Clean Eating for Family Meals
Have you been considering trying more of a “clean eating” food approach for you and your family? If so, kudos to you!
Eating clean is a great way to take charge of you and your family’s health and overall well-being! Have more control over the healthy foods that go into your bodies.
Clean eating doesn’t have to be as complicated as we think – but if we had to be honest, it’s definitely a little more work and it does take effort. But the payoffs are huge!
It’s a little more planning and a little more, well … chopping. The good news is, the benefits are almost immediate and enjoying good health is worth that little bit of extra effort for you and your family.
Any effort you put into healthy eating for yourself and for your family will have life-long lasting effects!
Many of us are seriously lacking some of the nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy due to the onslaught of processed foods in our diet! Processed foods and the bombardment of sugar products have undermined our health to the point it’s becoming an epidemic.
Sugar is now being called the new “smoking” of this century and it’s everywhere. Did you know that high-fructose corn syrup (sugar) is our number 1 source of calories. NUMBER 1!! So what can we do?
First of all, you might be a little concerned with fitting a clean eating approach into your busy lifestyle. You may wonder if eating clean actually tastes good. For instance, how are you going to replace the sugar-filled junk food that you love with a healthy alternative without going into withdrawals and you and your family living in misery?
We’re putting together a collection of “real food recipes” or “clean eating” family recipes that will encourage you to try a few, or all, of these recipes for healthy family meals. Whether you are health-conscious or just looking for a better way to eat and serve your family, these recipes promise to not have any processed foods or ingredients and will also teach you how to cook using spices and less fat and sugar.
Basic Principles of Clean Eating for Family Meals
To make the idea of clean eating simple to understand, consider it as cleaning your interior, just like bathing or showering cleans your body’s exterior. How do you wash and clean yourself internally? You do it by limiting the amount of possibly harmful foods you eat or the amount of “bad stuff” you put in your body.
When you pull a carrot out of the ground and eat it, you are “eating clean”. (Wash the carrot first, of course.) You are eating that food as close to its natural state as you possibly can. To think about the opposite of eating clean, imagine what happens to processed foods before they get to you. A store-bought pizza uses enriched, processed flour as its base. The veggies, cheeses and meats on the pizza have undergone injections of salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sugar, steroids, preservatives and other unhealthy compounds and chemical nasties.
The tomato paste used is also chock-full of unnatural and potentially harmful ingredients. This is processed food as we have come to know it, in its most nutritionally-poor form. Obesity, heart diseases, circulatory problems and a host of other physical and mental issues are connected to a diet high in processed and refined foods.
Eating clean limits, as much as possible, the amount of processed foods, sugar, and salt you eat, and focuses on whole foods. The reason? You can feel better, enjoy more energy, lose weight, detox your body, turn back the clock by fighting the aging process and reduce your risk of contracting a host of diseases … simply by eating clean.
The Simple Basics of Clean Eating – Staring with the Number One Rule!
Number One Rule – Cook at Home and Control the Food Quality!
- Eat more whole foods – Whole foods are very close to their original state. Sure, apples and oranges went through some type of process to get from a farm or orchard and to your grocer. However, they have enjoyed minimal human intrusion compared to processed foods. Whole fruits and vegetables, grass-fed, free-range meat products, unsalted seeds and nuts, and whole grains are what you want to focus on eating here.
- Eat fewer processed foods – This is easier to do than you may think. If the food you are about to eat comes in a wrapper or package, it has been processed. Check the ingredients label. Some foods that are wrapped up or packaged have minimal processing. Most do not. Avoid anything in a wrapper and you will drastically and simply limit your intake of processed and refined foods.
- Eat more frequently – The Standard American Diet (appropriately shortened to SAD) is also enjoyed in most modern countries and cultures. It includes eating 3 meals a day. It involves huge portions.This is a guaranteed way to minimize your overall wellness and maximize poor health. Spread your daily eating over 5 or 6 sessions.
- Eat smaller quantities, and eat every 2 or 3 hours, either a meal or snack. This keeps your metabolism super-charged, and your internal processes working properly.
- Prepare your own meals – The best way to eat clean is to know exactly what goes into the food you eat. Eating away from home means you are playing Russian roulette with your diet. Cook your own meals and there is no mystery as far as what you are eating.
- Eat balanced meals and snacks – Makes you are getting carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats with any meal or snack. This combination makes you feel full longer. It also reduces your urges for unhealthy junk and processed foods.
- Stop killing yourself by eating refined sugar – Did you know that sugar creates a reaction in your brain similar to that of a drug addiction? Refined, processed sugar is regarded by most health officials and doctors as the major cause for obesity today. This leads to circulatory, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, an increased risk of contracting diabetes, and a host of mental and physical health issues. The empty calories in sugar do absolutely nothing positive for your body. Natural sweeteners are found in fruits and vegetables, and can easily replace potentially deadly refined sugar.
Constantly remind yourself of the above 6 traits of clean eating. If you simply wrote the above 6 tips on a piece of paper and referred to it every time you shopped for groceries, you and your family could benefit from the wonderful health properties of clean eating without making the process more complicated than it actually is.
Eating clean is only complicated and difficult if you make it that way. Everything that you get in life which is worth achieving or accomplishing is going to depend on the choices that you make. Clean eating versus eating a lot of processed foods means living a longer, happier and healthier life. Is that something you want? Then make the smart choice starting today!
It took time to get to that point so give it some time to undo the sugar habit …
Remember, a sugar addiction took time to develop. It may take some time to beat as well. Research shows that 3 to 4 weeks of a diet absent of refined sugar is all it takes most people to kick their sugar habit. Besides, there are plenty of natural sweeteners found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables. This makes it easy to bake desserts, snacks and treats that satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to a clean eating profile.
You will probably find that eating clean can actually be less expensive than the way you’re eating right now. You can buy raw whole foods in bulk to save money. You can shop, slice, dice and prepare individual food items and entire meals in advance, and store serving sizes in your refrigerator and freezer.
Also, don’t forget that inexpensive frozen fruits and vegetables are sometimes more nutritious than the non-frozen choices in the produce section. These foods go immediately from a farm to a packaging company where they are flash frozen. They are at the peak of ripeness. This limits the amount of time that produce has to lose nutrients and minerals due to exposure to the air. Focus on store brand frozen fruits and vegetables for the biggest savings.
When you plan your healthy meals for the week and then carefully grocery shop for those items and prepare healthy meals, you will notice right away that you waste less food. And wasting less foods saves us tons of money!
So let’ get started!