Wednesday, July 10, 2013

how to eat cleaner in 23 easy steps

23?  that's an easy amount of steps?  that's too much!!!

i know that's what you thought.  well, you thought wrong.  these are 23 easy steps.  i promise.  and to those of you who have contacted me about clean eating, wondering what it is and how to do it, this awesome article from will help you easily navigate clean eating:

cleaner, healthier eating

healthy eating isn't always easy, especially with junk foods tempting you at the grocery store, corner deli, and even the office kitchen. though eating clean at every meal isn't always realistic, you can take steps to limit processed food.
here, we show how common foods morph from real (i.e. apples) to highly processed (apple toaster pastries).
your goal: choose from natural foods as often as possible, go with foods that are somewhat processed in a pinch, and limit your intake of highly processed items.

1. apples1st choice (natural state): apple2nd choice (somewhat processed): applesaucelimit (highly processed): apple toaster pastry
shopping tip: while applesauce is a healthy choice, it has fewer nutrients than a whole apple.

2. oranges1st choice (natural state): orange2nd choice (somewhat processed): 100% orange juicelimit (highly processed): orange drinkshopping tip: many fruit drinks contain high fructose corn syrup and little real juice.

3. strawberries1st choice (Natural State): fresh strawberries2nd choice (somewhat processed): strawberry preserveslimit (highly processed): strawberry gelatin dessertshopping tip: gelatin desserts usually contain artificial strawberry flavor, not real fruit.

4. peaches1st choice (natural state): peach2nd choice (somewhat processed): canned peaches in 100% juicelimit (highly processed): canned peaches in heavy syrupshopping tip: fruit canned in heavy syrup has more sugar and calories than fresh fruit.

5. figs1st choice (natural state): fresh figs2nd choice (somewhat processed): fig preserveslimit (highly processed): fig sandwich cookiesshopping tip: packaged fruit cookies may contain refined sugar and preservatives.

6. pineapple1st choice (natural state): pineapple2nd choice (somewhat processed): canned diced pineapplelimit (highly processed): pineapple cocktail cupshopping tip: fresh pineapple is higher in vitamins c and a and beta-carotene than canned.

7. corn1st choice (natural state): corn on the cob2nd choice (somewhat processed): corn tortilla chipslimit (highly processed): cornflakesshopping tip: buy tortilla chips with just three ingredients: whole corn, oil, and salt—and eat in moderation.

8. spinach1st choice (natural state): spinach2nd choice (somewhat processed): bagged prewashed spinachlimit (highly processed): frozen creamed spinachshopping tip: when buying frozen vegetables, avoid those packaged with sodium-rich sauces. buy plain and add your own light sauce.

9. garlic1st choice (natural state): garlic2nd choice (somewhat processed): jarred minced garliclimit (highly processed): bottled garlic marinadeshopping tip: minced fresh garlic is cheaper and more flavorful than jarred.

10. carrots1st choice (natural state): carrots2nd choice (somewhat processed): baby carrotslimit (highly processed): frozen honey-glazed carrotsshopping tip: baby carrots are healthy but more expensive than regular-size loose carrots.

11. soup1st choice (natural state): soup from scratch2nd choice (somewhat processed): canned souplimit (highly processed): dehydrated soup mixshopping tip: homemade soup often has less sodium and more flavor than canned. check out these 20 heart-smart soup recipes.

12. ham1st choice (natural state): heritage ham2nd choice (somewhat processed): deli hamlimit (highly processed): packaged deli bolognashopping tip: heritage varieties of pork are much less likely to contain hormones than factory meat is.

13. turkey1st choice (natural state): whole turkey2nd choice (somewhat processed): deli turkeylimit (highly processed): store-bought turkey meatballsshopping tip: if you buy turkey and other meats at the deli counter, ask for brands free of fillers and nitrates. 

14. beef1st choice (natural state): grass-fed beef2nd choice (somewhat processed): grain-fed beeflimit (highly processed): frozen beef pattiesshopping tip: grass-fed meat is higher in nutrients and lower in fat than grain-fed beef. 

15. chicken1st choice (natural state): fresh chicken breasts2nd choice (somewhat processed): deli sliced chickenlimit (highly processed): chicken nuggetsshopping tip: chicken nuggets contain very little real chicken. try these baked chicken nuggets instead. 

16. eggs1st choice (natural state): pasture-raised eggs2nd choice (somewhat processed): omega-3-fortified eggslimit (highly processed): egg beatersshopping tip: pasture-raised eggs may have 35% less saturated fat, 60% more vitamin a, and 200% more omega-3s compared to omega-3-fortified eggs and egg beaters, which come from chickens kept in coops.

17. cream

1st choice (natural state): cream2nd choice (somewhat processed): fat-free half cream / half milklimit (highly processed): flavored dairy creamershopping tip: flavored dairy creamers are often made with colorings, artificial flavors, and corn syrup.

18. yogurt1st choice (natural state): plain yogurt2nd choice (somewhat processed): flavored yogurtlimit (highly processed): flavored yogurt drinkshopping tip: buy plain yogurt and flavor it at home with honey or fresh fruit.

19. bread1st choice (natural state): whole grain bread2nd choice (somewhat processed): wheat breadlimit (highly processed): fortified white breadshopping tip: if a whole grain isn't the first ingredient, you're missing out on nutrients.

20. pasta1st choice (natural state): dried whole wheat pasta2nd choice (somewhat processed): dried white pastalimit (highly processed): instant noodlesshopping tip: whole grain pasta is higher in antioxidants than white or instant noodles.

21. rice1st choice (natural state): brown rice2nd choice (somewhat processed): white ricelimit (highly processed): flavored instant riceshopping tip: brown rice, unlike white, hasn't had its fiber-rich layers of bran and germ removed.

22. nuts1st choice (natural state): peanuts2nd choice (somewhat processed): natural peanut butterlimit (highly processed): processed peanut buttershopping tip: natural peanut butter should contain only peanuts and a dash of salt.

23. soy1st choice (natural state): fresh edamame (whole soybeans)2nd choice (somewhat processed): fofulimit (highly processed): frozen veggie burgers (containing soy ingredients)shopping tip: frozen veggie burgers are vegetarian-friendly but are highly processed. try these tasty veggie burger recipes instead. 
see, that wasn't all that bad.  most of the foods on this list are things you already buy at the grocery store on a regular basis.  now you can buy them cleaner!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

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