There seems to be a lot of confusion on the concept of "eating clean". What can you eat? Is this allowed? How do you count calories? Do you write everything you eat down? And so on. I will try my best to clear it up for you. I do not write anything down. I do not count points. I don't count calories. I am a huge fan of The Eat Clean books by Tosca Reno, and Oxygen Magazine. Here is a link to her website. You will find tons of helpful information and videos.
I highly recommend her latest book, Just The Rules
Another source of inspiration is a book by Dr. Oz...You On a Diet.
I have been reading and researching these books for the past year, and I have learned a lot about nutrition. (I wish I could go back to college to become a registered dietician, but I digress. )Here's the gist of the diet.
You try to eat food as close to the way it is provided for us in nature. Eat an apple or an orange instead of drinking the juice. Fruits and veggies are the healthy carbs our diets should include so we can get our full range of vitamins and minerals. I try to limit breads, but when I have a sandwich, it is on whole grain bread. I use whole grain pasta and brown or wild rice instead of white pasta and rice. Oatmeal, as I have mentioned in my post on breakfast foods, gives energy and protein and warms your tummy(sprinkle cinnamon on top, its delicious). No sugar...it really is poison to your body. Sugar causes insulin surges making it more difficult to lose fat. In fact, belly fat is directly related to sugar intake. I will post soon about sugar. I eat lots of salads, beans, chicken, salmon (I really like those little foil pouches of pink salmon by Chicken of the Sea). I have a steak once a week ,but I no longer put butter and sour cream on baked or sweet potatoes. Instead of craving sugar, I now crave sauteed spinach...must be just what my body is needing. I love Chobani Greek yogurt (one serving has 14 grams of protein). I use olive oil for sauteeing spinach, chicken, and dipping bread occasionally. Avocadoes are a good, healthy fat. Healthy fats are good for your heart and skin, and actually don't make you fat if eaten in moderation...just a drizzle, not a cup full. Almonds and walnuts are a great snack containing healthy fat and protein.
I have learned to read labels. Make sure food is real food. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, don't eat it. Try to choose foods with lower sugars and higher protein, and make sure to eat plenty of fiber rich foods...they keep you feeling full longer. In fact your body needs to be refueled about every 4 hours to function at it's best, so be prepared with healthy snacks when you leave the house, so you won't be tempted to run through fast food or buy a candy bar. The energy you get from the candy bar will fizzle out quickly, leaving you hungrier than ever.
Just remember, God designed our bodies to eat for our fuel. He created all the right foods necessary to our bodies. When men and women of the Bible ate, their foods were natural, whole foods, like nuts, grains, seeds, fish, fruit, vegetables, with an occasional find of some sweet honey from a honeycomb. They did not go through the fast food lane or into a convenience store. I believe our bodies are still meant to eat this way, and will funtion best when we are given the right foods in proper amounts.
All this said, I do have a treat every now and then, but it is more an exception than the rule. This keeps me sane, and I find that I really enjoy that treat more that I don't eat them everyday.
Think about these concepts, and keep it as clean as you can .