Find your path to clean eating in 10 steps. We care about shampooing our hair and showering everyday but how about keeping our guts and inside clean too? Here is your recipe:
Step 1: Done with the processed food
Processed food has been linked to increase risk of cancer and insulin resistance fuelling rate of diabetes. You can identify processed food to be any food that is in a can, package or jar and has preservatives added to it to increase the shelf life. Some examples to bid farewell: canned tuna, tomato paste, jam, most frozen food, salamis, sausages, ready-made soups, coffee, candy and cookies.
Step 2: Try natural and if possible organic
Pesticides have been linked to increase risk of cancer. Natural means unprocessed without additives/preservatives. Organic on the other hand means without having been treated with pesticides and insecticides. If you want to identify if something is natural or not, read the labels and stay away from preservatives and additives.
Tip: If you think buying organic is expensive for your budget then here is our tip! Put some vinegar in a big bowl of water and wash the vegetables and fruits before consuming to remove pesticides.
Step 3: Watch the red meat
Red meat, although a good source of protein, iron and zinc, is also rich in saturated fat which fuels risk of cardiovascular events including heart attack or stroke.
Tip: Try to keep your consumption at twice a week and the portions to the size of palm.
Step 4: Go for whole grains
When you process the grains – for example go from brown rice to white rice – you actually remove sources of fiber and vitamins good for you. What you are left with raises your blood sugar much more rapidly and then fall more rapidly meaning you will get hungry sooner.
Tip: Go for brown whole grains: whole wheat, bulghur, corn, rye, brown rice, quinoa
Step 5: Long live the rainbow colors
Try to get 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Every different color fruit and vegetable has different nutrients so get a full range of colors: yellow, orange, red, purple and all shades of green!
Step 6: Balance in your diet, balance in your life!
While many diets focus on getting a ton of protein (as protein is harder to digest, it keeps you fuller longer), working your kidneys on full force to digest all that protein will take its toll at some point. Hence it is good to incorporate good fats, complex carbohydrates and protein all into your diet.
Tip: Think of your plate (a plate with diameter of 9 inches or 23 cm’s). Half of it should be vegetables and fruits, ¼ should be protein, ¼ should be whole grains. On top of this try to get 1-2 glasses of probiotic sources such as kefir and yoghurt to get your calcium for your bone health.
Step 7: Eat more frequently!
Research has shown that if you skip your snack time, you tend to eat much more. Eating healthy snacks in between meals has been proved to regulate blood sugar and prevent spikes, prevent overeating during meals, keep your energy high and prevent sugar cravings.
Tip: Try raw almonds, homemade hummus and carrots, 2 scoops of natural ice-cream, feta cheese on a toast of whole grain bread
Step 8: Hold the salt
Too much sodium from salt increases your blood pressure.
Tip: It does not matter if salt is from Himalayas or not, try to keep it at bay. You can reduce pickles, salamis, sausages, chips, soy sauce, ready-made soup and other ready-made food.
Tip: When the label reads 600 mg of sodium in a 100 g product, just say pass.
Step 9: Sugar
We would hate it if you hate us because we say no sugar, but really, white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup are all sugar. Sugar simply creates spikes in your blood sugar levels, creating insulin resistance, wears away your pancreas and messes up your hormone levels causing diabetes.
Lactose in milk products and fructose in fruits prevent the spikes in insulin levels since they are taken into the body within other food resources.
Tip: If there is one thing that regulates blood sugar, that is cinnamon! Try putting a cinnamon stick in your tea to curb your sugar cravings.
Step 10: Stay hydrated
After throwing a few hardballs at you with sugar and salt, here is an easy one: Drink up water!
Tip: Drink water before feeling dehydrated to maintain mind and body functioning at its best.
Tip: For every cup of coffee you drink you should drink 1 more glass of water.