There are so many types of diets you can follow to get on a track to better health, and it seems like a new one pops up every year. You’ve probably heard of the keto diet, paleo, grain-free, low-carb, and sugar-free, and each diet has their own unique set of health benefits.
One common thread that each of these diets tend to agree upon is that having a healthier lifestyle coincides with clean eating.
What is clean eating?
Simply put, clean eating is the concept of eating whole foods in their most natural state. When you choose to eat “clean”, it means you’re making the decision to eat as few processed and packaged foods as possible, and instead load up on plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables (mostly in their raw state or only lightly cooked).
Clean eating also usually means excluding all grains (including anything containing wheat, gluten, or ground corn), and dairy products as well.
What are the benefits of clean eating?
Eating foods in their most natural state has a host of health benefits. From better digestion to a stronger immune system, and from weight loss to clearer skin, eating high amounts of unprocessed vegetables and fruits supports every system in our bodies in every possible way.
Eating these whole foods raw is also an important component to clean eating. Cooking vegetables at high heat will degrade the natural enzymes in them that help our bodies break down the food into accessible nutrients.
You don’t necessarily have to give up meat to eat a clean diet, however you should make informed choices for the meat you decide to purchase and eat. Buy organic meat whenever possible, and especially look for labels that say grass-fed or nitrate-free from reputable brands. Unfortunately meat products can say they are “natural” and still be made from animals kept indoors and fed grains or corn-based feed which is unnatural to their diets, causing them to be malnourished.
How do I make clean eating a little easier?
There are a number of tricks you can try to make clean eating easier, and more sustainable throughout your life.
Make cauliflower “rice”.
Take raw cauliflower and pulse it in a food processor until it is the size and shape of rice. Cook in a pan for a few minutes in coconut oil, and voila: grain-free vegetable “rice”!
The wider the range of colors on your plate, the more nutritional value. Also, you eat with your eyes first so why not make it fun? Try new and different colorful fruits and vegetables that you don’t normally eat to make every meal a little more exciting.
Make vegetable “noodles”.
Get a spiralizer and make “noodles” out of zucchini, or simply use a vegetable peeler to thinly peel carrots or sweet potatoes into long noodle-like vegetables. Top with homemade pasta sauce and more vegetables. Yum!
Get creative with squash.
Hearty vegetables like acorn or butternut squash make a great base for meals in place of grains. Spaghetti squash is also delicious, and it even shreds into “spaghetti” noodles after it’s cooked.
Start with salad.
For breakfast make a big, leafy green salad topped with raw nuts. Starting your day with fresh vegetables that are easy on your stomach will help fuel your day right, and make it easier to make healthy choices throughout the day.
Keep chopped ingredients handy.
It’s easier to choose veggies when they’re already washed, chopped, and ready to go. After you get home from the grocery store, prep all of your vegetables into containers so that they’re ready for munching.
Substitute a better grain.
If you’re struggling with going entirely grain-free, or are very used to eating pasta, breads, and cereals, start the process slowly. Substitute brown rice as your base in place of noodles, and use cooked quinoa with fresh fruit in place of cereal. Once you get used to these different grains you can start reducing your intake from there.
Swap alcohol for water with True Citrus.
Alcohol is not a clean food. Alcohol leads to dehydration, and it converts to sugar in the body. If craving an alcoholic drink, water with all-natural True Citrus is a wonderful clean substitute.
How do you know if a clean eating diet is right for you?
The truth is, many people will benefit from eating a more “clean” diet. Our bodies were not made to properly break down and digest unnatural processed ingredients, and eating more pure foods - foods that we evolved to eat and digest - is invaluable.
[Credit: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE. “11 Simple Ways to Start Clean Eating Today.” Healthline.]
True Citrus products are proven to encourage you to drink more water, so try any of our delicious flavors in your glass or water bottle to stay hydrated all year long.
About True Citrus:
We have a Live True Promise that applies to everything we do: use the best, truest ingredients in our products, and bring our customers the highest quality in citrus flavors, drink mixes, and salt-free seasoning blends. We are also devoted to providing the support and guidance our customers need to be as healthy and happy as possible throughout every facet of their lives.
How True Citrus Goes Above and Beyond:
We have created our line of better-for-you products with your health in mind, and without compromising on taste. You’ll only find simple and clean ingredients in True Citrus products! You will never find: chemicals, sodium, gluten, GMO’s, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives in our products. You will find: bright natural flavors from real citrus oils, a delightful array of flavors, and products that are either unsweetened, lightly sweetened with all-natural Stevia (sugar-free), salt-free, low calorie, or 0-calorie.