Summertime gives us a chance to enjoy the outdoors, soak in some rays and relish in the joys of being active. With all the physical activity you are sure to experience this summer, it’s important to consume nutritious foods to keep you energized! This summer I invite you to consider cleaning up your diet.
Although there is no legal definition of “clean” eating, most will agree that its main principle is consuming food in its MOST NATURAL STATE. Yes, we are talking about eating real food! This includes unprocessed vegetables and
fruits, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and
dairy. To me this would also include avoiding chemical additives, preservatives or pesticides.
I also recommend choosing the highest quality meats available, such as organic,
grass-fed and pastured animal products. These will have more of the nutritional values you want, omega-3 for example, and less of the unnatural materials you don’t. If sweeteners are desired, these too should be the least processed options such as raw honey or maple syrup.
The process of ridding your diet of processed foods can seem daunting, so stay positive! Some will take this concept to the extreme, tossing all processed items before re-stocking the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. If you choose this path, you may need to enlist a friend, family member or nutritionist for support. If this is not an option, start by simply avoiding processed foods each time you shop and slowly growing a pantry filled with organic, healthy products.
A grocery list is helpful as well as basic meal planning (think vegetables as the base, then meat with fruit, grain and dairy as your garnish). Given the amount of fresh produce available and the option to vamp up recipes with the grill, summer is the perfect time to start cleaning up your diet! What could be better than grilling fresh meats and fish and pairing them with fresh salads or grilled vegetables?
Keep up with your clean eating plan by using your leftovers! Grilled veggies make a great addition to a breakfast omelet while leftover meats are quick additions to
whole grain wraps for lunches and dinner-time salads.
No matter your level of dedication, even incorporating a few clean-eating tips into your menu will help you stay fit and insure that your body can keep up with an
active summer schedule. Now that you have the basic tips down, stay tuned for a
series of healthy clean-eating recipes!