Clean Eating: 101

What is it?

A lifestyle centered around eating mainly unprocessed foods, fresh fruits & vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Why should you practice clean eating?

You are what you eat, literally. The nutritional content of the food we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, and hormones.  Our bodies are manufactured out of the food we consume. According to Dr. Mark Hyman “Food contains information that speaks to our genes, not just calories for energy.”  Eating clean may reduce the risk of certain diseases, reduce inflammation, create an internal environment to support healing, improve your physical appearance and mental health, and give your energy level a much-needed boost.

So what should you eat?

Lots of fresh fruit and veggies, organic lean meats (beef, turkey, chicken, salmon, etc.), nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, organic plain greek yogurt (add your own fruit), whole grain pastas and breads, cooked whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, wild rice and whole rolled oats. Hummus, lentils, and beans. Pasture raised omega-3 eggs and dairy-free milk like coconut, almond, and rice milk. Cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, unrefined sesame oil and grass-fed butter and ghee (avoid low-fat or no-fat). Organic tea both hot and cold, freshly pressed green juices and vegetable smoothies and of course, water. Lots of water.

What should you avoid?

Soda and other sugary drinks, fast food, fried foods, refined white bread, white pasta and white rice, foods with added preservatives, dried fruits, choose fresh fruits and vegetables over canned ones, avoid all products labeled “reduced fat” or “low-fat” including butter and dairy. Avoid chips, shelf-stable fruit juices, candy bars, cereals along with processed and boxed foods.

The 80/20 rule - what is it?

Eat healthy, whole & minimally processed foods 80% of the time. Indulge 20% of the time.

Eating clean 100% of the time isn’t realistic - or fun!  There is no need to miss out on the birthday cake or the occasional Friday night pizza slice when the majority of your diet is dedicated to eating clean.  Clean eating is about balance. When the body receives nutrients regularly from a predominantly clean diet, it is better equipped to process the occasional treat from your system without much consequence.  

Jen King