What does clean eating mean?
Eating trends come and go but eating clean is more than a trend. Clean eating means eating foods that are minimally processed, eating foods that are free of GMO’s, eating organic foods, and foods that have ingredients that are minimally refined. Being married to an organic egg farmer and living in the beautiful New Hampshire countryside has shaped our way of eating. Being involved in organic farming gives us a firsthand view of how food production occurs in this country. We also have the opportunity to grow our own organic vegetable garden (and yes, I am still learning) which enables us to involve our children in the process of growing their own food. We live in a region that is surrounded by farms offering CSA’s and with farm stands that overflow with a rainbow of fresh local vegetables and fruits during the summer and early fall months. We have access to the foods that can keep our bodies healthy and full of energy.
My relationship with food.
I feel lucky to know what I do about the food industry because it helps me to be informed about what we feed our kids and about what we put into our own bodies. And, yes I am not perfect. Clean Eating does not always happen but we try our hardest to eat well and eat clean.
I have always had a healthy relationship with food. My parents fed us a well rounded diet always offering us plenty of fruits and vegetables and a balance of the food pyramid. My parents have always loved to explore the different culinary flavors and my mom was always creating and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Food was a celebration of flavor and nourishment.
When I became an adult venturing out into the real world I began my own kitchen explorations following a model with food that my parents had set before me. I began to familiarize myself with the grocery store, reading labels and became a collector of cookbooks. Having always been an athlete in one form or another food became especially important to me for its role as “fuel.” Food is what gives me the proper nutrition to have energy and endurance, speed and stamina when I am racing. Now that I am a mom I want to provide my children’s growing bodies with nourishment to run and jump, and play, to be exuberant and filled with silly giggles and smiles. I want my children to consume foods that are free from pesticides and antibiotics. I want them to eat clean foods as it is an investment in their health for the future.
Quick Tips for beginning your own clean eating journey.
Here are some things to look for when you fill up your grocery cart the next time you head to the grocery store.
- Look for the USDA Organic Seal. products that are 100% Organic have been certified through a rigorous program from the USDA. All foods that are 100% Organic do not contain GMO’s, antibiotics or pesticides.
- Limit the number of processed foods. Stick to the aisles on the outskirts of the grocery store where you will find fresh produce and more mostly unprocessed foods.
- Read the labels. Chances are if you can’t pronounce the name of the ingredient or have no idea what it is it is processed and less likely to be healthy.
- Watch out for the “All Natural Label.” All natural is a term that is used very loosely within the food industry and is not regulated.
- Don’t fear the cookbook. There is not need to be a master chef in your kitchen. Choose recipes that are simple and that contain whole food ingredients. Cooking from scratch whenever possible will lessen your consumption of processed foods.
I’ve shared a little bit more about how I got started with clean eating and why it is important for your wellness and now I’d love to hear your best clean eating tips. What has been the easiest way for you to clean up your diet?
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