What does a diet mean to you? Does it mean cutting out dessert, or carbs, or just eating less volume? I challenge you, as I’ve challenged myself, to aim to eat cleaner rather than adopting a diet. So many diets such as juice cleanses, keto diets, and specific weight loss programs may help you lose weight, but won’t help you keep the weight off. More importantly, they won’t contribute to your long term health in other beneficial ways.
Clean eating isn’t about when you eat or how much, but the quality of what you’re eating. In a way, it goes back to what humans were originally meant to be eating; sustenance without pesticides, hormones, GMOs, etc. Clean eating involves avoiding highly processed foods and choosing high-quality organic foods instead. It nourishes your body in every way necessary and more, and has many benefits.
Eating clean may seem daunting at first, but it is easier with three steps from Vitamix’s article “What is Clean Eating and Why is it Important?”. The first step instructs you to shop the perimeter of the store, as most clean and organic foods are actually found along the outer perimeter of the store. The second step is to read food labels. A common trick is to look at the ingredients list and if you see any ingredients you’re not familiar with or can’t pronounce, then it isn’t organic and simple enough. With number of ingredients, less is more for clean eating. Also make sure to look out for excessive added sugars. The third step is to cook your own food, because it is far easier to ensure that you’re eating clean when you know everything that’s going into your food. Cooking may seem daunting at first if you haven’t had much practice, but it gets easier very quickly. There are so many fun, easy online resources for following healthy recipes—my favorite is Tasty videos.
Besides shopping for clean foods and cooking your own meals, there are other ways in which you can supplement your nutrition with clean foods. I recently went to a juice bar in Dallas that is “100% certified organic,” which is surprisingly rare considering how many juice bars there are, especially in California. Another great option is the products from Orgain, a certified organic company that aims to deliver the cleanest nutrition products possible. There are already many options for a clean diet, and they will only grow in number.
Other resources on clean eating claim that adopting the lifestyle will make you smarter and happier and make you live longer, save money, have better relationships, and help save the Earth. Obviously some of this has to be taken as exaggeration, but I’m sure there are truthful aspects to each point. The benefits to your health are surely worth it.