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Not only does clean eating not have to imply boring eating, but it should not. It is not psychologically healthy to deprive oneself of the pleasures of eating and drinking. And, when we look around us, we see that the inevitable result in the long run of over-restrictive diets is binge eating or overindulgence. These kinds of diets are not sustainable and are more likely to harm one’s health than help it.
Those who cut out carbohydrates completely are acting rashly, say the medical experts. The body certainly does need a quantity of the right kinds of carbohydrates. There are those who follow diets in which juice is almost the exclusive food or drink consumed. Many professionals warn that this is an exaggerated emphasis on one part of the necessary daily diet. Protein is needed every day by the body, as are fats. Healthy fats, as found in nuts, avocados, and olives, are actually crucial to the body’s functioning. To cut out fats altogether is simply a danger to your health.
What clean eating really is?
Clean eating definitely can assist you in building a healthier lifestyle and a healthier body. The only caveat is that you be aware of what clean eating is not. It is not any brand of exaggerated eating practice mentioned here or elsewhere. There is nothing clean about hurting your body or your mind, which, unfortunately, many people do through their diets. Oftentimes, when a person insists on a diet that she finds unpalatable or insufficient, the diet may be functioning as a disguise for an eating disorder.
Feeling satisfied is important
Our first point, then, is that each of us should ensure we are enjoying our meals and receiving physical and psychological satisfaction from them. This is a sign of health and sustainability in a diet and a lifestyle.
Choose foods close to nature
For you to change to a clean eating diet would not be something drastic at all. It would mainly mean that you would try your best, when shopping, to reduce the number of processed foods you buy. Instead, you would choose food items that are in a state close to their natural state. You would buy more vegetables and fruit. You would choose whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or whole-grain pilaf. These are better for you than processed grains but lack nothing in the area of taste. In fact, they are superior foods all around. As to what dishes you might prepare with these products, there is no problem of limitation at all.
Choose home-cooked whole foods whenever possible
The hurdle, rather, is in accustoming ourselves to preparing and eating food in a more normal way, and not relying on nutrient-depleted processed foodstuffs as much as we do. Clean eating is only a term for the practice of shaking off bad eating and lifestyle habits.
Even given our definition above, this does not mean you should never eat a single processed food. Those who talk that kind of talk are overdoing it. It is also unrealistic. You are practicing clean eating if the main bulk of what you eat is natural and unprocessed. In addition, you are on a much more sustainable path than the stricter clean eaters.
Opening the door to clean eating
This brings us to our central premise, which is that we need to look positively and enthusiastically at the food possibilities available to us, rather than sourly at what is denied us. Let’s make a start.
You don’t need to cut meat out of your diet. As we mentioned, you do need protein, and one good source of it is lean meat. Just avoid processed meat like sausages. Get used to the joy of eating nuts, avocados, and olives. These are full of fats, but they’re good for you. Spend time learning recipes for salads that include these items. Again, you are trying to regain the taste and the habit of healthy eating. And that’s the normal way to eat, truly speaking.
Don’t give the excuse that fresh foods go bad too quickly and it’s not worth your while to buy them. We beg to differ. This is just a question of acquiring a different kind of shopping habit. You might indeed have to visit the shops a bit more often, but don’t forget that if you keep an eye on the best before dates, you could find you have more time with your fresh produce before it goes bad. Be particular that your vegetables really are fresh when you buy them, and not a few days past their prime.
We’re not going to try to convince you to try clean eating. We’re just going to remind you what the reason is that you should avoid processed foods. Pick up a box of any processed food and read the ingredients. Anything made up of so many kinds of chemicals and preservatives is obviously much altered from its normal state. These foods also contain dyes, high sugar content, and low-quality oils. Clean eating means deciding to remember what food really looks and tastes like.
One significant habit to gain, that could make all the difference for you, is to fill a third to a half of your plate with vegetables at meals. Decide this will be normal for you from now on. You can garnish it, dress it up, and love it in any way you want, but it’s simply there to be eaten at every meal. This habit on its own is very powerful. You must learn to derive satisfaction from foods like these rather than from nutrient-empty foods.
Yes, sugar is bad for you, and the boxed food we eat is absolutely filled with it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sweetness. There are natural sweeteners that are much better for you than artificial ones. Honey, molasses, agave nectar, maple syrup, and stevia are all delicious. There is no doubt, though, that limits should be placed on the consumption of even these foods. Just because a food is unprocessed, that doesn’t mean that an excess of it can’t harm you. You might even want to go the route of cutting out sugar altogether, which, much like clean eating in general, is only a question of re-establishing habits.
Our main thrust has been to dispel the misconception that clean eating implies deprivation. Instead, we are offering what we believe to be a truer picture of clean eating: one in which eating is simply a different, more enjoyable, and more satisfying experience.