Basically, eating clean is the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods while basing your diet on whole foods. Eating clean can have many health benefits – weight loss or maintenance, chronic disease prevention, help manage diseases, and overall just feeling better.
Ten Principles of Eating Clean:
- Eat whole foods: whole foods come straight from the farm – whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, non processed meats, low-fat diary products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid processed foods: processed foods are any food that has a label or more than one ingredient. You don’t have to completely eliminate processed foods, but a good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, don’t consume it.
- Eliminate refined sugar: refined sugar is simply calories you don’t need. Refined sugar is found in soda, sweets, and other processed foods.
- Eat 5 or 6 small meals per day: By spacing your meals throughout the day, you will not go hungry or feel the cheat and grab a processed snack.
- Limit your alcohol: Alcohol must be processed through the liver which is the organ responsible for detoxing the body. Try sticking to the suggested limit of one drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.
- Cook your own meals: Instead of preparing a meal from a box or going out to eat, control the ingredients by making meals from scratch.
- Cut down on salt: restaurant foods and processed foods tend to be higher in sodium. Cooking at home and preparing your own meals and snacks allows you to control the amount of salt in your food. Boost flavors with herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Use less saturated fat: saturated fat is known to raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol which can damage arteries. Instead of animal fats, look for healthier unsaturated fats from plant food such as nuts, avocados, and olives.
- Go for whole grains: cut down on refined grains and grab whole grains instead. Whole grains are not stripped of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals like refined grains.
- Drink water: the majority of our body is made up of water and it is vital for every organ to function properly. Drink water more often than other beverages. Try flavoring your water with lemon or lime to mix it up.
Bring fall inside with this recipe for savory baked apples! Full of delicious fall flavors, this dish will be a sure hit for dinner. This recipe is time consuming, but so worth it!
2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup apple cider
4 large apples, cored (Honeycrisp or Rome apples)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided and melted
1 (4-oz) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 Tbsp minced green onions
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Great salad to bring to a pot luck dinner! Feel free to mix up the layers with different salad ingredients that you have – I like tossing in different veggies like bell peppers and cucumbers. You can make the salad in advance, just wait until the last minute to stir in the dressing.
1 cup small macaroni shells
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch sticks
1 small onion, sliced (red or yellow onion)
1 package (10 oz) frozen green peas, thawed
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 pound cooked ham, cur into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dillweed)
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Perfect homemade soup for a chilly fall day! Hearty and filling with roasted chicken, potatoes, celery, carrots, and egg noodles. I always recommend using homemade chicken stock, but to save time, use a low-sodium store bought variety.
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled baking potato
1 tsp salt
2 cups diced leftover oven roasted chicken
1 cup evaporated skim milk
4 oz (2 cups) uncooked wide egg noodles
Make Italian night at your house a little healthier by changing up the ingredients! Try a turkey sausage instead of regular sausage and make your own thickened milk “cream” sauce by hand like this delicious recipe! Serve with a crisp salad for a complete meal.
10 uncooked manicotti
1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
A quick and easy weeknight meal using pantry staples. You can swap out the pork medallions for pork chops. Serve with some steamed or roasted veggies for a complete meal.
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 8 medallions
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
Quick to prepare – as little as 20 minutes prep and then let the slow cooker do the rest of the work! Serve with a fresh salad for a complete meal.
1 3/4 cup vertically sliced onion
2 cups baby carrots
1 pound small round potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp paprika
6 (6-oz) skinless bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp olive oil
chopped fresh thyme for garnish