Driving late one night I noticed my gas gauge had sunk below E. I promptly stopped off at the 7 Eleven for some fuel. In college at the time, I can attest that my brain didn’t always function properly as was the case that night. Not bothering to look, I grabbed the gas nozzle closest to me and proceeded to fill the tank…with diesel fuel!
Unfortunately I didn’t notice this until after the handle clicked and the tank was full. Even upon realizing I just filled my Ford Tempo with diesel fuel my response was typical of a young, college kid. “Oh what does it matter; fuel is fuel.”
Turns out fuel is not fuel. My car was in for some costly repairs.
Our bodies are like engines and the food we eat is the fuel. Our bodies will function and perform according to the fuel we choose to put in it. Good, clean eating equals a healthy, smooth running machine.
What Does Clean Eating Look Like?
Clean eating starts with whole food…nothing processed or refined. Good, clean eating consists of lean meats, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats such as coconut products, avocados, nuts and seeds and healthy oils.
Eat enough to sustain your energy and activity levels, strength and a healthy weight.
Eating clean excludes grains, cereals, granolas, legumes, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners and anything else that is processed.
Protein should be the staple of your meal or snack. Depending on your individual needs, this can range between 3-9 ounces, but when all else fails, you can follow the general rule of having a serving of protein the size of your palm. See Meal-Planning Template.
At this point don’t get hung up on grass fed beef or free range eggs. Yes, they are healthier and we recommend them, but if you can focus on lean meat, lot’s of veggies, some fruit, nuts and seeds and no sugar…you’ll be way ahead of the game! Take a look at our “Lean Meats to Eat” chart and “Protein to Fat Ratio” for best choices. At the very least, choose lean cuts of meat and trip away as much visible fat as you can before cooking.
On the typical American diet carbohydrate sources are derived from grains ie. breads, cereals, rice, wheat products, pasta, oat meal, granola etc. Non of these carb sources are whole food, clean eating nutrition. When eating clean on a whole food diet your carbohydrate source will be vegetables and fruits. More vegetables than fruit and if your goal is weight loss limit your fruit.
With vegetables, make sure you get a variation and eat a lot of them! Here are some things to keep in mind with vegetables:
- Dark, leafy green and colorful veggies are great.
- Buy local, in season, organic veggies. Avoid starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes).
- Avoid legumes (i.e. peanuts, beans, peas, soybeans etc.)
- Fruit is good for you in moderation. Try to buy local, seasonal, organic fruit if possible.
- Avoid fruit juices.
- Make sure to wash any fruit thoroughly to minimize pesticides.
Despite what modern society has taught us to believe, fats are good for you! It is important to have the right balance of fats and the right kind of fats in your diet. When you eat clean as described above your body is trained to burn fat instead of carbs for energy (this will make your energy levels more stable), so don’t skip the fat in your meals!
- Buy oils (coconut, olive) organic and cold pressed so they remain chemically unchanged.
- Buy organic and local avocados. Buy coconut in all forms.
- Nuts are good in moderation. Buy them raw and unsalted.
- Avoid canola (the oil is genetically modified, partially hydrogenated and highly refined), peanut, cottonseed, soybean, and wheat germ oils.
- Avoid trans fats (fats damaged by heat – can be made at home) and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Ready to Get Started?
Below are 2 quick start guides:
MORE GREAT ARTICLES
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- How grains are killing you slowly
Here is a compilation of all of our free Whole30-related PDF guides. Save these to your computer, print them for your fridge, and feel free to link to them on your own site or social media feed.
The official rules of the Whole30® Program, exactly as they appear on the website.
Time to hit the grocery store, health food market, or farmer’s market with our detailed shopping list.
Use our meal planning template for a few weeks, until you are able to truly listen to the signals your body is sending you. These guidelines are a good starting place for meal timing and portion sizing–then it’s up to you to make adjustments based on hunger, energy, mood, and athletic performance.
Strategies for making the most of your healthy eating budget.
Buying vegetables and fruits in season ensures tastier, fresher, less expensive produce. Also includes recommendations for buying organic.
Sometimes, it’s good to shop the aisles! Use our guide to stock your pantry (and fridge) with healthy must-haves.
Practice your label-reading skills and learn to spot all the different ways companies sneak added sugar into their foods and beverages.
All those terms on the label can be confusing, but we take the guesswork out of buying good meat, seafood and eggs.
Navigating your way around any restaurant menu, start to finish.
Hit the road with your Good Food, and eat healthy while seeing the world by air, car, or foot.
Ready to ride your own bike? Treat yourself smart! Use this flow-chart to help guide your way around less-healthy foods and beverages.