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Clean eating: 6 easy ways to clean up your act

Every year, we’re greeted with a flurry of food fads and diets, but there’s one regime that’s standing the test of time. The clean eating movement has become a favourite with celebrities and individuals.

Unlike other healthy eating plans, clean eating isn’t a diet but a way of life. Yes, changing your attitude and eating more of the good stuff is providing great results for the mind, body and soul.

Whatever your goals, the basic principles of clean eating remain the same. With clean eating, you say “no” to unhealthy, processed foods and a big, fat “yes” to whole, natural, and healthy ingredients.

Eating cleaner has been linked to a long list of health benefits, including enhanced cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, increased mental wellbeing, better sleep quality, and improved skin and hair health. Clean eating has also been found to have a profound effect on our energy levels as Livestrong details:

“A healthy diet that properly nourishes your body helps you feel energetic and productive. Several nutrients, including the B-complex vitamins and iron, help your cells access fuel so that they can function properly.

Clean eating also helps regulate your blood sugar, helping you avoid fatigue-inducing blood sugar spikes, which can occur after you eat processed carbohydrates, such as sweets or refined grains.”

Ready to feel the benefits mentioned above for yourself? Here’s six ways to clean up your act to get started.

1. Eat more ‘real’ foods

Processed, unhealthy, inflammation-inducing foods have been linked to a number of health risks that we’re all keen to avoid. Clean eating limits the consumption of such foods in favour of real, whole ingredients.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are staple parts of the clean eating regime. Each is packed with a bevy of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre and plant compounds. This high concentration of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of illness, with cancer and heart disease just two of the conditions you’re less likely to develop as a result.

When clean eating, fruits, and vegetables are best consumed fresh and raw, with organic produce favoured above all else.

2. Treat packaged foods with care

Being more food aware when it comes to the purchase of packaged goods is another golden rule. Packaged goods, including many store cupboard ingredients, can contain a range of preservatives, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. Even your friendly, seemingly healthy pre-washed salad mix could contain hidden additives!

By educating yourself on how to read food labels properly, you can make sure every ingredient you use and eat is truly wholesome. Read labels on all packaged items, including nuts and meats, to ensure there are no questionable contents.

3. Cut the refined carbs

In addition to limiting the intake of processed foods, cutting the refined carbs that may currently make up the bulk of your diet is another must.

Not all carbs were created equal. Refined carbs differ vastly in terms of nutrition when compared to the healthy, complex carbohydrates found in wholegrain foods. Refined carbs can increase the risk of many health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Refined carbs (including the processed sugars and refined grains found in white bread, pasta, and rice) may give you a quick energy boost, but this sugar spike will quickly lead to a lull.

They also contain empty calories and will have been stripped of the fibre, vitamins, and minerals that make all foods worth eating.

Read more about the difference between refined carbs and healthy complex carbs, and discover exactly how to identify them here.

4. Look out for added salt and sugar

Naturally occurring sugars and salts form part of the healthiest, fruit, and veg rich diets. Cleaner foods are after all naturally low in sugar and salt, but it’s added salt and sugar that are the real enemies.

Seemingly healthy foods like yogurt and tomato sauce contain sweeteners, so again reading the food labels correctly will help to lower your intake of added salt and sugar. Want a flavour punch without these additions? Experiment with using herbs and spices instead.

5. Make more ethical choices

Shopping organic for your fruits and vegetables will go a long way when introducing clean eating into your lifestyle, but the same consideration should be given to the meat in your diet.

Choosing food from ethically raised animals isn’t just great for your conscience and the planet, it’s great for your health too. Organic meat is an investment in a higher standard of animal welfare, with livestock reared the organic way happier, healthier, and more nourished. Organic meat also contains less additives, preservatives, and chemicals, and is completely traceable.

Going down the path of a vegan or vegetarian diet is another option to consider and there are some fabulous meat-free dishes to try. Here are our top healthy plant based recipes.

6. Hydrate with the official wonder drink

The wonders of water never cease to amaze me, and as the healthiest and most natural beverage in town, it’s a favourite with clean eaters. Water is the cleanest drink you can drink with zero additives, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine.
We are currently away on annual leave until Sunday 23rd August. Any orders purchased between now and 23rd August will not be posted out until Monday 24th August to ensure total freshness in every one of our small batch Goodness products. xo Sophie
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