Bowl of salad

By Dr John Barnett

At its simplest, eating clean is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, or handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. Think farm to table. These are foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, natural whole grains like ( brown rice, barely, quinoa, millet) beans like (black beans, garbanzo beans, white beans, red beans) peas like (green peas, lentils, split peas) and humanly raised, local meats and fresh from the sea fish.

If you and your family want to eat clean it is important to become label savvy. Sometimes it’s necessary to purchase package foods so knowing how to read the labels is important. Typically a good rule of thumb is if you have no idea how to pronounce it or what it is, you don’t want to eat it. Also if there are more than 5 – 10 ingredients, again, you don’t want it.

Don’t be sacred of fat… consuming healthy fats are a vital part of a healthy body. Aim to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, incorporated into your clean diet every day. These are found in things like: extra virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds and other nuts and seeds, coconut oil, and oily fish like salmon.

Slow down and savor your food. Eating clean doesn’t mean anything if you don’t appreciate the food, how it came to be on your plate, and the the people who were a part of that process. Never rush through your meal. Savor the flavors and appreciate the food that is in front of you.

Avoid processed and refined foods. This includes white flour, refined sugars, bread and pasta. This can be a difficult part of eating clean for a lot of people however, after a little online recipe searching you will find a lot of clean alternative to your favorite dishes. Follow our Clean Eating Pinterest Board for some great ideas!

Remember, it’s up to you and only you to take good care your health and that starts with good nutrition and exercise! So get in the kitchen and whip up something yummy and nutritious.