What to Know About Clean Eating

CLEAN EATING 101:

Country Clean-N-Fit is all about eating clean and living a healthy lifestyle. So what is clean eating you ask? Firstly, I’ll tell you what it is not. Clean eating is NOT a diet. It is, more so, a concept of what you are eating. It is not restricting what you eat but how you prepare your foods and the ingredients that are used. Clean eating aims to eliminate certain “dirty” things from your diet. I will go more in dept with this in a minute.

Clean Eating- Why I Started:

I found out about clean eating when I was trying to loss weight after my 2nd child. Yes, I was a mom trying to lose that stubborn “baby” weight! The weight just didn’t melt away like it did from breastfeeding like it did with my first child. I was 3 years older, my metabolism wasn’t what it used to be, and I was eating a lot of not so healthy food. I cut out soda from my diet. At one time, I was drinking about 3 cans of soda a day! I was just drained. I switched to diet soda in an effort to decrease my calorie intake. After a few months of drinking diet soda, I had develop stomach pains. I contributed it to the aspartame in the soda. I then decided to cut out the diet soda and I switched to drinking only tea or coffee for my caffeine intake and pushed myself to drink more water. Lord know us mommies can’t survive without caffeine! That’s a whole ‘nother story!

After a matter of weeks, no more tummy troubles. I felt great! In addition to the fluids that I was drinking, I also took a look at the foods that I was eating. Instant potatoes, canned vegetables, Suddenly Salads, instant Freezer meals, and lunch meat sandwiches just to name a few. These were things that had tasted good but also quick and easy to make. The problem with these foods were all the extra ingredients in them. They were very much processed. I found that a lot of convenience foods were like that. I made many stitches in the food that I was eating. Instead of canned vegetables, I bought frozen. I started cooking more meals from whole ingredients. It may be a little more time consuming but well worth a little effort! On my blog you can find some of these recipes that I have found and that I love! I also make a push to eat more vegetables. Fruits are easy to eat on a regular basic because they are sweet and they taste good. Vegetables on the other hand, take more work & more preparation. Instead of meals with ground beef or roast, I was eating more chicken and turkey.

By switching to clean eating, I was able to lose a majority of my baby weight. I have a few more pounds to go but I am felling pretty comfortable in my skin. I switched to eating clean and started exercising. I loved running in high school. After 10 year of not running, I had begun to run again. I found at first that it was hard. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I had been! My knees hurt and I got winded much quicker than I would have liked. I ran several times per week. I would alternate running and walking until I was able to run further distances until I was able to run 2 miles straight.  The next summer, I signed up for and ran my first 5K! I loved running but I had also been doing some yoga and circuit training at home that help me get back to my desired weight. After being pregnant with my 3rd child I have not gotten back into running but have focused on at home workout videos. I have found these workouts are effective if done 3-5 times per week along with follow at clean eating diet. For fitness motivation and tips check out the FITNESS section our website.

Clean Eating – The Fundamentals

Clean eating is simple put, a practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and replacing them with whole foods. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed meats, low-fat dairy products, and unsalted nuts. Foods to avoid would included deli meats, canned vegetables, soda, white rice/flour/pasta, foods with added sweeteners, fast food, fried foods, candy, and juice that not “100% juice”.  Buying certain organic foods also cuts back on added chemical such as pesticides. Fruits can contains a numerous amount of these. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of fruits and vegetables that are contaminated with many pesticides and herbicides. For these fruits, it is recommended for buyers to purchase organic. Here is the 2016 report of these below.


The Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet Bell Peppers
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

These “dirty” foods are typically ones that don’t have a peel. They are hard to wash to removes these chemicals. Although they are a little more expensive, your health, in the long run, will be greatly benefited by avoiding these foods. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that you don’t need to buy organic. They are considered the “Clean 15”, (2016 report).

