We've all heard about "eating clean", right? I know it's a phrase I throw around often . . . After an indulgent weekend, Monday morning rolls around and I can usually be caught saying "ughhh! I need to eat cleeeaan this week and detox immediately!" But what does it really mean to eat clean?
It's not as hard as you may think, and I've brought in the Clean Eating expert (for our very first guest post ever!) to show us the way! Enter the fabulous Christina Markos -->
A SoCal native with a passion for wellness, cooking, and nutrition. Tina and I met through our mutual friend Sierra while wine tasting in Santa Barbara and hit it off instantly. We talked about our love of cooking and our favorite healthy recipes, and I heard all about her culinary training, nutrition courses that she has taken, and her job as the editor for the Adelle Davis Foundation’s online magazine, which is dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of America’s most famous nutritionists, while promoting health and supporting programs that build school gardens and wellness programs at major Universities nationwide. Amazing right? I can't think of a better person to write today's guest post!
Alright let's get into it . . . Here are all the rules, tips, and clean eating tricks from Tina:
Clean Eating is NOT a diet, it is simply lifestyle change and one we can all make pretty easily! There are no “restrictions” with clean eating, you simply begin by eating more healthy foods - foods that contain nutrients that are essential and vital. You eat food in its purest form as much as you can to eliminate added preservatives and chemicals. When people try to “diet”, their life becomes focused on that diet- they are no longer able to go out to eat with friends anymore, they start to really crave the foods they can’t have and end up bingeing on something that wasn’t on their “diet”. Their life becomes their diet. Clean eating works in reverse, you eat foods that are delicious, healthy and in turn give you more energy, a clearer mind, and a stronger body so your life can be about YOU, not a diet. Diets are not healthy and they confuse your metabolism which is crucial for regulating your digestive system and maintaining a healthy weight. Clean eating is a way of life, something that you can start today and stick to forever!
Tina's 6 Simple Ways to Start Eating Clean TODAY
1. Eat an orange instead of drinking a glass of OJ.
Eating the “whole” version of something is almost always the better choice. The more processed the food is, the more it becomes laden with preservatives, sugars, artificial dyes, ingredients, and other added “flavors”. Any item in its natural unprocessed form is always best.
2. Only buy things with 6 ingredients or less.
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list of most processed foods there are at the grocery store? There are tons and tons of unhealthy and unnatural ingredients- even hidden in health food products! Eating clean means staying away from all of those unnatural ingredients that accumulate as toxins in our bodies. Keep it simple and you will be healthier. A handful of homemade trail mix or raw nuts, or an organic string cheese and apple are great on-the-go ideas, and if you have to get a bar, choose gluten free and vegan option such as larabars which have 3 ingredients or less (fruits+nuts+salt). You can also try making your own bars!
3. Use healthy fats and oils.
When you are clean eating, you want to use healthy cooking oils and consume healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil, grape seed and coconut oil are going to be the best options. As for healthy fats (other than those oils), stick to nuts and nut butters, flax seeds, avocado, low-fat dairy, and salmon. All of these contain those healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are so good for us.
4. Rid your pantry of highly processed foods.
Example: that box of cookies or cheesy crackers. Opt for healthy snack and dessert alternatives. Low-fat cheese or raw nut butter and wasa crisps or yogurt dip with veggies. Desserts could include a healthy low-fat greek yogurt parfait with berries, cacao nibs and agave nectar, a fresh ripe piece of fruit, a healthy homemade hot cocoa or a few raw cocoa nibs. It is about buying foods in their purest form and eating them in that form. Next time you are in your pantry look at the ingredients in your cereal, crackers or cookies. If they have more than 6 ingredients or you don’t even know what some of them mean, it’s time to toss!
5. No more white flour & limit white sugar.
Whole wheat bread can sometimes list the second ingredient as white flour! Don’t be tricked-look for healthy sprouted breads such as Ezekial or find whole wheat breads that contain only 100% whole wheat flour. Switch out your pasta to whole wheat, gluten-free, quinoa, and brown rice versions. Instead of sugar in your coffee or ice cream, use raw honey or agave, make a healthy ice cream with bananas (see Weeknight Bite recipe!)
