It seems like the term “clean eating” is all the rage right now. We hear it everywhere, often completely out of context, which makes it super confusing and frustratingly intimidating. Because it’s not complicated. It’s actually really easy. I’ve been doing a little research as I prepare to start the 14 Day Body & Soul Challenge, and here’s what I learned…
Clean eating means keeping it simple. The more foods with only one ingredient, the better. Fruits, veggies, legumes, chicken… These are one-ingredient foods. The more you stick with these, the better. When you start adding stuff is when it gets complicated. A salad with tons of veggies and some quinoa and nuts is awesome, but if you pull out a salad dressing bottle — watch out.
The opposite of clean is dirty, so let’s just go with that. Dirty ingredients include preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, high fructose corn syrup, even pure sugar… this is the stuff we’re trying to avoid when we say we are eating clean. Almost anything that comes in a can, bottle or plastic bag at the grocery store has “dirty” ingredients, which is why when you go grocery shopping for your clean eating diet, the produce, meat and natural food sections will be your best friends.
For the 14-day Body and Soul Challenge, I’m also avoiding gluten and dairy. I’m sticking with (affiliate link) Cassie Ho’s 28-day Reset nutrition plan, which tries to determine if you have any food allergies or sensitivities to gluten or dairy. Why? Because I’ve been so bloated lately, it’s making me insane. And truthfully, I’ve never avoided gluten in my life, so what if I’ve been sensitive to it this whole time and just never realized I could fix it?
But from what I understand with clean eating in general, avoiding dairy and gluten isn’t required to still eat clean. However, dairy is generally loaded with preservatives so look for organic ingredients.
Need more ideas for how to eat clean? Search for “clean eating for beginners” on Pinterest and you’ll be amazed with the resources available.
How’s that for a primer on clean eating? Make sense? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, as I’m still learning too!
Want to participate in the Body & Soul Challenge? Sign up below. It starts on Monday, October 17 and it’s FREE. No strings, no obligations.