“Eating clean” has become a buzzword that we hear a lot now in the health and wellness industry, but what does it really mean? Eating clean is all about a lifestyle centered around putting less processed foods on your plate and eating more wholesome foods in their original form. In essence, it’s about eating more “ingredients” and less meals with a bunch of ingredients in them. For instance, like lean chicken breast with good ole fashioned broccoli. Basic but nutritious.
At Savor, we are always helping our clients eat clean, because it’s not only better for your health but it’s better for the environment too. There are a lot of misconceptions around eating clean, and one of them we hear is that eating clean is boring. While the foods tend to be be more basic, they are anything but boring! It simply means using foods that don’t have a lot of refined sugar or preservatives in them, but you can still get a TON of flavor and variety. It’s all about the way you prepare them!
With that being said, we want to offer 5 practical ways that you can eat clean in your every day life. It’s not always easy, but these tips will help you make small changes which leads to big results.
Tip #1: Add at least one green vegetable to 1-2 meals a day
According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables in a day. If you stop and think about it, how many green vegetables do you actually eat? The better question might be, when was the last time a green vegetable was on your plate? Dark, green leafy vegetables in particular, provide you with folate, help you burn fat, improves heart health, helps fight diabetes and more.
A lot of us think that greens are “hippie food” or “rabit food,” but you can’t ignore the incredible health benefits they provide. If you’re not a huge green vegetable fan (most people aren’t if we’re being honest) try just adding it to one meal and then two. It can be as simple as adding a salad with arugula, spinach or kale to your lunch or dinner.
Tip #2: Skip dairy -any kind – for at least 3 days in a row
There is A LOT Of debate about whether or not dairy is good for you. In my experience working with clients, it’s usually contributes to a lot of health issues, including inflammation. While there are some benefits that dairy can offer (like being a great source of calcium), dairy can lead to bloating, congestion and skin issues to name a few. Personally, my body always pays for it after eating a lot of dairy. I think the key as with all things is moderation. Better yet, find some dairy-free options like almond milk that can satisfy your dairy cravings but not leave you feeling “blah.”
For three days, I challenge you to skip all dairy – cheese, yogurt, milk, ice cream, etc. and see how you feel!
Tip #3: Eat local
You probably hear this frequently – eat local! What does that mean though? It means to stop by your local farmer’s market to pick up some peaches or buy from local brands made in or near your town. Eating local lowers your carbon footprint and is more fresh since the food hasn’t traveled the globe to get to your plate. We try to use as many local ingredients in our meals as possible and our clients can taste the difference! Plus, you’re supporting our local community and economy and that never hurts!
Tip #4: Buy lunch meat from the grocery store deli
If you’re going to buy lunch meat, buy it from your deli, the meat tends to be less processed there. Just make sure to ask for brands that are nitrate and preservative free. See how simple eating clean can be? It doesn’t have to be so drastic. Now of course, there are different levels of eating clean. For instance, if you wanted to eat cleaner you could ask for “heritage meats” which are animals raised on organic and sustainable farms.
Tip #5: Replace one meal a week with a vegetarian meal
Ever heard of “Meatless Mondays?” Try replacing one meal a week with a meal that is vegetarian-approved. I know that sounds scary, but it could be a quinoa salad with sweet potatoes (so you still get lots of protein) or it could be black bean burgers. Take a look at our vegetarian sample menu for some inspiration.