The Basics of Clean Eating

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“Clean eating” is eating foods in their natural state or as close to that as possible. This means avoiding foods with all of the preservatives, processed foods, foods packed with added sugar, MSG, GMO’s, and foods with high levels of bad fats (some saturated fats/all trans fats). Go into the grocery store with this plan to simplify your life: shop the outside aisles and for the most part avoid the inner aisles. Read the ingredient labels on your food! If there is an ingredient that you can’t pronounce, if over 3-4 ingredients are listed, or if it is high in sugar or bad fats, put it down! Aim to purchase natural foods such as fresh produce, wild caught/ organic meats, nuts, farm fresh eggs, hormone-free dairy and unrefined grains. In a time when so many of us are overweight, yet simultaneously starving to death due to high fat foods with zero nutrition, clean eating is very important and necessary for us to understand.

Eating clean is not just a “diet”, it is a lifestyle change and a commitment to improving ones’ health. Ultra-processed foods have GMO’s in them. Ever heard of GMO’s? Genetically Modified Organisms; these foods are stripped of their nutrients and heavily altered with additives such as sugars and fats that literally create an addiction to these foods. Here is what I want you to realize if you don’t know this already: America is currently undergoing a massive obesity epidemic and it is all related to our food. It’s not the people that we should blame obesity upon, it’s the food industry. The food industry injects our foods with a deadly combination of sugars and fats. Exceedingly high levels of sugar lead to addiction and cravings similar to those of alcohol and drugs. So essentially, sugar is a drug. Whaaat?? Crazy, I know. So by allowing ourselves to become addicted to this sugar, we are only contributing to the increasing obesity rates, which is also one of the leading causes of preventable death today. So by cutting these highly unhealthy foods out of your life and replacing them with natural nutrient rich clean eating foods you will be decreasing your chances of cancer and obesity, as well as gaining many other health benefits.

Why should you, as a teacher, eat clean? How can clean eating improve your health? Eating clean supports healthy cell function and can aid in decreasing your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, increasing your mental health, improving your cardiovascular health, and helping you to feel more energetic. So why WOULDN’T you eat clean?? It takes a lot of mental health, cardiovascular health, and energy to do our teaching jobs EACH AND EVERY DAY! We all want to live our healthiest, longest, most productive possible lives right so if you haven’t yet, take today to embrace the change and clean up your diet.

The Basic Guidelines:
◾fresh, local, organic fruits & veggies
◾cook foods the HEALTHY way–> (I like to toss my veggies in a bit of olive oil then roast, steam, or saute them then lightly season and add fresh parmesan)
◾eliminate refined sugar or overly processed foods
◾drink water–> at least half of your body weight in ounces each day
◾eat healthy fats (from avocado, nut butter, etc.)
◾plan & prep your meals–> lean protein & complex carbs at each meal
◾avoid foods that say “sugar-free”, “light”, “fat-Free”–> these only replace ingredients like sugar with substances such as aspartame which are NOT natural & are poisonous for your body
◾the 80/20 rule–> eat clean 80% of the time so you can leave 20% for your cheats/ indulgences
◾portion control–> know your needed daily caloric intake and eat foods of a variety of types within correct portions

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