Eat Clean, Don’t Cleanse
“Cleansing diets can cause rapid weight loss; however, the weight lost is mainly from fluid and muscle loss. Fluid loss can result in dehydration, tremors, headaches, fatigue and electrolyte imbalance. In extreme cases, electrolyte imbalance can result in improper functioning of vital organs and cardiac arrest, according to American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.”
The Clean Theory
Cleanse diets became popular as a way to lose weight fast while ridding your body of toxins from pollutants such as cigarettes, alcohol, and processed foods. While, in theory, that seems like a good idea, cleanse diets are not the solution to the problem. What is? Clean eating.
As a healthy person, you may already strive to eat relatively clean. This means that you are focused on eating whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat (or tofu), and grains. If it’s in a box, it’s usually not clean. Clean eating focuses on staying away from the added sugar, sodium and fat that is found in almost every processed item on the grocery shelf.
By sticking to a relatively clean diet, you avoid the need to cleanse your body of toxins, as the vitamins and nutrients you get from whole foods take care of it themselves. CompassionateNutritionist.com suggests, “Eating Clean is treating your body right. It is eating the way nature intended. You eat the foods our bodies evolved to function best on, and that makes you feel — and look — fantastic.”
When you eat clean you:
- Eat more – This keeps your metabolism humming along which leads to weight maintenance and often a small amount of weight loss.
- Stabilize blood sugar levels – When you aren’t starving, but eating low calorie foods consistently throughout the day, your blood sugar levels are stable, not spiking and plunging.
- Get more nutrients – The additives in processed food decreases nutrients like fiber found in whole ingredients, providing you with chemicals and fat inducing additives instead.
Clean Eating Recipes
Now it’s your turn to give clean eating a try. There are a number of ways you can incorporate clean eating into your diet, whether you want to start small or go all the way. The key to clean eating is finding what you love and working around that. Here are some meal suggestions to start with.
- Oatmeal – Mix 2 cups of boiling water with 1 cup of oats; add in fruit, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, jam, honey or maple syrup.
- Eggs with fruit – Cook two eggs over medium and pair it with a side of fruit salad.
- Cereal – Be sure to purchase a minimally processed cereal. I’ve found the best options to be anything from the brand Enviro Kids or Mesa Sunrise (Brand: Nature’s Path Organic). If you want to choose for yourself, just spend some time in the organic cereal section and read through the ingredients – anything you can’t pronounce, or don’t know what it is, then you’ll know it’s not the right choice.
- Smoothie – Toss in your favorite fruit, a little milk or juice, blend and go. You can also add in spinach or carrots – paired with strawberries and orange juice, you can’t even taste the veggies.
- Veggie Frittata – Check out my recipe here.
- An orange
- Banana and peanut butter (Mix some cinnamon or honey into your peanut butter for more flavor!)
- Any fruit of your choice
- Salad – Always eat your lunch in two parts and start with a salad; this ensures that you are getting all your veggies before getting too full.
- Leftovers – If you cook healthy dinners, just bring in your leftovers for a warm, delicious lunch.
- Check out my other lunch suggestions including homemade dressing and fun tuna salad recipes in Liven Up Your Lunch.
- Carrots and hummus
- Celery and peanut butter
- Sweet potato chips – Don’t buy them from the store, make them yourself. It’s super easy, check out my recipe here: Baked Sweet Potato Chips.
- Popcorn – Again, make it yourself. Buy kernels in bulk, put some butter in a large pan, toss in ½ to 1 cup of kernels and start sliding the pot back and forth on the burner with a cover on. Soon you’ll hear popping, and then continue until it stops. Top with any spice you prefer, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vinegar; the options are endless.
Every recipe I put on Will Run For Food is conducive to a clean diet – so check out some the best ones:
- Crispy Tofu – I swear, it is SO good!
- Quick Vegetable Stew
- Homemade Ravioli – Way easier than I bet you think it is.
- Roasted Veggie Dinner Delight
- Veggie Lasagna