6. Make you plate colorful and savor each bite.
The idea with clean eating is when you make simple and healthy meals they are most likely going to look amazing on the plate. Colorful veggies, brown rice, fresh salmon with a salad makes for a pretty plate. Yogurt and fresh mixed berries is a pretty way to start the day! Take the time to sit at the table when you are eating your major meals. It will help you to slow down, savor and realize when you are full. Your body will thank you for ridding those toxins and receiving the real nutrients!
I love all these tips and am going to put them to use in my daily life ASAP! And now for a clean and delicious recipe:
Tina's Layered Quinoa Fiesta Salad
Last Sunday, I hosted a bridal shower for my wonderful friend Sierra who is getting married in September. When us bridesmaids were deciding where to have the event, we thought it would be so nice to have it in my parents' backyard in San Diego, where we could make it really homey, personal, and perfectly tailored towards the San Diego-bred bride and all of her favorite things. It was so much fun putting together all of the details for the shower, and I must confess, now I'm a total believer in DIY/Do-It-Yourself events! I loved the creativity that went into the event - planning the whole menu, decor, drinks, music, etc! With 8 close friends getting married within about a year (ahh!), it's a great time to perfect my DIY skills! I couldn't wait to share the pics and deets with all of you, so here it goes . . .
We decided to go with an assortment of salads, some caprese salad skewers, and an indulgent baked Mac & Cheese (the bride's favorite food). Luckily, I had just learned how to make a gourmet Mac & Cheese a couple weeks earlier in cooking school and thank goodness no one knew that about 20 minutes before the shower, I clumsily spilled almost half the cheese sauce all over the kitchen floor. Despite losing a decent amount of saucy cheesiness, no one seemed to notice!
Sierra and her beloved mac & cheese :)
These salads were all delicious, light & fresh, and perfect for a ladies lunch . . .
> Kale Salad with golden raisins & currants - the trick was marinating it overnight in the dressing!
> Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Shrimp & Orzo Salad (we added some heirloom cherry tomatoes)
> Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad with olive oil & balsamic vinegar
> Our recreation of Bandera's Macho Salad - so yummy! The cornbread croutons make it!
My friend Hillary is a baker-extraordinaire, and her and my sister whipped up Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Chunk Cookies, mini red-velvet cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream frosting (omg!), and mini individual cheesecakes! Bite-size treats are great for showers since the girls aren't as quick to dive into a jumbo-sized cupcake!
Lately, I can't get ENOUGH coconut oil in my life. I use it for cooking, for baking, I put a spoonful in smoothies, and I put it all over my skin . . . yes the same jar that I use in the kitchen, I lather all over my face . . . and it's amazing!
I'm not sure why it's only recently become such a hot topic . . . I wish I had known about it years ago! I happen to love the flavor of coconut, but if you're not a huge fan, you can use the unflavored version and still get all the health benefits.
Check out all these fabulous reasons to add the delicious oil to your life:
> Helps lower cholesterol. Saturated fats have a bad rep, but in moderation they can be really healthy for you and your cholesterol levels!
Sometimes when we go on vacation, we think of is as a time to indulge to the fullest. Sip on some pina coladas & margaritas by the pool, go out to dinner and eat decadent meals followed by dessert, slack off on the exercise . . . NOT a smart idea! Then we come home feeling bloated, yucky, and lazy! It makes it so hard to get back into a healthy routine. So in spirit of the first weekend of Coachella officially beginning tomorrow, I'm going to share with you some tips to stay healthy while on vacation . . .
1. Drink TONS of water! Especially when going somewhere hot, where you will be dehydrated. Try to drink your body weight in ounces of water. Add lemon juice to your water for an easy detox!
2. Keep easy and healthy snacks with you for when you get hungry.
Spring is in full fling, and my next couple months are jam-packed with Coachella, Stagecoach, lots of travels, and beachy bachelorette parties to attend! I'm SO excited, but a little voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that it's officially bikini time. Since summer is right around the corner, I am being extra diligent about eating healthy and filling my body with all the good stuff. One of the best tips I have for eating right is to be prepared and pack yourself healthy snacks. When your tummy starts grumbling, instead of reaching for a bag of chips or whatever processed foods are around, grab one of these clean snacks and continue on with your day feeling energized and fab!
July 28th, 2016
December 6, 2016
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.