About a month ago, I began a new way of healthy eating that was coincidentally inspired by social media. For a while I’ve wanted to retrain my body into not craving sugar so much, which was becoming an extremely bad habit for me. It was during the time when I was researching how to cut processed foods and sugar out of my diet when I started noticing reblogs on Tumblr and repins on Pinterest about clean eating. After seeing several before and after pictures, reading inspiring stories, and viewing the recipes, I noticed how beneficial and simple clean eating actually was and I began to incorporate it into my new healthy eating lifestyle.

What Is Clean Eating?

The basis of clean eating is to keep unprocessed foods, additives and preservatives out your diet. That means no refined sugar, no white breads, and no artificial sweeteners. You cut back on empty calories — yes that includes soda and alcohol. To keep it simple: stay away from fried and junk foods! Instead, your diet should consist of all things natural, including fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, lean meats and whole grains! The goal is to eat foods that are as close to their natural, original state as possible. Long gone are the fads where you have to count calories, where you’re getting meals delivered to your home at a costly price, and giving up foods all together instead relying on juice fasts to get a healthy body. Eating clean requires you to eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. If you choose to eat clean, you’re choosing a lifestyle of proper nutrition.

Shopping For Clean Foods

When grocery shopping for clean foods the easiest way to shop is to pay attention to the list of ingredients. It’s a rule of thumb amongst clean eaters that anything with more than 5 ingredients is not natural, and should not be included on your grocery list. When buying lean meats, stick to meats that have no added hormones or antibiotics. And there are so many options when buying fruits and vegetables. Most people assume that this way of eating holds several restrictions, but the truth is, anything in the produce section of your local grocery store is on limits. Also, if you’re shopping at a natural food store, for example Whole Foods, then you have an entire store dedicated to your clean eating lifestyle!

Noticeable Benefits

With any healthy way of eating one of the first thing you notice is the amount of weight you’ve lost. With eating clean, not only was I losing weight, but also started to feel more energized. It’s one of the main benefits most people will say they noticed when they started eating clean. And not only will you notice your increased energy levels but, there will also be a noticeable quality appearance in your skin. Just noticing how the way I was eating had an effect on my skin and energy levels proved how much the quality of food you eat has an impact on your body as a whole. There is absolutely nothing better than the feeling of wellbeing.

Helpful Resources

There are several tools and resources that I found very helpful when starting my clean eating lifestyle. This grocery shopping list, compiled by Tosca Reno the woman behind the Eat Clean Diet books, is extremely useful when you’re unsure of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Other helpful tools you can look through to get a better understanding of clean and eating, and for great recipes include:

  1. The Eat Clean Diet Book authored by Tosca Reno- all the information you need about clean eating, as well as a meal planner and recipes.
  2. The Clean Eating Magazine and website – Along with lots of recipes, the site offers a community where fellow clean eaters discuss and share their journey.
  3. The Gracious Pantry– a very fun and helpful blog that offers easy clean recipes for everyday living.
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