Clean eating.  It’s quite the buzz phrase these days.  But what does it mean?  It really is the simplest and healthiest approach to eating!  All you have to do is…

Eat whole, unprocessed, preferably organic foods. 

Pretty simple, right?  Not for everyone.  What I have found with my clients is that once they begin to shift their mindset to clean eating they begin to realize just how much processed food they are eating and then they feel completely lost.  The good news is that the learning curve is smooth and quick!  It really just takes understanding the difference between processed and REAL food!  The beauty of this plan is that you can customize it for you. How?  Decide on how much clean and processed food your diet will be made up of.

I like to go by the 80/20 rule (80% clean and 20% not-so-clean) but strive for 90/10. If you are new to clean eating set your own guideline (maybe 50/50) and gradually change that until you are at a happy balance.  It may take some time to find replacements for some of your favorite things — but after a couple of weeks you will know exactly where to turn when you want some crackers!

Another rule we have in our house is that if you crave it and you make it you can eat it!  This makes it a little harder to indulge and it allows you to have control over the ingredients you put into your food.  You can choose healthier substitutions AND no preservatives needed!  I’ve mentioned before that I LOVE a nice French baguette.  Instead of running to the grocery store around the corner for immediate satisfaction I have put the time and effort into making my own loaf (which takes time if you like the double-rise recipe like I do).  This gives me the time to have a glass of water, munch on some greens and satiate my craving in a healthy way.  Once the loaf is made all I need is a small amount because I haven’t let my cravings take advantage of me (later we will talk about what cravings actually are!)

Finally, my BIG eating clean rule is toss out the calories!  If you are making healthy clean choices then you don’t need to worry about calorie count.  Remember, not all calories are created equal!  Some foods (say an avocado) is a high calorie, high fat food but it metabolizes much differently than the same number of calories in something like pasta.  So, don’t be afraid of your foods — this is not a diet, this is a lifestyle and we shouldn’t fear what we are eating but love what we are eating!   This is a good reminder for me because I find whenever I start food journalling I become fixated on the calories, grams of protein, fat & carbs.  This is no way to live.  Free yourself from your food — make clean choices and eat — you should NEVER be hungry!

5 Rules of Clean Eating:

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed, mostly organic food
  2. Strive for the 80/20 rule (80% clean, 20% processed)
  3. If you make it, you can eat it (within reason)
  4. Don’t worry about calories!
  5. Eat in abundance

Next up: Week 2 Results

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