As I sit in Bali tucking into yet another delectable meal I begin to wonder about the idea of clean eating. I am away. A work trip, surrounded by the unbelievable cuisine that Bali offers. AJ’s wants and desires to try the polenta chips are vocalised. I would normally shy away from this sort of dish. Chips ordered, the conversation then turns to the topic of clean eating and healthy choices…
You are what you eat. On that day, I was oh so happy to be the delicious polenta chips as found at Sisterfields in Bali.
My search has begun for the meaning of clean living. The facets that appeal to me primarily focus on the idea that eating and living well maximises your energy and inner health. Less of a diet and more of a lifestyle, the below seven principles articulate what this means, with built-in flexibility, adapted to fit all kinds of routines. A path to a healthier lifestyle, one bite at a time!
1. Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize processed foods.
Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package, and although there are always a few exceptions to the rule, the majority of your foods should be fresh.
2. Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, you can up your intake of whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
3. Include some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.
Introduce more protein into every meal. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer.
4. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This isn’t as difficult as assumed. Clean, fresh produce are usually naturally low in all of these unnecessary excess ingredients. Primary goal is to cut out processed foods.
5. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
This usually pans out into three main meals and two or three hefty snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and overeating. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so energy doesn’t lag.
6. Don’t drink your calories.
Soft drinks are very high in calories, around 400-500 additional calories a day. Think water, water infused with lemon, unsweetened tea, skim milk and 100% fruit juice.
7. Get moving.
All of the above focuses on what we put into our bodies. Reality is we need to move our bodies too. Focusing on decreasing fat, strengthening and building muscle, a stress reliever and keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong. Recommended 30 minutes a day.
I am learning to balance what goes in, adopting the above, whilst also learning that it is okay to relax and enjoy too. The journey to finding the balance from the inside out. Watch this space.