The Clean 15

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pinapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Honeydew Melon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Cantaloupe
  15. Cauliflower

Mauviel Cookware & Pans at kitchen-Universe
Benefits of Clean Eating

But why change your lifestyle to follow the fundamentals of clean eating? When you make the change, you will have increased energy because your body is able to use the foods nutrients more readily. Improved cardiovascular health due to a decrease in salt and an increase of healthy fats. It decreases your risk of developing cancer by decreasing the amount of processed ingredients and added chemicals into your body. Eating more fruits and veggies increases your intake of antioxidants which help fight off cancer. Improved mental health from nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. If you eat healthier you will fell better which puts you in a better mood. Decreased risk of diabetics from a decrease in carbohydrates and added sugars. Longevity comes from eating healthy and following an active lifestyle. If you are healthy, you will also have less medical bills. Would you rather pay a little more at the grocery store and a ton more from hospital bills? Prevention of health problems is the key. All of these area great reasons to make a switch!

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How Clean Eating Can Help You Loss Weight:

How does clean eating help you lose weight? Along with regular exercise, it will help speed up your metabolism. With an increased metabolism, your body is able to burn fat much more easily. Clean eating focuses on whole grain, healthy fats, lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. They suggest that eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day versus 3 large meals. If aiming to loss weight, eat between 1200-1600 calories. And for anyone, you need to watch your portion sizes. Count calories if needed to help keep your portions in check. Clean eating will give you energy and keep you from getting hangry. After a few weeks, you will feel as if you have more energy, your skin will glow, and you will just feel healthier.

So Let’s Sum it all up:

Clean eating is NOT a diet. It is, more so, a concept of what you are eating. It is not restricting what you eat but how you prepare your foods and the ingredients that are used. Clean eating aims to eliminate certain “dirty” things from your diet. Focus on the foods that you eat.  Avoid buying the “dirty dozen” useless you buy them organic, the “clean 15” are OK. Clean eating can help prevent many health condition such as heart disease and cancer. It can also help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism. All of these are GREAT reasons to make a switch in your diet and your lifestyle.

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Some recipes to try:

Green Mango Smoothie

 

Green Mango Smoothie

Spinach Pancakes

 

Spinach Pancakes

Salsa Verde

 

Salsa Verde

Egg Whites Omelette

 

Egg White Omelette 

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Resources for More Info:

Beets in a Smoothie?

Beet Berry Smoothie

Why not add beets into a smoothie? Who doesn’t loves smoothies? Well, I have a recipe for that! The Beet Berry Smoothie recipe is loaded full of super foods. Beets, strawberries, blueberries, and Greek yogurt. This recipe is full of foods great for brain and memory function, among a whole list of there things.

Beets are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Beets contain a phytonutrient called betalains which has properties that act as a cancer protective antioxidant and also has anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants are similar to those for in berries. Beets are a good source of fiber. They also contain glutathiones, which help act to help clean the blood to act as a natural “detox” agent.

Smoothies themselves are great for many reasons. They boost energy, allow you to add fruits and veggies to your diet, a source of fiber, contain antioxidants, lots of nutrients, and the recipes are so versatile. Kids also love them! My boys both have fun gathering all the ingredients and making smoothies of their own.

Here are the ingredients that you will need: 
Beet Smoothie
Beet Berry Smoothie ingredients
  • 1/3 C Cooked Beets
  • 1/3 C Strawberries
  • 1/4 Blueberries
  • 1/3 C Greek Yogurt (or 1/2 Banana)
  • 1/2-1 C Mik (of choice)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 T Honey

 

 

 

Smoothies are incredibly easy to make. You can either use fresh or frozen ingredient depending on the season. Smoothie recipes are very versatile. If you don’t have an ingredient you can leave it out or substitute it for something else. No need for yet another run to the grocery store! For all smoothie recipes, simply add all ingredient into a blender or one similar to a magic bullet. I typically like to use a magic bullet because they are very easy to use. They are a mini blender so to speak. The clean up for it is also very quick. If I am making more than one at a time you can either pour into a glass and re-use the same cup or use a blender.


Also try these other Smoothie Recipes:
Green Mango Smoothie
Strawberry Green Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie

 

 

Print Recipe
Beet Berry Smoothie
A berry filled smoothie with beets!
beet berry smoothie
Course Smoothies
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Servings
Serving
Ingredients
Course Smoothies
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Servings
Serving
Ingredients
beet berry smoothie
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Yogurt can be substituted with 1/2 medium sized banana. Use milk of preference. More milk can be added for a thinner smoothie if desired.

