Given my distaste for diets, you might assume this was a difficult question for me to answer. But I knew right away, if I had to choose one theory of eating above all others, it’s eating clean.
Can you visualize where it came from in nature?
Check out the ingredients list.
Now, to be fair, there are some completely safe food ingredients that may have unfamiliar names, like guar gum, pectin and casein. But I think most people (myself included) could never memorize the thousands of food ingredients then research to decide if they feel comfortable eating it or not. So you might needlessly eliminate something healthy following the whole “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it” rule, but I still think it’s good general advice.
Clean eating or not, it’s important to be aware of the most questionable ingredients. If you missed it, here’s the list of ingredients I avoid.
Avoid diet foods.
Avoid “enriched” ingredients
Plan meals in advance
Clean eating is delicious and healthy. Convenient however, it is not. Eating clean means spending more time in the kitchen and there’s no way around it. However, if you practice good meal planning and do a little bit of advance preparation, you’ll find it’s easy to minimize time in the kitchen to an amount that works for you.
Some convenience foods are so easy to replicate at home, it’s just silly to waste money on the convenience version! Below are my favorite quick DIY tricks.
– Instead of buying flavored rice, cook plain brown rice in broth and add 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite spice mix.
– Make your own pizza dough. My recipe takes just minutes to put together and requires no kneading! Just mix, place in a warm spot and wait. The recipe I linked to makes 2 large pizzas, so freeze the other ball and use it later.
– Okay, so this is an obvious one, but I feel the need to post it since so many people still eat those horrid sandwich crackers and actually think they are healthy! Just get a good whole grain cracker, like Wasa or Ryvita and sandwich it with an ounce of cheese or natural peanut butter.
– When you make a batch of soup or chili, prepare double the amount and freeze extra portions in individual containers. It’s just as convenient to heat up frozen soup as it is to open up a can!
– Trail mix can be crazy high in added sugar. Mix together bags of unsweetened, whole grain cereal, nuts, unsweetened dried fruit…and maybe a little dark chocolate if you like!
– A few months ago, I posted on DIY flavored yogurt, microwave popcorn and instant oatmeal, all of which take just minutes to put together!