All Of Your Questions About Clean Eating Answered By A Nutritionist
Everyone is jumping on the 'clean eating' band wagon, we see the likes of Millie Macintosh, BFF Madeleine Shaw, Chrissy Teigen, The Body Coach and so many more celebrities embrace a clean eating plan, but what
Everyone is jumping on the ‘clean eating’ band wagon, we see the likes of Millie Macintosh, BFF Madeleine Shaw, Chrissy Teigen, The Body Coach and so many more celebrities embrace a clean eating plan, but what is clean eating? What does clean even mean? I’ve decided to take a look at what it all means and have all of our questions that we’ve been asking, answered by a nutritionist.
What does clean eating mean?
Clean eating is very simply food that has not been processed. Fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish including healthy wholegrains. If you think about what your great grannies used to eat…..from local fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers, food without the boatload of additives that add colour, enhance the flavours and preservatives… basically choosing the healthy natural options as opposed to the not so healthy foods which are usually high in saturated fats and loaded with unnecessary sugar. Rather than controlling your calorie intake in regimented diets, clean eating is thinking about the path your food has had to take from its natural source to your plate i.e the least numbers of stages the less interference, the better.
What can I eat?
Foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins such as meat and fish and from your pulses and wholegrains you can also get lots of protein and fibre. If you think of having your “meat and two veg”, you can cook it in so many different ways, such as a stir fry, a Sunday lunch, you could cook it and blitz it into a soup, there are so many different ways, and although the saying says “two veg” you don’t have to stick with two, you can and should eat as many different and colourful vegetables as you can to benefit from all of the different vitamins and minerals they provide for our body. Other great clean foods are eggs, natural yogurt, brown pasta, brown rice. You can still make some of your favourite dishes such as chilli con carne and spaghetti bolognese but just remember to make sure all of your ingredients are fresh. This is what we mean by clean eating, fresh produce. And remember, if your great granny didn’t eat it, it probably isn’t good for you.
Am I allowed alcohol?
Yes, within moderation. A glass of wine when you go out for dinner, once a week, isn’t going to hurt you. Of course, wine goes through a process and is as far from its natural source of a teeny wine grape but restricting yourself of your favourite tipple can only lead to cravings and that goes with foods as well. Everything in moderation but just make sure you don’t over do it.
Is it a regimented diet?
Definitely not, because you can still make all of your favourite dishes as long as the ingredients are freshly sourced. Eating clean is more of a change of lifestyle rather than to be ‘on a diet’. The word diet is actually a word for what you eat, the phrase being ‘on a diet’ is when you restrict yourself to fewer calories and ban yourself from unhealthy foods, you have a good diet and a bad diet and it’s up to yourself to choose which foods you put in your body, clean eating would be part of a good diet but doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ‘on a diet’.
Will it be more expensive to eat this way?
Well, this is a very tricky question because although, yes, it does cost a little more to buy fresh fruit and veg from your supermarket as opposed to biscuits, baked goods and processed meats. However, you really need to look at what you are getting from the foods that you choose. For example, if you were to choose a frozen packet of burgers you need to be able to then learn to read the label and understand what is in them, do you get, protein? fibre? hydration? vitamins and minerals? and if what you’re looking at doesn’t contain many of those five things that your body needs, then you need to look for an alternative choice. Remember you could make the burger from extra lean beef, fresh herbs, fresh onions and other vegetables. If you shop at Aldi they always make sure they use local produce which is great as less transportation therefore resulting in fresher food.
What are your best tips for clean eating?
- Eat fresh
- Buy local
- Get a good cook book (highly recommend Joe Wicks Lean In 15)
- Don’t overcomplicate it but experiment
- Plan, prepare and portion control
- Make a list of your favourite ingredients so you can use them in your cooking
- Drink lots of water
Can I start immediately?
Here are some recipes too that readers and friends have kindly shared with us..