Trickery in the supermarket
The food industry isn’t exactly making things easy for us: everywhere you look, there are flavour enhancers, colourings, preservatives, sweeteners and a whole host of other additives. The ingredients list of some products is so long that it is difficult to make out exactly what we are eating. And what’s troubling is that so many of these additives are unnecessary! There is a welcome trend towards food that is more natural, with many consumers deciding that they’ve had enough of Franken-foods. Clean eating does away with as many artificial additives as possible, putting unadulterated, natural foods back in the spotlight.
Rule of thumb: the shorter the ingredients list, the better!
The key idea behind clean eating is to keep food as natural and as unprocessed as possible. For example, feel free to run wild in the fruit and veg section of your local shop, and top up your trolley with pulses, grains, unprocessed dairy products, nuts, eggs, meat and fish. Are you vegetarian or vegan? Even better. Clean eating includes a wide variety of products that contain all the important nutrients. And another bonus: a clean eating diet is very high in fibre. Combine your fibre sources, such as wholemeal pasta, bulgur, millet, oat flakes and brown rice, with low-fat protein, which is found in broccoli, peas, lentils, beans and almonds, and high-quality fats from avocado or vegetable oils, and you’ve got a balanced and very tasty diet. Season with fresh herbs instead of an overdose of salt – and you’ll wonder why you ever wanted to eat anything else!
So what should you avoid?
Easy: everything we don’t need in our diet. This includes artificial additives, but also fast food, junk food, industrial sugar and wheat flour. You should enjoy alcohol in moderation, because it disrupts the metabolism. Replace sweets with nature’s treats, such as dates, vanilla, coconut and cocoa.
Small meals instead of super-sized portions
Another clean eating trick is to limit portion size. Experts recommend eating five or six small meals instead of three big ones. This helps you avoid succumbing to the dreaded slump or ravenous munchie attacks, and it keeps your metabolism ticking over evenly. Ultimately, though, this is not a must, because the focus is on listening to your body and responding when it tells you that it has had enough. If you’re not hungry, then simply skip the next portion.
Regional & seasonal
When you go shopping, make sure that the products you buy are regional, seasonal and organic. Farmers’ markets are good places to shop for products like these. Or pop down to your local farm shop instead of going to a supermarket. Quite apart from being healthier, it’s also much more fun!
Like the sound of clean eating?
If you want to make sure that your body and mind get the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet – as well as having fun cooking, then clean eating is ideal. You don’t need to count calories or ban carbs from your plate or give up snacks. Everything is permitted as long as it’s clean!
Enjoy every Bite.