Jodie Horton-Stanley and Tracey Barron show us how to clean up our lifestyle with a nutrient-heavy diet…
As two sufferers of an underactive thyroid, Tracey and Jodie changed their diet several years ago, alleviated their symptoms and consequently changed their life. They are now passionate about sharing their carefully researched, tried and tested Eat Clean Plan to help others on their journey to health and reaching their ideal weight.
What on earth is clean eating? ‘Clean’ refers to unprocessed, unrefined, and nutrient-rich food. Food in its most natural form. It’s not a ‘diet’ or something you do long enough to reach a goal. It’s a life-long approach to choosing what to eat – because what you eat becomes the building blocks for your body. Putting the right nutrients into your body helps you lead a more active life, fight disease, improve your wellbeing and boost your happiness. Clean eating is about investing in your health today and for the future, while still enjoying the foods you love.
Processed foods often have sugar, salt or fat added to make them taste more appealing. They may contain chemicals that aren’t naturally found in foods and they may be wrapped in packaging that’s toxic to the body. They can also be surprisingly high in calories and lead you to over eat. But, don’t get us wrong, not all processed food is bad. Processing can help remove harmful bacteria and prolong the shelf-life of foods, leading to less waste. But there’s a big difference between natural yoghurt and a hot dog. The tricky bit is deciding where to put the line between minimally processed and too processed. And of course, when you cook at home, you are doing the ‘processing’. The difference is that you decide what stays in and what stays out – and that’s the joy of buying whole foods, cooking them yourself and experimenting with herbs and spices. You are in control of what goes in your body.
Take your local supermarket for instance. Some departments are full of ‘clean’ foods with either no, or minimal processing. The fresh produce department is the place to start. Vegetables should make up the majority of your diet along with a smaller helping of fruit, and this can be reflected in what you put in your trolley. If you don’t shop often and want foods that will last longer, head to the frozen aisles. Try and find vegetables that were frozen within a few hours of picking so they are still bursting with vitamins. Nuts and seeds and ‘good’ fats such as avocado, olives, coconut oil and eggs make up a healthy and balanced diet.
Picking the right aisle
When you reach the chilled meat, look for fresh uncooked meats or cooked meats without additional ingredients, rather than meat that has been marinaded or reconstituted during the cooking process. There are some minimally processed choices to be made in dairy too. Look for organic milk, cheese and natural yoghurt (not the low-fat ones as they usually have added sugar). Staying away from most other aisles will help you steer clear of foods that have been heavily processed, where you’ll find many chemical additives, along with that added salt, sugar and fat. You might be surprised
at how many ingredients some products contain! In fact, when you only buy ‘clean’ food, shopping can be a lot quicker.
So if you’re now thinking, ‘surely all these ‘clean’ foods are going to take more effort to prepare?’, you’d be right. But this doesn’t have to be daunting and with a little bit of preparation and planning, can lead you to a more mindful approaching to cooking and eating. Grabbing yourself a few kitchen essentials will make life a lot easier too. Invest in a good food processor and blender, a sharp chef’s knife, spiraliser, mandolin (for slicing veg thinly) and some glassware for food storage. A slow cooker is also a great buy if you want to return home form work to a meal that’s cooked itself!
It’s all in the prep
Then comes the planning. Planning your meals ahead of time and deciding when to cook them will help your time in the kitchen flow, rather than feel like a chore. Try a meal plan like the Eat Clean Plan (www.eatcleanplan.com) where you receive a full month of naturally gluten-free meal plans, recipes and shopping lists plus wellbeing guides – everything you need to get started in 28 days on your journey to a healthier you. The Eat Clean Plan also includes guides on how to shop, clear your kitchen, foods to avoid, how to improve your sleep, learn to meditate and get started on exercise. Combined with following the clean eating recipes and handy snack ideas, this all leads to a healthier, fulfilling lifestyle.
Follow the plan
Following the Eat Clean Plan teaches you how to carry on eating well for life. How to make better choices in the supermarket and the local restaurant. You’ll try new ingredients and learn how to use them in recipes making flavoursome meals the whole family will enjoy. The instructions are straight forward and you don’t need to be a chef! You won’t have to buy anything really unusual or anything you’ll only ever use once. It’s an achievable plan which is affordable and has so many helpful hints and tips that everyone will gain something from it. Whether you are hoping for weight loss, to have more energy, change bad habits or help a health condition you should give it a try.
Being a naturally gluten-free diet plan, it’s also perfect if you suffer from an autoimmune condition.
Join us on your journey to a healthier, cleaner lifestyle today with the 28-day ‘Fresh Start’!