Now that we are into February and you have started your healthy living plans, it’s time to take a look at what you’ve been doing so far and check in your progress.
If you feel like you need a little pick me up and are getting a little lost for motivation, try one of these 5 easy tips for clean eating:
- Have greens every day – If you are having a really bad eating day, and have no other veggies or healthy food, do your best to get in some greens. They are a nutrient powerhouse, providing everything from vitamins and minerals to fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants. They’ll give you a boost of energy and promote better digestion and their fibrous texture means they’ll fill you up more than other foods, preventing you from overeating as much later on.
- Eat vegetables at every meal – It’s easy to eat fruit. We grab an apple as a quick snack for on the go, slice up some banana to add to our cereal in the morning, and snack on fruit after dinner if we are looking for a healthy dessert option. And while fruit is healthy, it’s not as packed with vitamins and minerals as vegetables, and is higher in sugar. Making vegetables more of a priority and consuming them at every meal will play a big role in boosting your nutrient intake, increasing your fiber, and ensuring you get adequate protein and iron. Make it a priority to eat vegetables at every meal and swap out raw veggies for your snack instead of fruit.
- Increase your intake of healthy fats – Fats play a key role in several aspects of our health, including everything from skin and digestion to brain function and our feelings of satiation. Making sure you have enough healthy fats in your diet will help you stay on track with your eating goals, improve your mood and emotional disposition, as well as decrease your incidence of skin breakouts and improve your ability to concentrate. Focus on getting your fats from whole food sources, such as avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds, and incorporate sources of omega 3 and 6, such as flax seed, hemp oil, or fatty fish.
- Increase your intake of probiotic foods – Poor gut function has been linked to several health related issues including poor energy, skin problems, inability to concentrate and inadequate nutrient absorption. Increasing your intake of probiotic foods helps maintain healthy gut function ensuring the bacteria are able to produce vitamins, digest food and detoxify the intestines. Probiotics come from fermented foods such as fermented cabbage and kimchi, and beverages such as kefir and kombucha.
- Observe the natural fasting period – The body requires a period of rest to complete necessary maintenance and cleansing, help in cell growth and repair and to give systems, such as the digestive system, liver and kidneys a rest. This period typically occurs between dinner and breakfast, much of during which we are asleep, and our body is able to use all of its resources and energy to these resting tasks as opposed to functioning tasks that are required when we are awake. Failure to observe this period – when we eat too late into the night, or have a midnight snack – makes is harder for the body to perform these tasks and can have negative affects on digestion and nutrient absorption.