What is Clean Eating? Here’s the thought — Clean Eating means consuming foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. In other words, foods that are NOT processed or DON’T have chemicals added. For example, hot dogs, canned soups, frozen dinners, cookies that come from a box, packaged lunch meats, etc. All of these items have tons and tons of sodium and chemicals that are certainly not meant to be put in your body.
Having a farm-oriented extended family with relatives that have lived to be 100 years old, I truly believe that there is something to be said for living ‘naturally’ ….. or really living off the earth.
Why do I believe this…..because of the high prevalence of cancer and illness that seems to affect so many individuals who live ‘inside’ cities. Now granted there are other factors that I think contribute to this illness as well – most obvious life and work stress, smog and air pollution, and unknown environmental hazards. That said, you can’t deny the fact that my extended family, who has lived among hundreds of acres of farmland in Southern Virginia, seem to be among the healthiest (and longest living) individuals that I know.
So, my thinking is that if I can eat cleaner, then I hope to live a long, healthy life!
‘Clean eating’ is a concept that has become so ‘normal’ to me having now lived on a farm. Beyond the health reasons, the functional reasons, i.e., there is not a major grocery store located within 1/2 hour of where I live. Thus, I really have to make everything Linus and I eat out here. Although sometimes daunting, there is something so amazingly refreshing about this concept.
Last summer, I brought all of the fresh foods to the farm (from city farmer’s markets). We cooked some amazing meals with all of this fresh food! This summer, we are thinking we may grow a lot of our foods. If we can do this, it will be even more rewarding!
Oh – and one other plus to clean eating is that you are eating foods that are generally lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Because you are aware of how much butter, salt and oil you use in preparing ‘clean’ meals, you do not consume nearly as much of these not-so-clean ingredients as you do in pre-made or processed foods.
There are some great websites devoted to clean eating, as well as several publications. One magazine that I subscribe to is called “Clean Eating.” Check it out!
So, here are some succinct fresh eating concepts.I took these from a great site — check out this link for more info: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/what-is-clean-eating/
1. Eat Lots Of Plants
In other words, eat food that you – or someone you know – has grown. Lots of these foods are available at small neighborhood markets. There is nothing like the taste of tomatoes and other vegetables (and eggs too!) that were picked yesterday ago from a local farmer.
2. Include Meats
Again, get your meats from smaller, neighborhood markets where you know the butcher. Where the meat is not pre-packaged and where the meat is sliced fresh for you.
3. Enjoy Grains
Real, whole grains. That have not been bleached (i.e., not white race, but brown rice.) Consider using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. There are some great whole wheat flour cookie recipes that are not nearly as fattening and sugary as regular cookie recipes.
4. READ LABELS!
Especially with bread, often WHEAT bread’s most prominent ingredient is WHITE flour!
5. Eat Fewer Ingredients
Again, look at ingredients lists on food labels. A good rule is if there are more than 4-5 ingredients in a canned food or boxed item, then it is probably made up of more chemicals than actual FOOD. (Especially if the expiration date is 3-4 years from now.) Is this what you want to put into your body? Canned foods are of course important for certain recipes, however, check out the canned food options at your local organic food stores. You can find canned foods that are canned like they used to be – without all of the superbad chemical preservatives. (Of course, canning your own food each year is even better!)