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Eat Clean

Clean eating is not a fad diet. Or any diet at all for that matter. It’s a healthy way to live.

You might say, clean eating is what your grandparents called eating. It’s cutting back on the unhealthy processed foods – refined grains, added sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats—and replacing them with the best and healthiest options available – real foods, like vegetables, and fruit, and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats.

To eat clean (or cleaner):

  1. Stay clear of processed foods. Resist the stuff in the center of the supermarket and shop the produce and fresh foods sections.
  2. Read labels. Not everything that comes from a bag or box is bad. But, if the list of ingredients includes a bunch of things you can’t pronounce, put it back. You and your money are too valuable to be purchasing that poison.
  3. Make more room for veggies – in your fridge and on your plate! The vast majority of Americans eat too few servings of vegetables and fruit. They’re loaded with the nutrients your body needs as well as heart-healthy fiber that will help you feel fuller sooner.
  4. Say “enough already” to the added sugar. Most Americans are eating way too much sugar. Always read labels. Every label. And if the ingredients include sugar in the first three ingredients, just don’t. Be wary of the the lingo used to disguise sugar, too, like fructose, corn syrup, cane juice, maltodextrin, and honey. Use products without these things on the label. And beware of “healthy foods” loaded with sugar, too, like many yogurt products.
  5. Add healthy proteins you may not already be eating. Try hummus as a dip (with your veggies). Try tofu or another meat substitute. Instead of red meat or processed meats, substitute other good healthy proteins, like beans, free-range eggs, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, milk, soy milk, and yogurt. Sure, you might say that meat is part of a healthy diet, but given the scientific evidence that too much of it causes cancer and other diseases, eating less of it is definitely part of a healthi-er diet. Try blending one or more of the above into a healthy veggie stir fry, or sauté your meat substitute in olive oil (with your veggies). You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the delicious new tastes you’ll experience!
  6. Try nuts instead of cheese on your salad. Avocado instead of mayo on your sandwich. Peanut butter instead of cream cheese on your bagel. Olive oil instead of other oils, including using olive oil to make your own delicious salad dressings. Have you seen how much sugar is added to store bought salad dressing? Don’t buy that stuff; make your own.
  7. Eat less salt. Don’t add so much to your food, and read labels before buying products.
  8. Choose whole grains. When buying breads, pasta, rice, and more, always opt for whole grains. Give quinoa a shot, too.
  9. Eat fruit. If you’re going to get your sugar fix, choose fruit. It’s packed with nutrients, loaded with fiber, and it’s delicious. Just watch out for added sugar if you’re buying it frozen or canned.

Eating clean doesn’t have to be boring, especially when it comes to simple snacks.

Here are a few easy, make-ahead, options that will keep you on track and tantalize your taste buds.

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Courtesy of The Almond Eater

Buffalo Spiced Almonds

This simple snack will get you ready for game time. As an added bonus – it only takes 5 minutes to make!

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Courtesy of Garlic My Soul

Roasted Chick Peas

Here’s some yummy morsels I’ll bet you never considered. These little drops of deliciousness can be customized to fit your sweet or salty tooth.

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Courtesy of Diethood

Apple Chips

Did someone say microwave? Yep, that’s right, in less than ten minutes you can have delicious and crisp apple chips…add dip for one amazing snack.

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Courtesy of Running with Spoons

No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Bites

Um, yes please! A little of this and a little of that – all clean – and the snack you’ve always dreamed of is ready in a few minutes.

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