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
1 cup red quinoa (if you cannot find red quinoa use white)
1 3/4 cups reduced sodium free-range chicken broth (or veg broth if you are vegetarian)
2 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
2 red bell peppers - chopped
½ large sweet onion - chopped
1 large hothouse cucumber - chopped
1 ½ ears of grilled OR 2 cups frozen white sweet corn
½ cup crumbled goat cheese/ queso fresco (optional)
2 ripe avocados - cubed
1 bunch fresh cilantro
½ tbsp agave nectar
Lemon pepper to season
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves 4-6 (can be a main course or a side dish)
1. Bring stock and quinoa to boil, then cover and simmer on low about 10 mins until cooked thoroughly
2. While waiting for quinoa to cook, grill corn, cut corn into kernels or defrost frozen kernels.
3. Once cooked, place quinoa in a large serving dish, creating an even layer on the bottom of the dish, drizzle
with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and a dash of sea salt and place in fridge to cool.
4. While quinoa is cooling, dice peppers, onions, and cucumber in small chunks all the same size, slice
avocado into similar sized pieces. Place in large mixing bowl.
5. Squeeze one lime over avocado. Add corn, peppers, onions and cucumber. Add in chopped cilantro (about
a handful or more depending on how much you love cilantro), drizzle agave, add the remaining olive
oil and juice from one lime. Sprinkle with lemon pepper.
6. Toss together letting all the flavors come together. Add salt and more pepper if desired.
7. Spread the chopped veggie mixture across cooled quinoa, garnish with cheese crumbles,
cilantro chiffonade and fresh lime quarters.
Enjoy as a delicious lunch or dinner meal by itself, or pair with grilled or roasted fish/ chicken/ spicy shrimp skewers!
This is truly a beautiful, delicious AND hearty salad, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and healthy fats. This is a clean eating award winner that you can whip up in no time at all, and it's super simple for a weeknight dinner! The colors are bright and vibrant, and it makes for an amazing lunch the next day.This is a great go-to recipe for any party, BBQ or potluck, perfect for the warmer weather now that Spring has begun and Summer is officially on its way! This layered salad promotes nutritional health and helps get us back on track for bikini season!
Pack this salad for a perfect picnic meal like in the photo below! Notice the WNB Guilt-Free Banana Oatmeal Cookies on the side - also a perfectly clean dessert! Nicely done Tina and Sierra :)
Big thank you to Tina for the Clean Eating how-to, recipe, and beautiful photos!
For more of Tina's amazing recipes, health & wellness articles, and tips on Clean Eating - check out all her amazing posts here!
July 28th, 2016
June 23, 2017
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.