Integrative Medicine Nutritionist
In my last post I discussed the health benefits of clean eating. You can find that post here.
In this post, I’ll share some rules to help guide you as you continue your clean eating journey.
12 Rules for 21 Days of “Clean Eating”
1. If you mess up—that’s okay! You will succeed the second, or even the third time. You will however, have to start over at day 1 each time you don’t eat something “clean” until you complete 21 full days consecutively.
2. Become a master label reader. Reading labels can be overwhelming and can look like you are reading another language. Whenever you can’t pronounce a word or it sounds like a science experiment—steer clear. Many of those long words you can pronounce are hidden toxins, chemicals, additives, and pesticides used to enrich and preserve packaged foods.
3. Eat 5-6 times per day. Eating throughout the day promotes healthy eating habits, prevents overeating later in the day, promotes optimal brain and hormone health, and maintains energy levels throughout the day. Our body loves consistency and the times we eat should be intentional and balanced.
4. Cut out ALL sugar…completely! Stay away from anything that ends in an “ose” (maltose, glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc). These are all hidden forms of sugar. This also includes sugar substitutes such as Splenda and all sugar alcohols such as Erythritrol and Xylitol (even the natural varieties).
5. Don’t panic! Just go organic. This should really be rule #1 and should probably be an entire blog post on its own (to be continued…). When we switch to a primarily organic diet as much as possible, we naturally avoid the potential for toxin buildup that can be rooted to many complications and is a precursor to so many evolving health conditions.
6. Drink enough pure water every day. Pure filtered water helps remove impurities from our body, helps maintain hydration for our cells, increases energy, and helps eliminate toxins. If you divide your body weight in half, you should aim to drink that many ounces of water per day.
7. Cut out all processed food. To make this really simple, just avoid anything you see in a package and try to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where you can buy fresh vegetables, eggs, fruits, poultry, etc.
8. Watch your fats. This is a two-part rule. Avoid the bad and eat more of the good! Avoid safflower, sunflower, canola, soybean, peanut, corn, and cottonseed oils. Increase your consumption of healthy saturated fats such as olive, coconut, avocado, hemp, almond, macadamia nut, and flax oils.
9. Go Green. A clean diet also means a clean lifestyle. Remove environmental toxins and switch to organic and natural cleaners, detergents, fragrance, soups, lotions, cosmetics, and anything else that may contain toxins that touch your skin or that you can breathe in.
10. Kick coffee to the curb. Coffee consumption is one of the most controversial topics we come across. Removing coffee from your diet completely for 21 days will have tremendous benefits for your body. You will be able to reset your tolerance to caffeine as well as stop your dependence on the daily ritual.
11. Practice mindful “Clean Eating.” Eating mindfully can change your life. This means eating in a peaceful environment without loud noise or distraction. Eat at a table with your family rather than on a couch with the TV on. Focus on eating mindfully by really tasting and savoring each bite of food, chewing your food slowly, and taking mini breaks during your meal to rest your fork. Most importantly, pray or meditate before eating and take a few moments to stop and recognize the gift of nutrients on your plate that will promote health to your body.
12. Get cooking. Have fun with it! This is a time for you to expand your pallet, try new foods, develop new cooking habits, test new recipes, and enhance skills in the kitchen.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and guidelines to clean eating we can get into the important details on exactly WHAT to eat for 21 days. Stay tuned for the next blog post!