Clean eating habits can be incorporated into your diet at any time of the year, but with the summertime just around the corner, fruits and vegetables will be more affordable and plentiful at your local supermarket. Why not take advantage of this and start incorporating them into your weekly meals now?
Switching to better foods has many benefits. Clean foods help with digestion, decrease inflammation, increase your energy levels, and even boost metabolism. A good rule of thumb is to eat clean about 80% of the time and incorporate not-so-healthy foods you may enjoy about 20% of the time.
Here are a few simple tips to get you started!
- Eat locally grown foods. They not only taste fresher, but they last longer because they haven’t spent time traveling from far away. Shopping at farmer’s market’s like the St. Lawrence Market, for example, is a convenient way to get fresh, in-season foods.
- Avoid plastics, go for glass. For one, this will help you avoid Bisphenol A (BPA) a chemical that has been known to create hormonal imbalances, and can even lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It’s best to not allow your food to come into contact with this substance. Mason jars are a great replacement for storing your nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and grains.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is incredibly important for the health of your body.
- Avoid Mercury. Make sure to be aware of the mercury levels in the seafood you eat. Consult experts or use websites such as seafoodwatch.org to find low-mercury fish selections.
- Replace processed foods with their counterparts. Cornflakes? Try corn on the cob instead. Soup mix? Create soup from scratch! Forgot instant rice, go for natural brown rice. There’s no reason to buy fruit-flavored anything – just substitute it with the actual fruit!
- Look for one ingredient items. This is related to tip #5 – staying simple and picking up items with one ingredient is a useful rule of thumb when shopping in the supermarket.
- Drink your super foods. A blender can be one of the most useful tools when you’re trying to get all your nutrients. Put together smoothies with tons of great ingredients and you will surely make up for any nutritional deficiencies in your diet.
- Stay away from food labels with the word “reduced”. Generally, just because an item has reduced fat, doesn’t mean it isn’t high in sodium, sugar or other bad ingredients. Make sure to read labels carefully!
- Make meals ahead of time. Plan out your week and have your ingredients ready. Often, the reason we don’t eat clean is our reliance on convenience and fast-foods. Creating healthy meal ideas ahead will curb your desire for a quick dish.
- Use spices. When you use quality seasoning in your food, you not only add flavour but nutritional value. Make sure to avoid old spices that have been sitting around for years – they probably aren’t as potent.
Do you have other clean eating tips you would like to share? Let us know!