1. Why Clean Eating is Right for Your Body & Why it’s important for Weight-loss
It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is talking about clean eating. So what is all the hoopla about and what does “clean eating” actually mean anyways?
No, it doesn’t mean you are eating food that has been run through the washing machine, although it is a good idea to use a veggie wash on all of your produce before you eat it. Clean eating is all about being aware of the pathway your food had to go through from growth, to your plate. It is focused on the consumption of whole or real food and the reduction or elimination of processed, refined, or handled food from your diet.
Clean eating may sound easy to do, but with the convenience of fast food, and modern grocery stores offering so many processed options and unhealthy foods that do not require any preparation, there is temptation at every turn. So why is eating clean worth the hassle? Is it really worth the extra money and sometimes the extra preparation time? In one word – YES, and it can actually be quite simple to do too!
By eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and good fats, the benefits go far beyond just weight loss. Eating clean promotes natural detoxification in the body and supports liver function. Simply put, the less “junk” clogging up your system, the less your body and specifically your liver has to work to eliminate waste and toxins in your body.
When you eat clean, you substantially improve how well your systems function. This translates into more energy and improved cognitive abilities, immune system functioning, mental state, skin, and hair. Who doesn’t want better skin and hair? When you clean up your insides, your outsides are sure to glow! Doesn’t that sound amazing?
If the benefits of eating clean don’t entice you, the downside of NOT eating clean will at least make you rethink your diet. The implications and problems associated with eating processed and unnatural foods are enormous.
Processed foods are loaded with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have been linked to several major health issues such as cancer, diabetes, and infertility to name a few. Processed foods are also full of chemicals that are void of nutrients, and are often stripped of good vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function properly and help us perform and be at our very best.
So, are you ready to reset your health with clean eating? I know I was after I heard about the consequences of not eating clean! I was so tired of feeling sick and tired, I knew I had to jump off the hamster wheel and get REAL with my food (pun intended).
Some general tips to remember when eating clean include: limit processed foods, cut down on saturated fat, eat lean meats, cut out refined grains, remove sugars/artificial sweeteners, reduce or eliminate alcohol and tobacco consumption, and steer clear of anything with too many ingredients you can’t recognize as real food.
Clean eating also includes drinking more water and increasing fruit and veggie intake. Raw and organic produce are the best options to avoid those nasty pesticides that increase toxicity in the body when consumed. Filling up on fruits and veggies also keeps you full so you will be less likely to binge on unhealthy foods.
2. Weight-loss is Complemented When You Boost Your Daily Water Intake with Fruit-Infused H2O
“Drink more water” – It’s a statement you probably hear constantly from doctors, health coaches, sports team coaches, advertisements, and even mom and dad. But how much water are you really supposed to drink and how can you make doing so a bit easier?
Frankly, water isn’t everyone’s first choice in beverages, but it should be. Water accounts for nearly 60% of your body composition and is essential for growth and regeneration of every cell in your body. Without proper hydration, your body won’t work properly. Proper hydration supports the following major health benefits:
- Prevents dry mouth, lips, and throat
- Keeps the body cool
- Improves muscle and joint function
- Helps you lose weight: As your body is cleansed with water, your body sheds waste which leaves you looking and feeling lighter.
- Cleanses toxins from your body: Shedding toxins gives you more energy, improves mental health and functioning, and gives you better skin and hair. Bonus! You will glow!
- Using certain fruits, herbs, and flowers takes the benefits of hydration to a whole new level.
Infused water benefits include:
- Heightened metabolism
- Enhanced digestive functioning
- Improved immune system functioning (recuperate faster from illness and workouts)
- Additional energy boosts and mood enhancements
So how much should you drink? Half your body weight in ounces. You read that right.
It’s no secret that it’s difficult for many people to drink the necessary amount of water because it can be pretty boring at times. It isn’t as sexy as drinking a glass of wine and it doesn’t have the flavor a soda or sugary drink offers. And yes, while fizzy drinks are fun, it is so important that we limit the amount of sugars and artificial ingredients we put into our bodies. Thankfully, there are easy ways to make your water more interesting, flavorful, and packed full of health benefits. Still not a believer? Read on!
My favorite way to spice up my water intake is with fruit-infused water! Fruit-infused water is a great alternative to its soda counterparts while still being FUN. The main difference is, fruit-infused water is going to leave you feeling fresh and most importantly—HYDRATED! Almost every top massage and spa place I have been to serves fruit, herb, and flower-infused water.
Can’t wait to get started? Try this delicious and refreshing recipe! It’s one of my favorites!
Detox Watermelon Recipe
- 32 ounces of water
- 4 cubes fresh watermelon
- 6 leaves cilantro (cilantro helps with detoxification)
In a 1-liter pitcher, place the fruit and cilantro at the bottom and add water until full. Cover the top of the pitcher and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the fruit seep into the water. The mixture should keep for two days.
The following are some other combination recommendations:
- Orange, lemon, and ginger (improves immune system and blood circulation)
- Cucumber, raspberry, and grape (beats inflammation and fights cancer)
- Rhubarb, apple, and cinnamon (amplifies metabolism)
- Strawberry and lime (boosts anti-aging)
- Pineapple and mint (relieves joint pain and supports digestive system)
3. Smoothies Can Speed Weight-loss Due to their Nutrient Density, Caloric Absorption, and Cleansing Affects
Remember when Donkey in the animated movie “Shrek” says: “You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, let’s get some parfait, they say, Hell no, I don’t like no parfait. Parfaits are delicious!”
