eat clean health

Eat clean in 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015 Brittany Lohmann

I am continually learning about food – where our food comes from; the differences between conventional and organic farming; how products are grown/made; and what really constitutes as “healthy” diet. There are inordinate amounts of studies available on the subject, and opinions differ significantly in terms of what diet is best for us; however, regardless of whether you are vegetarian, vegan, living a Paleo lifestyle or follow the Standard American diet, there are a few constants that the experts can agree upon.

Get back to basics. No matter what type of diet you follow, each meal should consist of a fat, protein, and carbohydrate. In terms of portioning, proteins should be approximately the size of your palm. The amount of fat in each dish should be approximately the size of your thumb. Carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, and grains, should fill up the rest of your plate.

For more tips on proper food portioning, visit the Food Network’s photo slideshow: Tips for Perfect Portion Sizes.

Eat locally grown, organic, and whole foods.  Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store, visit local farmer’s markets, and read food labels – all three are important when eating a healthy diet and are crucial when including organic and whole foods in one’s diet. Our bodies were designed to eat real food that came from the ground and are a part of our natural world – not something that came from a box with ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

Afraid of breaking the bank by going organic? Check out WebMD’s post on “How to Eat Organic on a Budget”.

Eat more fruits and vegetables – with emphasis on the veggies. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help reduce many diseases and provide needed vitamins and minerals. While fruits are still a great way to receive nutrients, many fruits contain a lot of natural sugars. So while you would never necessarily want to cut fruit out of your diet, you will want to load up on vegetables instead.

Dislike veggies? Try hiding them in your food. Visit The Sneaky Chef for ideas.

Drink plenty of water.  Most people know that it is important to drink water. It flushes toxins from your body and assists in weight control by curbing hunger and speeding up your metabolic rate among other benefits.  Plus, most people follow the 8 cups of water per day as a general rule of thumb. However, discovering how much water you need depends more so on your weight and your activity level, and finding that perfect amount can help you feel better throughout the day.

Need help finding the right amount of water to drink each day? Visit The Slender Kitchen for help to calculate your perfect amount.

As aforementioned, everyone has their own idea of what is considered the "best" diet; however, no matter where you turn, the basics are always best. Eat fresh, local, organic food whenever possible, stay away from processed, boxed, and fast food meals, and drink plenty of water. Partaking of whole foods on a regular basis will leave you more energized and feel better on a daily basis. 

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