(p.s. More information about Clean Eating in more detail is in my new book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body).
My Tips on What To Eat and What To Avoid When Following A “Clean Eating” Lifestyle
What is ‘Clean Eating’ anyway? Clean Eating is about enjoying fresh, whole and organic foods – not processed foods with ingredients you can not pronounce. It’s about eating what makes you feel good. It’s not about eating 10 bowls of quinoa and kale everyday because you’ve heard they are good for you. That’s just simply not what this is about. I eat clean because of my health story and because my body reacts severely if I accidentally eat foods that don’t agree with me. My best tip for you is to choose foods that have one ingredient and try to incorporate a new fruit or vegetable into your meals each week.
Step 1: Increase your vegetable intake. Again, not everyone needs to be eating buckets of kale everyday, even though I wouldn’t have a problem with that, so try a new veggie each week or add avocado to your toast instead of butter or try baking sweet potatoes instead of eating potato chips. It may take a little extra time; but I assure you – it’s worth it.
Step 2: Increase your fruit intake. Not processed fruit snacks, not processed fruit juices. I’m talking about real fruit. An apple, an orange, a kiwi – you get the picture, right?
Step 3: If you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy try dairy-free alternatives and check out my dairy-free page for clean dairy-free products.
Step 4: If you are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease (check out my Celiac Disease Program for more information if you are experiencing symptoms) or are just trying to eat less gluten, check out my gluten-free page.
Step 5: If you are Paleo or are trying to follow a lower carbohydrate grain-free lifestyle, check out my grain-free page.
Step 6: If you eat dairy, I suggest to my clients you always stick with organic. This goes for all milk, yogurt, cheese, ice creams, etc. My favorite brand is Organic Valley. Applegate Farms also sells great organic cheeses.
Step 7: If you are vegan looking for a clean protein powder I suggest the following Clean brands: Sprout Living, Vega, Amazing Grass, Garden of Life and Nutiva.
Step 8: If you eat seafood, I suggest you purchase it fresh and stay away from farm-raised.
Step 9: If you eat eggs, I suggest you eat organic eggs or organic egg whites. My favorite brand of organic eggs is Organic Valley.
Step 10: If you eat meat, I highly suggest you eat only organic. My favorite brand is Applegate Farms.
Step 11: No fast food or deep-fried foods; nothing that has been deep fried in oil.
Step 12: No fat free products; do not eat any products labeled fat free because they are filled with numerous other ‘fillers’ that are not healthy or real foods.
Step 13: Stop eating when you are full. Wrap up your leftovers for your next meal or snack.
Step 14: Eat 100% whole grain.
Step 15: Watch out for refined sugars and sweeteners: No Splenda, aspartame, white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or cane juice. Try to use stevia, a no calorie sweetener made from a plant. My favorite brand is NuNaturals.
Step 16: Eat local foods that are grown in your area to support your farmers. Farmers markets are a great way to find local produce and Whole Foods Market now sells numerous local produce, as well.
Step 17: Steer clear of refined or hydrogenated oils including vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, grape seed oil, margarine and soybean oil.
Step 18: Don’t touch artificial flavorings or colors. Those dyes are going to do a number on your body.
What IS Clean?
- Organic, no-salt added nut butters
- PBA-free canned beans such as Eden Organic
- Spices such as Simply Organic or Frontier Organic
- Lean proteins (organic eggs, turkey, chicken, white fish, seafood)
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup and maple syrup flakes
- Fruits and vegetables
- Low sodium broths
- Low sodium wheat-free soy sauce such as San-J Tamari
- Organic apple cider vinegar such as Bragg’s
- Flours: quinoa, brown rice, almond, oat, millet, buckwheat, coconut flours
- Oils: extra-virgin olive, sesame, pumpkin seed
- Organic pure vanilla extract such as Simply Organics
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Organic dark chocolate
What is NOT Clean?
- Corn syrup
- Fried foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Non BPA-free canned goods
- Canola oil
- Deli meat that contains nitrates
- Processed mayonnaise
- White flour, breads, pasta, etc.
- Refined white sugar
- Regular table salt
- Vegetable or hydrogenated Oils
Make sure to READ Ingredient Lists Carefully.
- Some millet and amaranth cereals may contain corn or oats.
- Some mayonnaise, mustards and vinegars can come from corn or wheat.
- Gluten-free breads may contain oats, spelt, rye, kamut or sugar.
- Cornstarch may be in beverages, processed foods and baking powder.
- MSG may be in products that are labeled ‘Natural Flavors’.
- Many teas, hard candies and chewing gums contain soy.
- If purchasing rice cakes, buy brown rice cakes – not multi-grain rice cakes because they are not just made from rice.
- If purchasing canned items, make sure they do not contain textured vegetable protein (this is a form of soy).
- Be mindful of what your toxic triggers are and remove them from your lifestyle. Do you feel bloated, tired, aches, pains, constipation, fatigue, run down or diarrhea? If so, it may be helpful to remove certain items from your lifestyle such as gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and certain fruits or vegetables. Slowly introduce them to see if they are the cause of your symptoms.
- Alkalize! Eat more alkaline foods (vegetables) than acidic foods (sugar, white flour). Reduce your consumption of non-organic meats, dairy, sugar, wheat, white flour products such as white rice, breads, and desserts.
- Juice your fruits and vegetables at least twice a week. Try apples, spinach, cucumbers and celery.
- Eat half of your food RAW. Try raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and oils.
- Probiotics. Support your ‘gut’ with healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil, fiber and foods containing probiotics such as kimchee, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut. I take Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics daily. To order Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, use code: Amie6 for free First Class Mail shipping and a free sample size of the Kampuku Soap with any order.
- Avoid refined grains and wheat, alcohol, refined sugar and foods containing preservatives.
- Add hemp seeds and ground flax seeds to your lifestyle or take a fish oil pill for inflammation.
It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.