News Flash: You Don't Have To Jump On The Vegan Bandwagon To Eat Clean
The world’s most recent health craze has put a particular focus on plant-based diets and clean eating. There are countless benefits of these diets, including reduced risk of mortality, increased memory, improved mood, and increased energy. You can even help the planet! But going from meat-eater to plant-based is tough! And eating clean is still just as important! While it can be a hard transition, I have some tips for you to help you get the ball rolling! And most importantly, if you decide you don’t want to do the plant-based thing at all, at least you can keep these tips and stay healthy!
Go the whole grain route
Eating whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain bread can give you more fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than refined counterparts. Rich with in antioxidants, protein, minerals, and vitamins, whole grains have amazing health benefits and can even reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. There’s also a ton of whole grains to choose from: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, even popcorn! Go get creative!
Get those leafy greens in
Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are so easy to add to your meal. They’re tasty, they’re nutritious, and they’re easy to find in the store. You can also incorporate them at just about any time of the day—pair with eggs in the morning, have a salad for lunch, or add them as a side at dinner. They’re packed with a ton of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and are a great source of iron and calcium. So, get on out there and start experimenting!
Cut back on meat
If you aren’t ready to give up meat completely, at least try to cut back a little bit. Try to start by incorporating one meatless day a week (even just a meatless meal, if you’re a die-hard carnivore) or cutting out red meat. Learn how to cook some recipes that are still hearty, just without the animal. Eating less meat also has dramatic health benefits like reducing blood pressure and risk for heart disease. While eating meat, make sure your meat hasn’t been pumped up with hormones and cut back on processed meats like bacon (yes, I know it’s tough). It’s tough, but trust me, it isn’t impossible.
Try intuitive eating
Intuitive eating is a style that promotes a healthy attitude toward food and body image. It’s the anti-diet that tries to get you to make peace with your food, your hunger, and your cravings. There are 10 basic principles outlined in the Intuitive Eating book, a 1995 book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the two women who coined the term. Definitely check out the principles, because it’s a great method!
Shop the perimeter
This is a classic piece of advice, but the perimeter is where all of the fresh produce and healthy protein sources are. When you go into the aisles, you start to get the processed foods, snacks, and unhealthy food items. Shop the perimeter and stock up on produce before dipping into the interior.
Buy from local farmers
Buying locally gives you the freshest options while also giving you knowledge about the food you’re purchasing. If there’s a local farmer’s market near you, go check it out! Also learn about the local farmers near you and support them! You can be more well-informed by buying locally and the food you’re buying will most likely not be pumped up with hormones and antibiotics.
Eating clean can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. The great part about clean eating is that it’s a lifestyle change not a diet (hint: diets don’t work). Don’t see this clean eating as a hassle, see it as a new adventure! Get creative and most importantly, have fun!
Cover image via Z Living