Monday, March 7, 2011

Are You "Dirty" When It Comes to Food?


Recently,  while giving a workshop, the audience got me “fired up” about food.  When  I asked them if they were “eating clean”, I just got blank stares.    In that moment, I realized a couple of things.  First of all,  it was highly unlikely that they were “eating clean”.  Secondly, although I had been using the term for quite some time, it was not widely-accepted knowledge. 
What then is “eating clean”?   Basically, eating clean is about eating a diet composed of whole foods.   These include fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins.  Whenever possible, one should select organic versions of their favorite foods, taking special care to avoid the Dirty Dozen which contain the highest levels of pesticides.  (The Dirty Dozen include the following: celery; peaches; strawberries; apples; blueberries (domestic); nectarines; sweet bell peppers; spinach; collard greens/kale; cherries; potatoes; grapes (imported).  See http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/healthquest/fruits-and-vegetable-you-should-always-buy-organic.)
Eating clean is about avoiding processed foods as much as possible.   I suggest that you avoid “white” foods – that is, anything containing white flour or white sugar.   These products are highly refined and cause spikes in blood sugar.  Your mood, your hormones, and your waistline suffer as a result of eating such things.  In addition, you compromise your immune system and your digestive track. 
People who decide to eat clean and eliminate highly-processed foods begin to experience tremendous changes in energy levels and well-being.    It might be a tough adjustment at first, due to the American culture’s addiction to sugar and fast food.  However, once you commit to changing your diet, you will begin to experience long-term health benefits.
In my book, individuals who “eat clean” choose whole, naturally-occurring foods over processed ones.   They eat frequent, small meals that are balanced with protein, fat, and carbs.  They stay well-hydrated with water rather than sodas, sugary drinks, or alcohol.   They  plan out their meals in advance so that they are never “forced” to indulge in unhealthy, fast-food meals.  At the very least, they always keep nuts or natural protein bars on hand for “emergencies”. 
Since individuals who eat clean come to realize the health and energy benefits of their lifestyle, they make wise choices in restaurants, selecting items that are not fried or covered in rich, creamy sauces.  When they do indulge in food that they enjoy, they balance it out with other healthy choices.  They weigh out their choices because they realize they may feel sluggish or “off” for a while following a “pig-out”.
What small changes can you make today to begin to improve your eating habits?  
If you would like further assistance with your lifestyle and fitness goals, please contact me at 732-842-3515 or coachjenna@formulaforexcellence.com.   I am here to support you.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jenn! Very informative and right on! Eating clean will improve the quality of life tenfold!

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