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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Little Push 5 Day Challenge: Clean Eating Day 1

Welcome to Day one of the Little Push Challenge!
Here is your Clean eating post for the day.  Below I have listed my TOP 10 tips to eating real unprocessed foods.  Throughout the week I want you to try to stick to this tips and keep them in mind when you are planning your meals. 
Also please feel free to explore the clean eating recipes I have posted here on the blog.  
Here are my top 10 tips to eating Real food:
  1. Eat whole, fresh, unprocessed foods.
    • Whole foods typically don’t have a label telling you that they are healthy for you. Think of an apple… An apple doesn’t try to convince you that it is healthy so you will want to buy it, but the foods that claim to be healthy “Low Fat”, “Low Sugar” and the like are usually overly processed and when one thing is removed they will add others in order to make it taste good!  Choose wisely.
  2. Stop eating when you feel full: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.
    •  Michael Pollan says instead of using our internal cues to know when to stop eating, most of us “allow external, and usually visual, cues to determine how much we should eat.” Think back to your last meal…did you stop eating when your gut told you you’d had enough or when your plate was clean, the package was empty, or the T.V. show was over.
  3. Never cut any food group out of your diet, including carbohydrates.
    • So many diets are based on cutting out one food group or reducing the amount of something.  My suggestion is, rather than cut out a food group, cut out anything man-made (in a lab).  If you don’t recognize the ingredient, chances are your body won’t either and it won’t know what to do with it.
  4. Need a sweet treat? Dark chocolate is packed with healthy nutrients. Moreover, it improves mood!
  5. All grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.
    • Read the labels, as many products claim to be whole wheat, but they must be 100%, not 50/50, to be considered real food.  Also make sure you read the ingredients list on the back of breads, buns and crackers…
  6. No more than 10 ingredients - Avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than 10 ingredients, no matter what ingredients. When buying packaged foods, read the nutrition labels carefully.
    • The more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is. Note 1: A long list of ingredients in a recipe is not the same thing; that’s fine. Note 2: Some products now boast, somewhat deceptively, about their short ingredient lists. Be sure to check out that short ingredient list and be mindful of the other tips listed when scanning the list.
  7. Beverages should be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). Limit yourself to one cup of juice per week and NO soda!
    • As far as sweetening your beverages, all sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, brown sugar, etc.) are high in calories and low in nutrients. The artificial sweeteners that have no calories are just chemically created imitations invented in a lab somewhere…YUCK! So no matter what kind of sweetener one uses I hope that it is, first of all, not an imitation and second of all, used in moderation. Best to stick to 100% pure maple syrup or honey.
  8. Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
    • Scared of whole milk, cream or full fat cheese?  Don’t be.  Trust me, the low-fat diet fad is just that… The trouble is, it’s ingrained in so many of us that low fat is better for us!  It’s really not! Fats in things like sour cream and yogurt are replaced with hydrogenated oils and the cream in ‘whipped cream’ and ‘coffee creamer’ are replaced with corn starch. Usually if they take something out (like fat) they add something in to keep people satisfied (like sugar). Sugar is the enemy, not Fat!
  9. No refined or artificial sweeteners including (but not limited to): white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. 
    • Foods and beverages should only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup. (See reasons above in beverage note #7)
  10. No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.
    • Instead, choose real Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, and flax seed oil.

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