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Homemade Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Who doesn’t like chips and salsa??

It’s Taco Tuesday again! Here is another Mexican style dish. Salsa verde, or “green salsa” as were like to call it is actually quick and easy if you have all the ingredients. All you need in order to make this is a frying pan and a food processor.

Tomatillas, peppers, and cilantro
Frying Tomatillas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can make this salsa mild or spicy depending on the kinda of pepper that is added to it. I made a milder version by adding banana peppers. The traditional recipe uses Jalapenos but you could also use Habanero or Cayenne peppers if you want to be adventurous!!  Here is a guide to peppers and their level of spicy-ness.

Ingredients for salsa verde:

  • 15-20 Tomatillos
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Onion, medium
  • 1-3 Peppers, sliced with seeds removed
  • Salt, to taste

Add oil and tomatillos to frying pan, sprinkle with salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper of choice to pan. Cook for another 5 minutes. In a food processor, add onion and cilantro. Spoon in contains of frying pan with a slotting spoon draining excess liquid. Blend. Serve with chips or use as a topping.


Suggestions for picking tortilla chips:

If you are looking to follow clean eating, not just any chips will do. You need to look and study the ingredient labels when you are shopping. In the ingredients, you want to see whole simple ingredient such as organic yellow corn, expeller pressed vegetable oil, and sea salt. Ones to avoid include ingredients such as white flour, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, or any artificial coloring. Simple whole ingredients are what you are looking for. You want ones free of artificial flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives.

You might also like these recipes:

Mexican Chicken with Black Beans
Chicken Fajitas

 

 

 

 

 

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Print Recipe
Salsa Verde
An easy recipe to make it fresh at home!
Salsa Verde
Course Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Salsa Verde
Instructions
  1. Place 1 T olive oil in frying pan at medium high heat.
  2. Peel and clean tomatillas. Remove stem and cut in quarters. Place in frying pan. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Add peppers and garlic to frying pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until tomatillas begin to soften.
  4. In food processor, add onion and cilantro. With slotted spoon ladle tomatillas & peppers avoiding excess liquid to food processor.
  5. Blend ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping.
Recipe Notes

Store in the fridge in a glass jar and use within 5-7 days. This can be placed in jars and boiled in canner for 10 minutes. Canned Jars can stored for 12-18 months.

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Motivation Monday: Don’t Give Up

Motivation Monday!!

Your legs are not giving out, your head is giving up. Exercise and weight loss is a mental challenge not a physical one. This is why I have developed this series of posts. You need good mental strength in order to push yourself to finish a workout and give it your “all”.  When you start to feel short of breath or your muscles feel like they are going to give out, don’t give up! You need to push yourself and stay mentally strong. Stay motivated to reach your goals!! Everyone struggles with this from time to time, you’re not alone.

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Motivation Monday: Eat Right

Motivation Monday!!

You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right. That is part of what clean eating is all about. Clean eating is not a diet but more of a lifestyle. It is not a short term extreme diet to get you quick results that don’t last. When you decide to follow rules of a clean eating, it will be easier for your body to lose weight. Also be mindful of calories. Counting calories is a great way to help you loss weight. A good calorie guideline for weight loss is 1400-1600 calories per day. Skip liquid calories and fill yourself up with healthy foods to nourish your body and fuel your workouts.

 

Motivation Monday: Earn Your Body

Motivation Monday!!

  • I want to get healthy.
  • I want to look better.
  • I will eat right.
  • I will exercise.

I will earn my body.

Earning your body takes work. It takes motivation and strength to push yourself to reach your goals. To reach them it will take time and a lot of work that only you can do. To loss weight you need to get healthy by stopping bad habits. You will look “better” by developing more self confidence. Eat right by getting rid of junk foods and stocking your kitchen and pantry with healthy foods. And of course to loss weight you need to exercise. It takes work to earn your body, so work for it!