wouldn’t recommend going through everything in your kitchen cupboards/fridge/freezer and throwing it all out, as is often portrayed when someone starts a new diet. To me, that just seems wasteful. Yes, a lot of it might not be in line with a clean eating diet, but it can still be eaten in moderation.
- Familiarise yourself with ingredients lists on food items. If you are not sure what certain ingredients are, do some research.
- One of my guiding principles when looking at an ingredients list is, if I can’t buy all the ingredients that make up the item individually, then I don’t buy that item, for example, tinned foods often contain citric acid or certain foods contain natural flavourings. The last time I checked, you can’t buy citric acid or natural flavourings in the supermarket. So I don’t buy those items that include them on the ingredients list.
- Another guiding principle for me is that ideally an ingredients list should contain no more than 5 ingredients, and they should all be items that I can pronounce and define myself. If a food item is full of chemical names and things that I have no idea about, then I don’t buy it.
- Look at different brands of the same item as different companies often add different ingredients.
- Rather than buying processed foods, ask yourself if you can you make the item instead with the individual ingredients. I always do this because it means that I know exactly what is going into a dessert for example, as opposed to an off-the-shelf dessert that may contain a mountain of ingredients.
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