The Holderness Family has done it again. With Christmas Jammies, Back to School, and now It’s All About the Baste, lol!!!
What is Clean Eating?
The primary principle of Clean Eating is to replace processed foods with fresh foods at their natural state. “WTH does that mean?” This means no processed foods, avoiding sugars that your body doesn’t want or need, switching to whole grains and adding more proteins.
How do I start?
Check out My Clean Eating List, click here!
What seems so simple actually starts off difficult for some people- paying attention to what you throw in your cart at the store. Good Bye preservative filled cheese chips and little cake treats that expire 2 years from now; hello sweet potato chips with sea salt and fresh fruit medley!
For my family, we have not made it to completely 100% Clean Eating, yet! Our goal is by the end of the year (2014).
Keeping in mind that we have just begun, I don’t want to scare the little members of the house off this idea, here are the steps I’ve started for us:
Begin in the kitchen. Most experts would say, throw out everything that doesn’t meet the criteria; however I just can’t bring myself to throwing out food. (You could donate unopened items to local food pantries!) So, slowly weeding out the old items and when it’s time to go grocery shopping, purchase your Clean Eating food items. I started with items we eat fairly often, here we go…
We start with Whole Grains ~ stick to WG Wheat, WG Oats, Brown Rice, Quinoa, and Barley. Here’s what you are looking to avoid “Enriched” “Bleached” or both “Enriched Bleached Flour”, horrible! In fact NO more WHITE anything! Say it with me WHOLE GRAIN!!! I explained to my daughter who is 6y/o that this means- the bread makers took the flour, stretched it out as far as it could go, then took out the good fibers and vitamins to make it stretch even further, but then they had to use more chemicals to add back in those nutrients, and then bleached it to be white because it ‘looks’ yummier. She interrupted me and said that doesn’t sound very healthy and we shouldn’t eat that anymore; she went on to say she still needs bread for her lunchbox sandwiches! Even a young child gets this isn’t good for us!
* Whole Grain Wheat Bread (we like 100% Soft and Smooth Sara Lee Wheat Bread) in place of White Bread. We need bread and I’m not going to make our own, this product is the most ‘clean’ I could find, for now it will due.
* Whole Grain Oats (instant is still an option) in place of Instant Flavored Oatmeal -> you can add your own sweetener, raisins, cinnamon, diced apple or any fresh fruits, dehydrated fruits, or even a pure organic honey or molasses.
* Barilla Whole Grain Pasta is 10-20¢ more than the Spaghetti with ‘enriched pasta from wheat product’ what even is ‘wheat product?’ And a long list of many other ingredients with added flavorings and colors and words that I have no idea what they are. The fewer ingredients the better!
* Meat, oh boy! I’ll get into this later.
* We have added fresh fruits and veggies to all of our meals and for snacking purposes.
* Chips, oh we still have chips. We buy Sweet Potato with Sea Salt and found Billy Goat Chips, they are based here in St. Louis so are easy for us to buy. Look in your Gluten Free or Organic section at your local grocery stores for some ideas, and give them a try. My stand on chips is better quality; the ingredients list should read something like sweet potato or potato, canola/sunflower/peanut oils, sea salt, sugar, spices. You’re looking for natural ingredients, heart healthy canola oil or natural oils, no MSG, no preservatives, and are Gluten Free or WG!
Begin finding Substitutions for those sneaky hidden items:
* Replace your Sugar and Brown Sugars with Sucanat or Agave Nectar. This is where I have a problem, I haven’t switched from plain cane sugar because it is a natural product and I’ve not been able to find an affordable replacement. If you stick with regular sugar, make sure to limit its use. This is not an excuse to go over board with sugar because even with Clean Eating you still need to monitor your sugar intake.
And no Artificial Sweeteners, they are an unnatural product; the body cannot properly break down those chemicals. This was very hard for me, I really like keeping down the calorie count by using artificial sweetener, but no more.
* Replace your Vegetable Oil with Olive Oil, or Sunflower, Coconut, or Peanut Oils. There’s a discrepancy with Canola Oil which is that it is processed, I still use Canola Spray for my baking pans.
* Replace your White Rice with Brown Rice. Make it easy by whipping up a larger size batch and eating it throughout the week. I like to add some steamed zucchini and carrots to my rice, yum!
* Items from scratch ~ make sure to replace your flour for Oat Flour, it’s this most consistent for baking. If you have another preference, go with it!
Drinks ~ water is a life must. Fruit juices are OUT; they contain too many added ingredients, mostly sugar and preservatives and are BAD for your teeth. We stick to teas and I have to have my coffee ;)
Protein, YES!!! Red meat is a great choice. Choose lean cuts of sirloin and ground beef; some other must have meats are bison, chicken, and fish. Don’t forget about Nuts and Eggs.
Side Note – I NO longer purchase beef from the stores (it doesn’t seem to look or taste quite right to me anymore) but search endlessly for good quality pork products. This year we are actually buying a hog that has been fed good quality food, been kept in a clean pen with healthy living conditions, and butchered in a clean facility; all by friends and family that we know and trust. Cannot wait for our yummy bacon and sausage with fresh herbs :)
Fruits and Veggies ~ you can eat an unlimited amount. I like to add veggies to my WG Pastas and fruits to my WG Oatmeal. Other ways to get those veggies in- add them to stews or soups or pastas, veggies on the side of your Protein for dinner, and again adding them in with Brown Rice.
Dairy ~ take an easy with dairy products, because of the hormones and antibiotics that are given to the cows, this will come through to your dairy delights.
* Yogurt ~ I like to purchase a good quality, LARGE tub of Plain Greek Yogurt; add it and Fresh Fruits like Strawberries, Blueberries, or Peaches to the blender or food processor. Blend and store for the week, this will cut back on added sugars and cost wise you would be saving a little $$$ by purchasing the large tub in place of individual serving sizes.
* Oh Cheese, I <3 you but... Low-fat and nonfat cheeses not only taste weird but undergo mucho processing to become that way. Stick to good old full fat cheese, just in moderation. Stick to Block Cheeses, they're the least processed and usually cheaper. Yes you'll have to grate and/or slice it yourself, or you can give this chore to your kiddos! Cheese in Can, is that crap even cheese? Parmesan, Cottage, Goat, and Feta are some good cheeses to add to your grocery list; I've got to have my Cheddar!
Sodium ~ by sticking to the Clean Eating way, you are eliminating extra sodium in chips and snacky treats, canned items, and other processed foods. More than likely you are in the ‘safe zone’ when it comes to Sodium, which means you could always add salt to your meal. I am not your Doctor, so double check with someone who is familiar with your Sodium levels before listening to me and salting up your plate for dinner ;)
*** Again, we are still weeding out our kitchen, it’s a work in progress but we will eventually get to 100% Clean Eating! Looking for a Healthy Snack, click here, Enjoy! If you have any suggestions or would like to add to my list, you can do so in the Comments Section and I will edit as we go along. Thanks for reading.