This is how I feel about smoothies. In addition to being just plain delicious, smoothies are pretty much the best-tasting and most nutritious on-the-go meal known to man.
Here are the main reasons why smoothies are so amazing for your health.
- Are chock full of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals
- Are easier for your body to digest, which means optimal nutrient assimilation (they get where they need to go in your body quickly)
- Stabilize blood sugar (especially smoothies with a healthy fat in them, as fat is key for blood sugar stabilization)
- Are a fabulous way to consume a variety of different fruits or vegetables at one time
- Are terrific for cleansing the body of toxicity
- Are an easy way to add more fiber to your diet for optimal bowel function
In addition, blending your food provides even more benefits.
- The health of your body depends on your digestion. When you blend your foods, you are supporting the digestion process by doing much of the work. Your body does not have to work so hard to break down the nutrients.
- Did you know that 80% of your energy is spent digesting and assimilating your nutrients? Less work for your body means more energy for you.
- Instead of having to prepare and eat cup after cup of healthy greens or fruits, they are packed into one nutrient-dense smoothie.
- Smoothies can also be a good way to get picky kids to “eat” their fruit and veggies without even knowing it.
- By adding greens such as spinach, kale, collards, etc. to your smoothie, you can take all these benefits to the next level. Need to try it yourself to believe me? Here is a great recipe to get you started.
Avocado Banana Berry Smoothie
- Half a ripe avocado
- 1 to 1 1/2 frozen bananas
- 4 to 5 frozen or fresh strawberries
- 1 cup of almond milk
- Pinch cardamom
- Pinch allspice
Whatever else strikes your fancy. . . Nuts, fruits, spices, etc throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired texture is reached. I prefer it smooth, but some like a chewable drink. Very, very delicious! Serves: 1
Make this and other smoothies in advance, drink them anytime of day and grab them on the-go. Yup, smoothies are pretty much the best food on the planet.
Clean Eating FAQ
1. WILL I BE STARVING?
Not at all! There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there is room for snacks in between. Every meal is delicious and created by a fabulous chef to nourish your body from the inside out. This program is not about starvation or deprivation, and we are not counting calories or dwelling on carbs. You will feel satisfied with every bite. If you do get hungry, there are extra snack recipes included!
2. CAN I STILL WORKOUT DURING THE PROGRAM?
Please workout during the program! If you feel tired or have low energy, exercising restores both strength and energy. During this program, you will be eating protein and drinking plenty of liquids, so if you’re already exercising, there’s no reason to stop! It is important to remember that whenever you change the foods you eat your body changes as well. Please consult with your doctor if you have any specific concerns about your health.
3. WHAT SORT OF PROTEINS WILL I BE EATING?
You will have the option for plant or animal-based proteins, which will be listed out for you in your recipes and suggested meals. There are so many “clean eating protein sources” to choose from you won’t get bored with your options!
4. AM I ONLY GOING TO BE DRINKING JUICES AND SMOOTHIES?
No way! While there are some juices and smoothies for you to choose from, you will also be eating salads, soups, and even desserts that are delicious, nutritious, and will eliminate toxins in your body in a safe and natural way.
5. DO I HAVE TO TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, PILLS, AND POWDERS?
Not in this program!! The only supplement I recommend that everyone take on a daily basis is a probiotic, and you’ll learn why in this program.
6. CAN I DO THIS IF I’M NURSING OR PREGNANT?
If you are nursing, I suggest that you add at least 4-6 ounces of protein at lunch and dinner, boost your morning smoothie with a scoop of hemp or pea protein, and eat snacks in between meals. Make sure you are consuming extra fat and drinking enough liquids. This program does not include any detox-provoking agents, but again, please consult with your doctor prior to starting this program if you have any health concerns.
7. WILL I FEEL WEAK DURING THE PROGRAM?
You are going to feel so strong and energized it will amaze you! In the beginning, your body may go through a “healing phase” to re-balance and let go of toxicity. It is important to listen to your body through this program, and I will be here to support you with that. I will guide you step by step through exactly what can be done to reduce any unwanted symptoms that may appear. This program is completely flexible for figuring out what works for YOU!
8. I DON’T EAT GLUTEN OR DAIRY. HOW CAN THIS PROGRAM HELP ME?
Many people who eat very “clean” already still have room to empty out the pipes with an elimination diet and take their healthy habits to the next level. Changing up the foods we eat gives our digestion time to rest and reset, which can be helpful for anyone regardless of their current eating habits.
9. WHAT SIDE EFFECTS MIGHT I EXPERIENCE?
Some people go through this program and feel nothing but energized, while others may feel tired or light-headed as their bodies eliminate and let go of unnecessary toxins. The experience will differ from one person to the next, but this program is designed with that in mind, and you’ll have access to all the tools you need to keep any unwanted symptoms at bay.
10. I HAVE A KNOWN MEDICAL CONDITION. IS THIS STILL SAFE FOR ME?
While this program is based on eating only whole foods, it is still advised that you consult your physician before beginning this or any program.
Note: It is important to consult your physician before beginning any new eating or exercise program. This is a clean eating program designed to teach you the difference between foods that inflame you and foods that fuel you. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.