It was brought to my attention tonight that, after nearly two years of living a (mostly) clean-eating lifestyle, The H is unclear just exactly what "clean eating" means. Can you say "FAIL" on my part? Without further ado, here are what I believe to be the ten most important principles of clean eating, paraphrased from a cut-out section in every issue of Clean Eating Magazine:
1. Eat five to six times a day--each meal or snack should include lean protein + complex carbohydrates.
2. Drink at least two liters of water a day--bust out your pretty and reusable bottles!
3. Choose foods with one or two ingredients--if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it (edamame and quinoa are exceptions). ;)
4. Avoid processed and refined foods--ditch the white flour, sugar, bread, and regular pasta. Use whole grains instead. This is the heart and soul of clean eating for me.
5. Skip the bad guys--avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fats (note: if a food contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, it DOES contain trans fats, regardless of what the per-serving nutrition info says), things that are high in sugar, and anything fried.
6. Shop carefully--try to purchase local and humanely raised meats if possible. Produce that is in season is tastier and usually more affordable.
7. Some fats are good--the body needs essential fatty acids daily.
8. Eat proper portion sizes--pretty self-explanatory.
9. Take your time--slow down and savor your meals.
10. Be prepared--pack a cooler for work and/or outings so you are armed with clean-eating foods even when you're not at home.
In the future, I'll try to be better about describing the "why" behind some of the choices I make, rather than assuming everyone (even those in my household...) understands what I'm doing.
Which aspect of clean eating is most important to you?