Well... like any dietary guideline, the definition is not black and white. At one extreme, it may be eating only raw plant foods, while others might consider simply avoiding unnatural ingredients and refined foods to be "eating clean" For me, it's somewhere in the middle. I've been vegetarian since my teens, and have avoided artificial ingredients, preservatives, etc for many years. It was a New Year's Intention of mine to try to back to a vegan lifestyle, so lately I've also been trying to avoid dairy and eggs, as well as sugar, and anything refined. I've been sticking to tons of veggies, a few whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa, seeds, nuts, fruits and beans.I have really noticed that when I'm eating a nice clean diet, I feel great! And on those occasions when I do indulge in some refined carbs, sugar or dairy, I don't feel so good. Being aware of how my diet affects the way I feel definitely helps keep me motivated to make healthy choices.
So what does a "clean" diet look like in real life? Well... here are some sample menus of what I've been eating lately:
Oatmeal, with raisins and flax, and a little stevia.
Apple slices w/almond butter
half an avocado
Tofu, veggies and quinoa, with ginger nama shoyu sauce.
Banana, handful of walnuts
A big salad, with garbanzo beans, hemp seeds and tahini dressing.
Veggies with hummus
3 bean chili with diced avocado, small salad
Millet with dried fruit and hemp seeds
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
Veggies and buckwheat noodles with spicy peanut sauce
|Breakfast! Oatmeal w/flax and stevia|
|Lunch! Big, awesome salad.|
|Dinner! Veggies, buckwheat soba noodles and spicy peanut sauce|
There are days when I find it more challenging than others to eat well (particularly when the rest of the family really needs a Mac-n-Cheese fix!) But I try to just take it one meal at a time, one day at a time. Next post, I will share some ways to make it easier to make good choices, even when life gets really busy.