“Clean eating” isn’t just a health kick or a random phase. It’s a lifestyle: the clean eating lifestyle. It doesn’t happen overnight either. I first started “clean eating” about a year or two ago. Since I’ve lived with food allergies my entire life, I’ve always had to read labels. It wasn’t until recently though that I realized I had no idea what the majority of the ingredients in my food actually were!
When I began my journey in the clean eating lifestyle, I started out slowly by trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, palm oil, foods with more than 15 ingredients, and anything deep fried. I did my best, but I made exceptions all the time. Gradually, I started adding more “rules” and got better at following them. I still make exceptions and have off days, but I do the best I can and try to make improvements to my lifestyle each and every day. Below is a list of what I personally deem unclean and clean.
- Hydrogenated oils
- Palm oil (environmental reasons)
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Artificial preservatives
- Food with more than 10-15 ingredients
- Artificial sweeteners
- Fruits and veggies
- Lean meats (for those of you non-vegetarians 🙂 )
- Real cheese
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Natural peanut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Low fat/ skim milk
- Dark chocolate
- Peanut butter (with only ONE ingredient)
Eggs, tree nuts, and shellfish are also clean and nutritious, but I leave them off my list due to my allergies. I also want to note that these lists are just suggestions of what I try to adhere to. (I certainly don’t do it perfectly.) Hopefully you find these guidelines helpful! Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are or if you have any questions!