Seems like all these buzzwords surrounding diet keep popping up. Now the craze is Clean Eating and of course, there are already many books on the best approach to ensure you are doing this properly. How did all these authors become experts on a subject that is loosely interpreted to begin with? It has less to do with some 'new-age' approach to eating and everything to do with just another cleverly disguised attempt at duping the General Public-for your money, of course! Dang I hate to be repetitive but the health and diet business is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Marketers know that we desperately want to hang on to our youth, have amazing bodies, ran faster, jump higher, etc. All they need to do is package a promise to us that we can achieve this by using their products and diet methods and we beat a path to their door! The clean eating craze is now a 'product'. You do know that marketer's (among other agencies) employ web crawlers to scan the World Wide Web-reading everything they find-and that these programs gather personal information, making it very easy to know what each of us wants, right? It's a marketer's dream come true-intimate info on our every need, want and desire delivered personally into their hands. They disect that information, develop these buzzwords themselves and then sell it back to us. I see all these claims on packaging when out shopping and it makes me want to scream-terms like 'All Natural' that are so grossly misused and abused and now 'Clean Eating' is right up there with that!
Okay, well now I'm afraid to say it again so what does it mean really? It's just a new term for healthy eating. You know how fashion goes out of style but always seems to come back? Healthy eating never went out of fashion but it's hard to get people to buy more of something that has already been played out because we are hyper-consumers, always looking for the next best thing. Personally, I find this very sad. I am not in style at all, I've been driving the same vehicle for 14 years, and I stick to what works. I hate shopping for anything other than food. I would never consider camping out in front of any store, for any item, just to be the first to have it. I grew up on a little farm and healthy eating was the standard. When the advent of fast food came about in the 1950's, this became the trendy thing but not with my family. Now things have come full-circle and it's trendy to eat healthy! Even the fast food establishments are putting 'The Healthy Side' options on their menus (that should be a HUGE red-flag about the rest of the items, LOL).
I do get asked quite often about healthy eating. This surprises me really as it's pretty straight-forward: minimally processed foods, fresh, organic, non-GMO fruits, vegetables and grains, avoid or at least cut back on added/refined sugars, avoid trans-fats and limit saturated fats, avoid food additives like artificial flavors/colors, avoid/limit alcohol and caffeine and drink lots of water. This is a great place to start.
One of the basics I rely on daily is listed in my Diet/Recipe gallery: Daily Dose of Dang That's Green Smoothie. I want to make sure I'm getting plenty of raw food so a batch gets blended up every morning. I store it in a large container and drink it throughout the day. Look at the basic ingredients and what they provide:
Carrot-This root veggie is a good source of beta carotene, fiber, antioxidant agents, vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. I use 3 large.
Celery-Rich in vitamin K. Also contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. Though composed primarily of water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. I use 4 stalks.
Spinach-High in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. I use 3 tightly-packed cups.
Avocado-High in vitamins B5, B6, C, E, and K, potassium, folate. Contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). Contains heart-healthy mono-unsaturated oleic acid, can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high in fiber, can also help you absorb nutrients from plant foods, contains the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are extremely important for your eyes. I use 1/2.
Ginger-Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of ginger decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight. It has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Relieves nausea and digestive issues. And tastes so awesome! I use 3 tablespoons of freshly grated.
Pineapple-I LOVE this fruit and 1 cup is only around 80 Kcalories! Provides immune system support, bone strength, eye health by reducing the risk of macular degeneration due in part to its high amount of vitamin C, manganese and B1; bromelain, which provides anti-Inflammatory and digestive benefits. I use 1 cup.
Apple-Extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. And if you read my blog '12 Foods Your (Cat?) Wants You To Eat', apparently they're also good for your sex life! I use 1 large/2 small Fiji's or Gala's.
Basil-You may think this is a funky ingredient for a smoothie but I urge you to give it a try-it's actually quite delicious! Excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, a very good source of copper and vitamin C, and a good source of calcium, iron, folate and omega-3 fatty acids. I use 1/4 cup fresh leaves.
Cucumber-Contain fisetin, known for brain health; lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which may help to lower your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers as well as the phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties. Contains the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene and the flavonoids quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol. I use 1/2 large cucumber.
Lemon-Great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and copper. I use 1 whole, minus most of the peel.
2 cups filtered water-I assume you know how vital this is!
I credit this daily staple for glowing skin and healthy hair (over the last 8 months of diet clean-up, in addition to the physical transformation, my hair has made drastic improvements also!). I know a lot of folks who rarely eat raw food of any sort-adding this to your diet if this is you will make a HUGE difference in how you feel and to your health overall. Your body will thank you!
As for the rest of my diet, I use the recipes in my gallery more often than anything else and I rarely eat out-one of the best changes you can incorporate for healthier eating. I use only organics and I don't add salt. While some of my recipes list salt, this is just for you. Don't add it if you don't need it. Besides, sodium occurs naturally in most everything though it is different from sodium chloride or what we add at the table. And-don't be afraid to tweak recipes! Yesterday I made the Paleo Persimmon Pudding recipe, trading organic pumpkin for persimmon and added 2 scoops of vanilla whey protein powder. Here's a photo of it sitting in the water bath, ready to be baked:
The addition of the protein powder was fabulous! This is the bodybuilder's version of pumpkin pie! So damn delish! You can add Stevia if you like yours sweeter without adding unwanted calories and as a natural source of sweet. Def one of my fave recipes.
I also made the Massaged Kale/Quinoa salad and added hemp hearts and sprouted legumes, things not listed in my recipe. I had been craving this for weeks and finally got around to making it-yum!
I also whipped up a batch of Carrot Cake Protein Oatmeal. I used steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats so I cooked them first and then used 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk instead of 2 1/2 cups. I also added 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Another killer good recipe!
I don't have difficulty getting good, quality protein and though I am a vegetarian, trust me, food is not bland or boring. I hope you will give some of the recipes in my gallery a try and use the comments box on the page to provide feedback!