These days, our diets are so often polluted with excessive amounts of refined carbs, added sugars, and chemicals. All of the processed foods, takeout, and unbalanced meals really don’t help us feel energized and healthy. After all, you are what you eat. If you want to feel and look healthy, you need to start eating clean! This means eliminating these chemicals and sugars from your diet and introducing valuable nutrients that come from whole foods and balanced meals. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about clean eating for beginners. Let’s get into it!
Drink plenty of water
Hydration is key to staying healthy: it aids in digestion, flushes out toxins, improves skin health, and helps maintain pretty much every bodily function. Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up to rehydrate your body after the night. Also, make sure to always have some water with you and gradually drink it throughout the day. In general, women should drink 2-3 liters of water a day and men should drink 3-4 liters a day. So drink up! And if you’re a lover of soft drinks, now would be the time to swap them for water if you want to start eating clean…
Have a plant-based breakfast
Plant-based eating has so many proven benefits. It promotes heart health, balances your blood pressure, and prevents diabetes and cancer. You should always add plenty of veggies to each of your meals but for breakfast, try to be fully plant-based. The possibilities are endless. You can have a smoothie, some oatmeal, some healthy vegan pancakes, and more!
It’s also a great idea to incorporate some superfoods for gut health into your morning diet to ensure smooth digestion throughout the day. We recommend apple cider vinegar. However, many people dislike the taste of raw apple cider vinegar. For this reason, we recommend these GMO-free and NSF-certified apple cider vinegar gummies by Gummies Garden.
Avoid processed foods
When it comes to clean eating, processed foods are generally a no-no. They usually contain lots of sugar and chemicals and much of the nutritional value of the ingredients is lost. However, there are still some brands that offer healthy processed foods. To identify them, you need to read the labels. How to read labels? Well, look for foods with familiar and healthy ingredients and avoid foods with loads of refined sugar. If the ingredient list looks like a never-ending chemical formula, then you certainly don’t want to put that in your body!
Go for whole foods
To add to the previous point, you should eat a diet mostly of whole foods. This means lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, meat, fish, and any other food in its natural form, rather than processed. For instance, instead of a bag of chips, roast some potatoes. Instead of cereal, have some oatmeal. This way, you’ll ensure that you get all of the nutrients whole foods have to offer minus the added sugar and chemicals!
Cook at home
The best way to ensure you eat clean is by taking matters fully into your own hands. This also means avoiding eating out and takeout. You never really know what restaurants add to your food. You also don’t know the quality of the ingredients, even of a salad. By cooking at home, you get to pick out exactly what goes in your meals and you’ll also save lots of money. Even by eating organic foods, you’ll spend much less than you would eating out.
Buy organic produce
These days, so many fruits and veggies on the market are filled with chemicals that slowly poison our bodies day by day… This is why you should try to buy organic whenever possible. Of course, we understand that most people can’t afford to eat 100% organic foods because of their high prices. If this is the case for you, there are some great guidelines you can follow!
Check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. It lists the twelve foods on the market that are mostly contaminated with chemicals. These are the foods that you should buy organic whenever possible. There’s also a Clean Fifteen list by EWG. These are the foods with the lowest levels of contaminants that can be bought non-organic.
Balance the macros in every meal
Make sure to have some carbs, protein, and fats in every single one of your meals. Don’t just have a bowl of oatmeal without any source of fats or protein. And don’t have a big slice of meat with just a few cherry tomatoes on the side. Also, please DO NOT avoid fats in your diet. Unsaturated fats are crucial if you want to start eating clean. They help reduce cholesterol levels, improve heart health, and bring in loads of other benefits.
In general, each meal should have about 60% of carbs, 25% of fats, and 15% of protein. Contrary to what you may have heard, a high-protein diet isn’t exactly the healthiest way to go… We need carbs for energy, a healthy digestive system, and a fully nourished body.
Choose unrefined carbs
Speaking about carbs, there are carbs to avoid and carbs to focus on… Refined carbs, such as white flour, sugar, pasta, cereal, or cornflakes, should be avoided. These types of carbs don’t have much nutritional value and they have a high glycemic index. This means that once you eat them, your body quickly converts them to glucose, raises your blood sugar levels, and the energy gained from them quickly evaporates.
Examples of unrefined carbs are whole grains, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and fruits. These have high nutritional value and break down in your body at a much slower pace, so they don’t raise your blood sugar levels as rapidly as refined carbs do.
So there you go! 8 tips on clean eating for beginners. Remember, you shouldn’t view clean eating as a strict diet. You should view it as a lifestyle. If you put in the effort, you’ll learn to eat clean, nutritious, and absolutely delicious meals that will leave you feeling fresh, energized, and healthy!
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