Clean eating can be summed up into one, powerful, glowing and healthy lifestyle: A lifestyle that involves consuming real food in or as close to its most natural state as possible. Eating to nourish and cleanse the body and mind. Educating yourself on where food comes from. Purchasing or growing foods that are nutritious, unprocessed, and sustainable. Being more mindful of your overall health and the environment in which you live. Clean eating is a choice and a way of life.
1. Eat Real Foods. Cut down on all processed foods. Read labels when you shop. Always stock your fridge with healthy and real, whole food options. Anything from the soil is a sure thing. Eat only what gives back to you!
2. Cut down the sugar! Reduce inflammation in your precious body.
3. Cook with more greens. Get more nutrients, fiber and water into your body.
4. Look to water as your main beverage! Skip all the sodas, frapps, slurpees and milkshakes.
5. Be mindful of where you are purchasing your food. Your dollar is your vote.
6. Take control of your health and your lifestyle with cooking clean. You control your health when cooking for yourself!
7. No diets allowed. With clean eating, you finally set yourself free from rules, restrictions, diets, yo-yo weight loss, and confusion. Clean eating is clear, simple and easy to follow. Clean eating will improve your whole life!
The best prescription for a long, happy, and beautiful life is this: Educate yourself about where your food comes from, grocery shop often, cook most days, exercise, sleep, and enjoy the meals you prepare with the people you love.
Simple Week of Clean Eating
What to Eat:
Fresh greens and vegetables (organic when possible), fresh fruits (limit to one a day), whole grains, cracked grains, and sprouted grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, sea vegetables (be sure to check sodium content), spices like turmeric, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, and cumin.
What to Drink:
Water (10 cups a day), lemon water, green tea, fresh green juices (limit to two a day, low in sugar), herbal teas, unsweetened nut, rice, and coconut milk (all nutmilks in moderation; all unsweetened).
What to Limit/Avoid:
Start each day with a simple-to-make, delicious, filling, and low-sugar green smoothie, like my Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie. To keep smoothies from getting too sugary, always use unsweetened nut, rice, or coconut milks and you can even swap avocado for frozen bananas. This heart-healthy fruit is full of natural fiber and contains high levels of vitamin E and vitamin K. Avocados are also a beauty food—they have been linked to promoting a healthy body weight and BMI, and those healthy fats will do wonders for your skin, hair, and nails. Here are a few more ways to make delicious, clean and green smoothies, the right way!
Cashews are my favorite nut to snack on. Cashew nuts are actually seeds that grow on the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit from the cashew tree. They contain healthy plant protein and magnesium, which help to control inflammation, give you energy, and promote bone health. I love packing up cashews to go in a mason jar before a long plane ride. Check out my Clean Green Herbed Cashews for a delicious treat. Add superfood booster spirulina, a brilliant plant-based super green derived from blue-green algae for an extra-boost of nutrients. Considered nature’s “multivitamin,” spirulina is packed with protein, vitamin A, K, B12, iron, magnesium, and even probiotics.
Plan a cleansing lunch – see my delicious Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad– packed with powerful green detoxifying ingredients like seaweed, leeks, kale, and avocado. Kale is not a trend, it is here to stay. Packed with everything from vitamin A, C, and K to mega-antioxidants and even protein, one cup of this superfood contains approximately 206 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A, approximately 134 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C intake, and approximately 684 percent of your recommended vitamin K intake. Wow!
Try finishing your salads with hemp seeds (which is a complete protein!), meaning it offers all of the essential amino acids your body needs to fuel metabolic function and build muscle. There are five grams of lean, muscle-building protein in just two tablespoons of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds and marijuana come from the same species of plant, but there’s no THC in hemp seeds, thus—sorry, friends—no high! But…your body will be high on their benefits.
Your dinner will harness the power of plant protein (yes, protein from plants!) for hearty bowls and salads that are meat-free and allow your digestive system to take a rest from the energy-consuming job of processing animal protein. I love to use fiber-rich barley as a base for hearty bowls—it has such a great texture and is really filling. With a nutty, earthy flavor, a “pasta- like” consistency, and a powerhouse nutritional profile, barley is a clear swap from your plain old boring rice dish. Barley contains manganese, selenium, fiber, copper, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, and more. Barley can also help aid in digestion due to its fiber content. Add tofu, edamame, and—my favorite—avocado, and you have a totally satisfying meat-free meal.
Four things to Remember While Transitioning to Eating Clean
MOVE! Studies have shown that regular exercise can help alleviate depression, boost brain health, and even keep your immunity strong. Even as little as thirty minutes of movement a day can do your hot body good. My favorites? The Bar Method and yoga.
REST! Sleep is when your body repairs, detoxes, and recovers on a cellular level (and that includes skin cells, so it literally is beauty sleep!). Sleep can also help to relieve stress, boost energy, and improve cognitive performance. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, a weak immune system, and even heart disease and diabetes. Trust me, this is one healthy habit that is a pleasure to indulge in. And put your screens away before bed time, try to keep them out and don’t go for them until the morning hours. You deserve to be away from those screens and do-you, sans-tech.
RELAX! The benefits of a regular meditation practice are many, and include reduced stress and anxiety, a sharper mind, and an enhanced immune system. Make it a goal to meditate once a day. It can be for as little as five or ten minutes when you’re starting out— whatever time you have is fine, just try to be consistent about meditating at the same time each day, and practice in the same space to establish a ritual. I love to meditate in the mornings when I wake up. I sit on the floor, place my hands on my knees (palms up to receive good energy, palms down to stay grounded), and breathe in and out deeply. I like to internally say to myself: “Clear mind, no drama, beautiful day.” Once you start making clean and clear mental space you’ll find that you are able to not only be more mindful, but also happier and more creative.
Make the drink that has skin looking supple!