What’s Clean Eating?
Eat clean means eating foods without added preservatives, sugar, salt and other chemicals. By preparing our food at home, we know what is going into the food we eat and what we are putting in our bodies. By eating foods that come from the earth, we are eating more naturally and nourishing our body with key vitamins and minerals. Packaged foods can be full of harmful chemicals that can eventually lead to cancer, disease and/or pre-mature aging. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and good fats we can maintain a healthy weight, as well as prevent cancer, disease and aging. Not only will eating clean help our bodies perform better and healthier, but it will help us look better. So let’s all start to eat clean to live a longer, stronger life and achieve our best body from the inside out!
Breakfast is by far the most important meal of our day. It gives us the energy we will need for the rest of our day and kick starts our metabolism. Having a fibre filled breakfast regulates our digestive tract and helps lower cholesterol. It is important to include complex carbohydrates, unsaturated fat and protein for a complete breakfast. When carbohydrates are paired with protein we feel fuller longer and do not feel that mid-morning stomach growl! If you have a difficult time getting your morning protein, add a few spoonfuls protein powder to any oatmeal or pancake recipe! Egg whites are also a quick and healthy option, in which you can have with some cinnamon or chopped veggies.
If you have that starchy carb craving or you are eyeing the all you can eat buffet and are thinking of waiting until dinner, don’t! Lunch time we are better off having our complex carbohydrates because throughout the day we want to start big with our meals and decrease them as the day progresses. Lunch should still include your protein and vegetables to keep you satisfied. This can also be a time of day where many of us eat out on our lunch break if we do not pack a lunch, so there are some bring-a-long options for you. If you get stuck having to eat out, you will find yourself stressing what is in your food. Many restaurant options will offer white breads, pasta and rice also, which are higher on the glycemic index and will not keep you full very long. So take a few minutes the night before and whip up a healthy lunch! Your stomach (and your hips and thighs) will thank you!
Dinner as our last meal should be light, but filling. We want to include lean protein and lots of vegetables with plenty of flavour! Seasoning meats and vegetables with spices can make our meals more flavourful without the extra calories. To make dinner fun, you can incorporate different themes for every night. You can try different protein sources like chicken, turkey and fish and a variety of vegetables. Experimenting with a variety of cultural dishes can be a good change too. Try homemade sushi or stir fry with different vegetable and sauce combinations. Sauces can make all of the difference in experiencing different tastes (keep in mind low-fat, low sugar is best). So go for it! Try Mexican, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, whatever you can think of. Dinner should be adventurous!
Did someone say snacks? Yes, snacking is GOOD for you! Eating smaller portions every 2-4 hours keeps our metabolism active throughout the day and prevents overeating at mealtime. If we are at home or on-the-go we need to choose healthy snacks. Snacks should be easy, with little preparation and simple to grab on the run. Not only should our snack choices be healthy, but well-balanced to keep us satisfied and not wanting more. These snack recipes will help ward off hunger and keep your energy up throughout the day! Give yourself options and don’t be afraid to add your own flair to best suit your own tastes!