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131 2/3/12 12:07 A
I really enjoyed reading LAETU5's answer. That was a great response. To me, clean eating is avoiding most boxed/pre-made foods. It's about buying fresh meat (organic if you can afford it..I usually can't) and fresh fruits and veggies and taking a little extra time to prepare your own meals. For example, I won't buy Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, but I make macaroni with whole grain pasta and grated cheese.
However, I like my Fiber One bars and almond milk and certain things. I let my son have whole grain Goldfish crackers.. Learn about the foods you eat and decide what you're comfortable with.
A lot of healthy eating is about education. Read the ingredients list. If you see a crazy name on a box, it isn't necessarily bad. But look into it. If you spend some extra time getting to know what you're putting into your body for a couple weeks, you're eating habits will change. After you are eat healthy for a while, you whole body feels so much better mentally and physically. Try it out!
That does help clean it up a lot. I'm not looking to become someone who eats unroasted unsalted sunflower seeds and carrots as a staple (you get the picture), but the whole 'eat less processed foods' statement threw me off. I know there's the basics out there, but it's the details I'm lost on.
I have a few friends in some kind of a clean eating spark team, that must be what they're doing. I'll check it out. Thanks for giving some direction to my quest!
Pretty much anything that is taken from it's natural state and cut, milled, or otherwise cooked into a different form is processed....doesn't matter if it's commercial, organic, or home made.
But since there are valid reasons to not want to or need to follow a raw food diet (in fact cooking releases the nutrients in some foods)...what you are looking to do is eat "cleanly." And even that means different things for different people...it's kinda popular right now so you know how people run with fads and make all sorts of strange changes to them.
What you are basically looking to do is minimize stuff you buy out of a box; especially those that have lists of stuff that you'd never put into it at home. But don't go overboard and exclude dried beans and rice just because you wouldn't pick them up from the plant in that state.
In my opinion, cheese is clean eating if it's made with the same ingredients you would use if you were to have to make it yourself. And obviously it needs to be eaten in moderation either way.
Some people exclude meats from clean eating....whatever. If you are really concerned about antibiotics etc then you'll want to try to get organic meats whenever possible. However buying organic is too expensive for many people. I try to find it on sale then freeze. I buy whole organic chickens because they don't cost that much more than the regular whole chickens. Frankly, just do whatever you can afford. Same for milk; whatever you do don't get roped into that raw milk nonsense...either drink it pasteurized or don't drink milk; its not safe raw. Personally, I prefer almond milk (and yes it's processed but the ingredients list is okay).
To boil it all down...just use common sense. It's a way of eating intended to reduce toxin exposure and encourage intake of quality nutrients. It won't necessarily help you lose weight; I know that it hasn't contributed to my progress (either way I have to keep track of portions and calories).
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