The Clean Eating Diet

The Clean Eating diet sounds so, well, clean and simple, it's a wonder why more people don't try it.

The clean eating plan encourages a new and exciting lifestyle approach to both diet and exercise. Processed and boxed foods have been increasingly replacing fresh, natural, wholesome foods, and the health of our bodies are paying the price.

Choose food without preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, tons of sugar, salt, or trans fats. Photo: Spinach Chicken Pomegranate Salad

What Can the Clean Eating Diet Do for Me?

This eating plan allows you to actually eat more than most other "diets", change how you look and feel, as well as losing as much as 3 pounds a week, according to proponents of this diet.

Celebrities like Olivia Wilde and Jesica Alba say that clean eating has made them feel better and look better as a result.

What Is the Clean Eating Plan?

This eating plan places the focus on real food. This means food without preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, tons of sugar, salt, or trans fats. The idea here is to eat food in as natural a state as possible. Meat and dairy products are fine, but they are consumed in very small amounts. For example, tomatoes are in, but bottled ketchup, made with preservatives, artificial colors, sugar and salt, is out.

Your meals are split up into 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day so you aren't hungry.

What You Can Eat

Just about anything with three ingredients or less. This would include:

  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Organic dairy products
  • Lean cuts of red meat (limited)
  • Fish and poultry
  • Beans and legumes
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic brown rice and quinoa
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

What You Can't Eat

  • Boxed breakfast cereals
  • Cookies, crackers, cakes, donuts, pastry
  • Instant anything, including ramen noodles, instant oatmeal, or instant soups
  • No frozen foods (except vegetables if this is the only way to get them)
  • No GMO foods
  • White bread, pasta, rice
  • Vegetable oil such as corn oil, canola oil and other types of processed or GM oil

Just think natural. This doesn't mean you have to eat everything raw right from the ground or a tree, but you want to keep food in as natural and unprocessed as possible. This means cooking whole wheat pasta based spaghetti with homemade sauce is good - spaghetti from your local Italian market, not so good.

When shopping, read the ingredient list. The list should be short and you should recognize every word.

Sample Menu

  • Breakfast - Chia pudding with organic strawberries, figs, and a handful of almonds
  • Snack - 2 organic medium sized carrots, peeled and cut, then dipped in ¼ cup of hummus
  • Lunch - Tuna salad with 1 organic hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, a few olives, green beans, and 1 can of tuna fish in two cups of mixed greens. Lemon or lime juice as a dressing or a vinaigrette dressing
  • Dinner - Spaghetti squash with ground turkey, cherry tomatoes, and Swiss chard side salad.
  • Nighttime Snack - Half of a frozen banana rolled in raw shredded coconut.

Pros and Con

Some people find the clean eating plan difficult because it requires a great deal of planning and home cooking. The good news is that this appears to be the only drawback. A little organization can help to make this part easier.

Eating a more natural diet will allow you to eat far more than a conventional calorie restricted diet. Four ounces of lean chicken breast have the same amount of calories as two Oreo cookies. The benefits of this diet to your health are clear and almost everyone who has tried this diet plan claims they lost significant amounts of weight.

The clean eating diet plan has been shown to have numerous health benefits and provides the body with more than the required nutrients it needs each day for a minimum amount of calories.