I’m super happy to let Gina from Noshing on Aspalt take over the writing duties for today and give us all a sneak peek into clean eating and how it’s changed her health.
When people find out that I’m a clean eater I tend to get a few of the same reactions. The first one is a puzzled look like ‘What the heck are you talking about’; the second is some awkward joke about always cleaning their food before they eat it; and the third reaction is, ‘Oh, you’re one of those people’. I have yet to find out who those people are but I figure there must be a lot of us since we’re always being grouped together. So if you’re one of those people…..Hi!
If you’re wondering what exactly clean eating is I’ll get you the 30 second, non-overwhelming definition. Clean eating is a commitment to feeding myself wholesome, unadulterated, good food. Basically the type of food that fueled our ancestors before the advent of boxed meals and 24/7 drive-thrus. