Honestly, I think the term should be clean living, as it's a lifestyle change, as well as simply eating & drinking.
Instead, it is a matter of waking up in the morning after a good night's sleep, feeling wonderful and happy about your life, and staying optimistic throughout the day, while eating unrefined foods, raw fruits & veggies when you can, and drinking plenty of healthy beverages.
Everywhere you look, it seems there are food guides and experts providing their advice regarding their own version of dietary restrictions, and since the experts don't all seem to agree on what is good for you and what is bad, we are left feeling confused.
What we need are simple guidelines allowing us to create delicious, healthy drinks and meals that sensibly nourish your body & mind. On average, the Western diet consists of an inordinate number of sugary drinks like sodas and packaged drinks, to which we add sugar to taste, take-out foods, processed and packaged foods, red meats, foods that are high in fats, many salty and sugary snacks.
The unfortunate results of adopting such an unhealthy diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, obesity, depression, anxiety and bi-polar problems. Other destructive disorders like ADHD, Alzheimers disease, mental disorders and youth suicides can ensue from unhealthy diets.
Portions & Frequency of Meals & Snacks:
When it comes to clean eating, preferably eat three meals a day with two to three small snacks, and eat in moderation, taking small portions. Wait 10 - 15 minutes, before taking any second helping. After that time, you might find you aren't hungry for more. Eat only when you are hungry and stop eating when you feel full, but not stuffed or uncomfortable. This a simple step to take toward healthy drinking and eating.
Drink Your Water:
Drink plenty of water, as it flushes your system of toxins & waste. If you don't drink enough water, you might suffer from headaches, or feel overtired most of the time and have low energy. You might think you are hungry, when really, all you need is to hydrate your body. Instead of thinking of eating, take a drink of water. Maybe you are only thirsty. If you are really hungry between meals, filling up with some fresh fruits or veggies in a cup is a good solution.
Fresh Fruits & Veggies:
Fruits & veggies are low calories and rich in nutrients, chock full of antioxidants, fiber, water and minerals. The more color intensely and brightly colored the fruits and veggies are, the more beneficial nutrients they bestow upon you. The naturally sweet veggies like beets, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and onions add sweetness to your recipes and reduce your sugar cravings. Please purchase organic products whenever possible. The chemicals that are used in farming fruits & veggies can interfere with your body's functions, and can poison you over time. There are some excellent recipes for making detox and flavored waters that will make drinking water a very enjoyable experience. Sparkling water with splashes of fresh fruit juice or a few pieces of raw fruit and veggies can also be very tasty.
Cucumber, Citrus & Raspberry Detox Water:
- To a large pitcher or jar of fresh water, add in 5 slices of cucumber, 3 lemon slices, 1 orange slice and a handful of raspberries and refrigerate.
- After refrigerating overnight, you have a perfect flavored water for quenching your thirst and detoxifying your body over the course of the next day. Your body will thank you for hydrating it and you will be more energetic and apt to be in a great mood. You can use all the mentioned fruits alone or together in the water, and can add herbs and/or ginger, depending on what tastes best to you and yours.
- Try these recipes too:
Read Your Labels:
As you are trying to cut back on unhealthy foods, make a point of reading labels to ensure the products you purchase are not loaded with sugar & salt.
Counting calories can be a time consuming task and puts too much emphasis on checking up on yourself. Instead, make some easy to do changes and reduce overeating - eating healthy snacks, and eating them often. This is a very good way to work toward losing weight and maintaining a healthy body. However and most importantly, it keeps your body burning off fat throughout the day, which keeps you happy and in a better mood.
Reduce Refined & Processed Foods:
Eliminate white foods from your diet completely, if possible, but is is okay to reduce it considerably. Healthy carbs are whole grains, beans, lentils and fruits & veggies. Unhealthy carbohydrates are white flour, refined sugar and white rice.
Anything that reads corn syrup, well, it's a nice thing to cut out of your new way of life. Long ingredient lists should be avoided, as you'll start seeing words you can't pronounce more often than not, and introducing man-made concoctions into your diet.
- Try these recipes:
Monounsaturated fats like plant oils such as canola, peanut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts & pecans, and seeds are good to include in a healthy diet. Also, omega 4 & omega 6 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats are found in salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and soybean, walnuts, flax seed oils, sunflower oil - they "do a body good!"
Eating foods that support bone health is also something that should be addressed - they're the framework for your body. Calcium & vitamin D ensure healthy bones, and are found in a variety of foods. Vitamin D is found in fish, liver and egg yolks, yet some foods on the market add vitamin D, such as milk, orange juice, soy drinks & margarine, among others.
- Try these recipes:
Savor Each Bite:
To truly enjoy the food you are eating, eat slowly and really taste your drinks and foods. Try not to eat after your supper meal and let your body rest 14 - 16 hours after supper. . A healthy intake of foods can be a pleasant experience, and not a punishment. What is more delicious than the colorful, fresh fruits & vegetables available to us.
Preparing your meals at home can be a fantastic bonding experience for the whole family, where they can share the preparation of food and sit down to eat their meals together, and chat about their daily lives. This experience itself helps to improve one's mood. In addition, you know exactly what ingredients are in the foods you prepare. It's an easy matter to add a salad to your lunch and dinner - that is a simple change. Just be sure not to spoil this good change by adding a pre-made, oily salad dressing. Green veggies are full of magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium and A vitamins.
- Try these recipes:
A Few More Tips:
- Each adult person needs to be responsible for the food they ingest and that of their children.
- Do not think of your favorite unhealthy foods as being completely denied to you.
- Allow yourself a small portion of such food once or twice a week - just keep the portion small, but not off limits.
Clean eating & drinking can be a joy, especially when you feel great, look great and it shows!