A Guide To A Clean Eating Diet Over The HolidaysAnd Why A Year-Round Regimen Makes A Difference – Forbes

Posted: December 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm


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Clean eating is more than a movement. Its a holistic approach to food that can lead to a tougher immune system, increased energy levels, a stronger heart, improved brain health and more. So what does eating clean for beginners look like in practiceand what does it take to reap the benefits?

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What is clean eating?

According to the Mayo Clinic, clean eating describes following a whole food diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, while limiting the consumption of processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged goods.

Healthy eating benefits

This season, you should think French green beans over French friesand for a variety of reasons. Medical News Today reports that clean eating can deliver significant health benefits, including:

Food blogger and author of Anti-Inflammatory Drinks For Health Maryea Flaherty knows quite a bit about the upside of clean eating. After her mother was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer, Flaherty began researching the relationship between nutrition and diseasewhich ultimately inspired her to rework her approach to food and start a blog focused on nutrition and natural living. Today, Flaherty writes on a variety of food and wellness topics via Happy Healthy Mama.

While in the past she never made the connection between food and health, Flaherty says she now credits clean eating for contributing to the overall health of her family, including her two young children.

I have healthy kids because they have a nutrient-dense diet, says Flaherty. When you eat a lot of processed foods, you eat fewer fruits and vegetables because theres less room in your diet. Her regular family meals now include eggs, oatmeal, chicken and vegetables.

Getting started with healthy diet changes

It may be the season for eggnog, latkes and a slew of other seasonal sweets, but Flaherty has guidance for those aiming to eat clean during the holidays, and perhaps adjust their habits more permanently. Consider these quick tips if youre looking for healthy lifestyle diet changes.

Think delicious with your clean eating diet

People have preconceived notions that eating a healthy diet cant be tasty, says Flaherty. But for the healthy food advocate, nutritious combinations can please the palate, too.

Many of her featured recipes include items such as pitted dates, nuts, cocoa powder, raw honey and unsweetened shredded coconut, for instanceingredients that pack a flavorful punch without the added sugar and calories. For Flaherty, the trick is to dedicate some time to educate yourself about healthy alternatives to anything thats fried, high in sugar or packed with trans fats. Incorporate those still-tasty alternatives into your daily diet, and the easier it could be to commit long-term to a clean eating regimen.

Shop smart for your whole food diet

Clean eating begins in the grocery store, not your fridge. Consider these tips when youre shopping:

Eat organic when you meal plan for clean eating

There are plenty of advantages to eating organic foodsproducts that dont contain any pesticides, fertilizers, solvents or additives. USDA-certified organic foods are grown and processed according to strict federal guidelines that cover everything from soil quality and pest control to animal raising practices. While not everyone can afford to limit their diet to organic food, it doesnt need to limit healthier choices.

If you can afford organic, thats fantastic. Then youre getting less pesticides in your food, says Flaherty. But non-organic foods are still nutritious. So if you cant afford them, dont let that stop you from eating fresh produce.

Be kind to yourself with healthy eating lifestyle changes

Clean eating should be a life goal, not a daily obsession, says Flaherty. Theres a fine line between being conscious and trying to eat clean and becoming obsessed with healthy eating.

Cutting out sugar-laden and fatty foods can certainly improve your mood and boost your energy levels. But eliminating entire categories of food, such as carbs or grains, can be counter-productive. I try not to demonize any food groups, says Flaherty. I just eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains rather than foods that are processed.

Identifying how to start a whole food diet is all about finding balance: making smart, thoughtful choices about what to purchase and prepare while educating yourself and prioritizing self-improvementnot perfection.

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A Guide To A Clean Eating Diet Over The HolidaysAnd Why A Year-Round Regimen Makes A Difference - Forbes

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December 25th, 2019 at 4:41 pm

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