Clean Eating

by Colleen Salsman

“Why do we keep repeating the same behaviours over and over expecting different results”

Clean Eating is not a diet, it’s a re-introduction to real food and how it can empower the individual rather being co-dependant on large weight loss corporations that product short-term results .  Clean eating introduces you to simple recipes.  You do not have to be a gourmet cook nor do you have to cook 24/7 to put together fabulous meals.

Benefits of Clean Eating:

  • supplies the body with a full complement of vitamins/minerals/fiber.  Eating fresh unprocessed foods instead of pre-packaged processed dead foods that provide little to no nutritional value.
  • can lower elevated blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the incidence of type II diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • provide weight loss for those who are overweight, weight gain for those who are underweight and for those who are already at a healthy weight clean eating will aid in maintaining balance.
  • increased energy and eliminates the 10am and 3pm blood sugar drop and the accompanying fatigue.
  • eliminates the tedium of tracking calories or points…it’s food freedom
  • incorporates principles slowly rather than trying to make life style changes overnight which we know is not sustainable.

Clean Eating incorporates:

  • 2-3 liters of water per day, water hydrates as well flushes toxins out of the body that would otherwise build up and accumulate.
  • low in sodium
  • low in saturated fats and contains no trans fats
  • free of added sugars, artificial colours and flavours

Clean Eating Principles
1.    Eat 5 – 6 small meals per day

  • Maintains balanced blood sugar eliminating the fatigue associated with  blood sugar lows.
  • Low blood sugar contributes to binging and weight gain
  • Provides sustained energy as a result of balanced blood sugar

2.    Eat breakfast within the first hour after rising. (Breaking the fast of approx.. 12-14 hrs without food)

  • We need to replenish our body at a cellular level
  • Start up our metabolism so your body starts burning calories for fuel, fuel means energy
  • The type of food we eat can have a negative or positive effect on our metabolism
  • If we do not eat breakfast a primitive mechanism within our body start to prepare for a famine and our metabolism goes into Starvation Adaptation Mode where calories are stored as fat in order to survive.

3.    Combine lean protein and complex carbs and each meal.

  • Protein combined with complex carbs slows down the digestive process and keeps you feeling full and satisfies longer.  
  • Protein, complex carbs metabolize more efficiently when they are eaten together .  This combination will provide sustained energy for the brain and the body.
  • Protein and carbs should be consumed together at each meal and snack.
  • Individual requirement for protein requirement is 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight or 0.36 grams of protein per each pound of body weight, however this is not sufficient for an active person  (training 3x per week or more).

Banana and almond butter
Brown rice/salmon/veg
Salad with chickpeas
Boiled egg with Spinach and hummus

4.    Eat 2-3 servings of healthy fats per day.
Avocados, almonds, flaxseeds, nut butters cashews sunflower seeds. Walnuts, olive oil

  • There are many myths about fats one of them being that animal fats are all bad they simply should be consumed in moderation and rather we should eliminate all manufactured fats they offer no benefit to our nutrition.
  • Butter is always the healthier choice for spreadable fats, butter is a short chain fatty acid, (buteric acid) the body is able to break this down whereas manufactured fats are made up of long chain polymers and are not recognized by the body.
  • All fats good or bad contain 9 calories of potential energy.
  • We should focus on Omega 3 fatty acids these tend to be missing from our diets we are heavy on the omega 6’s because they are in many of the products we eat and too much Omega 6 cause inflammation.  (Omega 3 Cold water fish, flaxseed oil, black current oil, cold water fish, pumpkin seeds)

5.    Drink, Drink, Drink lots of water 2-3 liters per day (benefits of water)

  • 75% water of our body is water (why would you not want to drink water)?????
  • Aids in the digestive process by completing chemical reactions
  • Carries nutrients to all areas of the body
  • Prevents constipation and heartburn
  • Increases energy (first sign of dehydration is fatigue and headache)
  • Muscles are predominately water, water keeps muscles looking toned and therefore increases your metabolism (burning fuel).
  • Thirst is often mistaken for hunger leading to overeating 
  • If you only drink when you are thirsty you will always be partially dehydrated.

For every 8 oz caffeinated beverage consumed you require 2 8oz glasses of water to replace the dehydrating effects of caffeine.

6.    Carry snacks in a lunch bag or small cooler
Whether you are working in an office all day or on the road travelling  you must bring simple meals and snacks with you here are some ideas for meals and also some items you will want to bring with you:

  • Leftovers from your evening meal in sealable containers
  • Convenient easy to eat fruit:  grapes, sliced apples, peeled and sectioned oranges or grapefruit, berries, banana, nuts, raw veggies, dried fruit 
  • guacamole and humus
  • Wraps made with almond butter and raisins and berries
  • Wrap made with boiled egg/hummus/greens
  • Chicken and rice
  • Salad with Chick peas and goats cheese or feta
  • Plain yogurt and berries
  • Lara bars, sweet potato breakfast bar, power balls
  • Home-made granola

Soft sided cooler and freezer pack, sealable containers, cutlery, wipes and/or napkins, water bottle, thermos (green tea) or thermal mug.  Include a small bag for containers that will need to be washed when you return home and another one for any waste.
7.    Eat fruits and veg daily they provide a full complement of vitamins/minerals/fiber/water/enzymes,
 4-6 servings of combined starchy and non-starchy veg.

Starchy veg:        Sweet Potato, White potato, Winter squash, Parsnips, Carrots, Beets….
Non-Starchy veg:    Greens, Tomatoes, Cuke, Summer squash, Green beans, Peppers

8.    Portion control, portions are relevant to size ie. 6’4 compared to 5’1.  Read labels especially on cereal boxes, rice and grains, yogurt and cheeses.  Food labeling is usually based on a 2000 calorie diet so when you look at the vitamin/mineral percentages you must realize that this is based on a 2000 calorie diet which is too much for many women.

Eating 5-6 smaller meals makes portion control much easier compared to 3 larger meals per day.

Visual Cues

  • Protein should fit into the palm of your hand,
  • Starchy carbs should fit into one cupped hand (1/2 to 3/4 cup), 
  • Fruit and non-starch veg should fit into two cupped hands (1 – 1.5 cups), 
  • Fats – 20 almonds (1oz) or 1-2 Tbsp healthy oil

**Use a small salad plate (6”) rather than a 10 inch or larger dinner plate**


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