Three Tips to Help You Get Started

Thoughts of February often bring to mind images of hearts, flowers, chocolates, and true love. And while we generally associate others with these thoughts, we can also associate what we love most with them, especially those things that benefit our health. So, this month is as good a time as any to remember that we “heart” eating clean.

Clean eating is not about losing weight or keeping up with some trends. Rather, it’s about providing our bodies with the fuel they need to operate at their maximum capacities. Just as with any machine, our bodies need energy to function properly. And clean eating, along with exercise, water, sunlight, and proper sleep provides the fuel for that energy.

Our grocery store shelves are lined with highly-processed foods—one worse than the next, with high calories, added sugars, and ingredients we can’t even pronounce. And yet, this is what millions of Americans put into their bodies at every meal and with every snack each day. These foods have a direct correlation to obesity, lower energy, and increased risks of serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Clean eating has the exact opposite effects. Instead of depleting your body of the energy it needs to function properly, clean eating nourishes your body through nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, grass-fed meats, and hormone-free dairy.

At its most foundational level, eating clean is about eating small meals that are made up of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables packed with fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes. It’s about drinking eight to twelve cups of water each day and avoiding certain foods and beverages with added sugar and preservatives, alcohol, saturated fats, and calorie-dense foods with no nutritional value.

What’s in it for me?

Other than feeling better overall, with heightened energy, clean eating has shown significant improvements to both heart and brain health. It has the power to improve your digestive and cardiovascular systems, reduce the risk of certain cancers, help with weight management (not necessarily loss, as plenty of clean foods are high in calories), decrease inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and build stronger bones and teeth. Mentally and emotionally, clean eating enhances your mood, provides for better sleep, improves memory, and boosts your energy.

Three Tips to Start Eating Clean

A commitment to clean eating is neither difficult to make nor maintain. In fact, by using the following three simple tips, you’ll find it easier than you likely thought.

Shop the Perimeter of the Store

Think about your traditional grocery store set up and you can probably easily imagine that clean foods are found along the perimeter—in your produce, meat, and dairy sections. They’re not in the various cans or boxes lining the shelves of long aisles throughout the center of the store. As you are shopping the perimeter, purchase foods that are as colorful as possible—the more color, the better is a good rule of thumb. Also, search for organic meats that do not contain harmful pesticides or hormones.

Read labels

Reading isn’t just for books. When you do venture down those grocery store aisles, look at the cans, boxes, and jars and read their labels carefully. Think “less is more” here. Essentially, the fewer ingredients listed, the healthier the food.  Avoid products that include ingredients you’ve never heard of or that sound more like a scientific experiment than something that should be in your food (or your body). Additionally, you always want to check for added sugars, even in foods that are seemingly “innocent,” such as tomato sauce.

Cook

The best way to know what you’re putting into your mouth and body is adding it to the pot or pan yourself. With cooking, you have control over what goes into your food and what doesn’t. You can also avoid items that appear to be healthy but are then soaked in butter or other heavy sauces, as are often found in restaurants.

Our partners at Nikken and Norwex love clean eating and lifestyles as much as we do. That’s why Nikken is offering three “Heart of Nikken” packs containing three extraordinary heart-health nutritional supplements—Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA. As an added bonus, you get one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken—your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold-tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, or a Kenko Heart Set. These gifts are available through February 28th so you can stock up on future birthday, anniversary, and graduation gifts.

If you’re thinking about growing your own fruits and vegetables for your clean-eating lifestyle, Norwex can help. They recently published a great Go-To Guide for planning and planting a Home Garden. So, get out there in the sun and plant and grow all your favorites, or shop for other great Norwex products here.

For more information, please schedule a call. As always, I’d be happy to help guide you along your wellness path.

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