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Clean Eating Tips to Feel Your Best in 2018

January 15, 2018 | Aya Wellness

As we begin the new year, it’s time to figure out which nutrition approach is going to best serve you and your health. Instead of focusing on calories and point systems, let’s turn our attention to healthy eating and lifestyle changes. Diets are only temporary. If you want long-term results, it’s best to take an overall healthy lifestyle approach.

The number one strategy to improve your health is to upgrade your food quality. Become a “qualitarian” and focus on the quality of your food. Take a close look at the ingredients you’re about to consume to ensure they are not processed. The human body is designed to run on fresh foods that come from the earth.

Processed ingredients found in packaged food can affect:

  • Energy levels
  • Digestion
  • Mood (anxiety/depression)
  • Hormone balance
  • Fertility
  • Inflammation levels
  • Immune system
  • Risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

How do you know if it’s processed?

If the food comes in a bag or a box, it’s usually processed. Next, take a look at the ingredients. If the ingredient list is longer than five ingredients and/or if it has words in it that you can’t pronounce or that you don’t recognize, it’s most likely processed.

What does clean eating look like?

  • Shop on the outside edge of the grocery store.
  • Eat home-cooked meals.
  • More vegetables (minimum of two servings per day).
  • Fresh or frozen fruit.
  • Raw nuts and seeds.
  • Whole grains: quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, beans.
  • Organic animal protein.

Some quick and healthy meal options:

  • Smoothies
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Stir-fry
  • Pasta replacements (zoodles, spaghetti squash)

Processed foods to reduce in your diet:

  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Cereal
  • Cookies, crackers, bread, pasta, cake, etc.

You don’t have to eat perfectly all of the time to see results. You do have to eat healthy MOST of the time if you want to feel your best and maintain good health. Follow the 80/20 rule for the perfect sweet spot. Make healthy food choices 80% of the time and give yourself some breathing room 20% of the time. It’s not the one cookie or one piece of pizza that make us sick. It’s eating too much of them, too often that negatively influences our health. It’s okay to give yourself three meals and two snacks a week where you don’t eat “perfectly” healthy.

Other ways to boost your clean eating habits this year:

  • Reduce your alcohol intake on weekdays. The recommended weekly alcohol intake is seven drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men. It would be even healthier if you limited your drink intake to four to six drinks total per week.
  • Swap out sugar and creamer in your coffee for healthier alternatives like coconut palm sugar and unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk. Avoid coffee beverages that have flavored sweeteners like vanilla and hazelnut.

Watch the video:

We wish you a healthy 2018 filled with delicious food and positive lifestyle changes!

This wellness tip is brought to you by Amy of Nourished Balance.

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