Wednesday, August 12, 2009

what is clean eating?

What is clean eating? Some say its sticking to the outer rim of the grocery store, but there is more to it. I came across this list and thought I'd put it here for reference.

1. leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, etc... Darker greens have more nutrients, choose them over pale lettuce

2. vegetables, such as cucumbers, radishes, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, peppers, carrots, beets, mushrooms, peas, avocados, sweet potatoes, etc. You can’t go wrong here. To save money, choose produce that’s in season and buy from a farmers market for a fresher taste and better value. When you can buy organic!

3. fruit, such as tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, oranges, lemons, papaya, watermelon, blueberries, blackberries, etc. Again, go for fruit that’s in season to avoid paying too much. When you can buy organic!

4. frozen vegetables & fruit. Frozen might be better in some instances, it’ll keep longer and be a better bargain when trying to find produce that’s not in season. Make sure no sugar is added to fruit and no butter sauces, salt or breading is added to vegetables. Buy them plain.

5. canned vegetables & fruit. Try to get low-sodium or sodium- free canned vegetables and rinse them. As far as canned fruit… personally, I stay away from it, as it is almost always canned in some sort of corn syrup and is very high in sugar. I do however buy organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes for sauces.

6. dried fruit. Apricots, prunes, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, figs, dates, etc. Try to get them unsweetened, as they are high in sugar content as it is.

7. nuts & seeds. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, etc. Buy plain raw unsalted nuts and seeds. A lot of nuts that are sold in jars/cans have oil & salt/sugar added to them, so read the ingredient list.

8. nut butters. Natural peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc. Natural is what you need! Regular nut butters have sugars, corn syrup and hydrogenated oils added to them. You can make your own natural nut butter by processing nuts of your choice in a food processor with a bit of canola oil if you prefer.

9. whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, wheat, bulgur, millet, rye, buckwheat, old-fashioned rolled or steel-cut oats, spelt, etc. You can’t go wrong here, unless the grain is refined, for example white rice is refined, brown rice is whole.

10. bread products. Whole grain wraps, tortillas, Ezekiel products, etc. Make sure the first word in the ingredient list is whole. Steer clear of an ingredient list with “corn syrup” (added cheap sugar) and “hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated oils” (added trans fats) in it.

11. pasta products. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, spelt & quinoa pasta, etc. The same as with bread, make sure the grain is whole.

12. beans & legumes. Black beans, kidney beans, navy, pinto, garbanzo, lentils, peas, soybeans, etc. Don’t forget to rinse canned beans to wash out extra sodium.

13. meats and poultry. Lean cuts of beef, pork, ground beef, ground turkey, chicken breast, turkey breast. Make sure to remove all visible fat & skin.

14. fish. Salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, snapper, etc. Fresh is great, frozen will keep longer and will work in recipes just as well. When using canned tuna or salmon, make sure they are canned in water, not oil.

15. dairy & eggs. Low-fat or skim milk, plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt, low-fat of fat-free cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, eggs, egg whites, egg beaters

16. non-dairy milk. Unsweetened soy milk, unsweetened almond milk, etc. Great alternatives if you do not consume dairy.

17. soy products. Various soy products, such as soy nuts, tofu, edamame are great protein sources for vegetarian meals.

18. oils. Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, sesame seed oil, flaxseed oil, vegetable cooking spray.

19. spices and herbs. Basil, cilantro, red & black pepper, rosemary, oregano, sage, etc. Again, can’t go wrong here! Experiment with different herbs & spices to add great flavor to your dishes. It doesn’t have to be just salt & pepper!

20. condiments. Low-sodium soy sauce, mustard, vinegars, low-fat mayo, hot sauce, salsa. If you are looking for salad dressing, try lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or make one yourself.

21. sweet stuff. Honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, blackstrap molasses. Use sparingly. Natural sweeteners are still sugar and to your body it is just that.

22. drinks. Plenty of water – at least 8 glasses a day. If you’ve never drank that much water before, start with 6 to 8 glasses and work your way up. Remember that your body looses a lot of water when you work out, so drink even more if you exercise regularly. Green tea, black tea and black coffee is also ok in moderation.

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