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EATING WELL IN KANSAS CITY - January 2018 - Kansas City
Clean Eating Basics for the New Year and a New You
By Angela Watson Robertson
If you’re into healthy living, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “clean eating” to the point that you roll your eyes every time you hear it. The truth is that clean eating may mean different things to different people because our bodies are unique and the type of food that works for one person may not work for another. We are all bio-individuals.
Yet, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that eating clean, which may be better named “eating well,” is something we can’t strive for. When a client comes to me and says they want to eat clean I know what they mean- they want to eat in a way that helps them feel their best. Usually this means eating in a way that gives them energy and doesn’t leave them feeling wiped out from a sugar crash, bloated, or gassy. Plus, they want to lose weight, clear up their skin, and improve mental health. All of this can be accomplished with the right nutrition for your unique body.
The basis of Clean Eating
The basis of clean eating is to consume primarily whole, unprocessed food. Eating clean revolves around maintaining a balanced and personalized diet of fresh, unprocessed food including fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and some meats, fish, and dairy. All of this being said, the type of food you eat to feel energized, lighter, leaner, and happier, depends on a variety of factors. Yet, if you’re looking to clean up your diet and optimize your nutrition, here are some basic principles to follow:
Clean Eating 101
Stick to Whole Foods. Eat whole foods- those that occur in nature and don’t go through processing at a lab or manufacturing facility. Examples are: fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and free-range meats, dairy, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Embrace Home Cooking. If you cook for yourself, you are almost guaranteed to increase the nutritional value of your food. Restaurant food is more processed, less fresh, and often over-seasoned. Start with simple recipes like vegetable stir fry and then try new dishes as you learn more about cooking.
Remove refined sugar and carbohydrates. Remove white foods (white sugar, white flour, etc.) from your diet if you’re aiming to eat clean. This includes all the standard desserts containing white sugar as well as white pasta, rice, bread, and pastries.
Maintain balanced blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar balanced greatly contributes to healthy food choices. When you wait too long to eat between meals or eat processed foods that spike blood sugar -leading to a crash in energy later- you’re more likely to reach for sugar, fat, or caffeine to keep your energy up. If you continue this cycle, you’ll always feel irritable and exhausted. If you ensure you eat whole foods every 3-4 hours, your blood sugar and your mental state will remain stable.
Combine protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates. Your goal should be to get a serving of healthy protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates at every meal. This will create optimal blood sugar levels and stave off your cravings and brain fog. Some great protein examples are: grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and organic, fermented tempeh and tofu. Healthy fat options are avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. When trying out complex carbs, try quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes.
Quality over Quantity
Clean eating focuses on quality of food over the quantity of food and not all calories are equal. When you stick to a whole-foods diet, you’re much more likely to keep your caloric intake at an appropriate level for your body and maintain a healthy weight as a result. Whole foods actually fill you up and fuel you, whereas empty calories- like candy and chips- fill a mental raving, but don’t physically fill you up. Your mindset, physical health, and entire life will improve when you switch to eating whole foods as you’ll be getting the nutrients you need to feed your body, mind, and spirit.
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Angela Watson Robertson, MBA, CIHC, INHC, is known as The Reinvention Warrior, host of Masters of Reinvention, and creator of the life-changing program, Fatigue Warrior. Not only has Angela completely reinvented her own life, she has created simple, effective tools to help others transform every area of their lives-from health, career, and money to relationships, spirituality, and sex. Find her free wellness tips, course and programs at www.angelawatsonrobertson.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter.