5 easy ways to clean up your food act
You may have heard about clean eating, a movement that essentially encourages eating minimally processed foods for maximum nutrition.
"Clean foods are the foods that we all need more of, no matter what else is on our plate," says Terry Walters, author of "Clean Food" (terrywalters.net), who cites whole grains, veggies and non-animal sources of protein like legumes, nuts and seeds as foods that pack the greatest nutritional punch. It's definitely not a diet or a detox, she stresses, but rather a healthy way of life that's easy. Here, she offers five tips to keep in mind when starting to eat clean:
1. Eat all the colors of the rainbow and all five tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent. It's spring, the best time of the year to visit the farmers' market and try one new item of produce a week. Or plant a garden/window box/pot of herbs to make your healthy food even more delectable.
2. Don't deprive yourself of the foods you love. Focus on bringing new clean foods into your diet one at a time. Slow changes are lasting changes. Experiment with super foods like blueberries, kale and quinoa, and see how they make a difference in the way you feel and look!
3. Don't pressure yourself. Take it slow. Learn as much as you can by reading, asking and sharing the journey so that you can make good choices.
4. Adjust your eating habits. Try to sit down when eating, breathe in between bites, and slowly savor your food and nourish all of your senses. Don't forget to chew, chew, chew!
5. Make this your healthy eating mantra: Always choose food that comes without a package.
Try Terry's simple swaps:
TRY: Green fries (oven-baked crispy green beans)
INSTEAD OF: French fries
TRY: Raw kale salad
INSTEAD OF: Cooked sautéed greens or iceberg lettuce
TRY: Homemade energy squares full of your favorite superfoods
INSTEAD OF: Processed packaged granola bars
TRY: Polenta Pizza
INSTEAD OF: Restaurant-bought pies
TRY: High-protein spicy black bean dip
INSTEAD OF: Storebought salsa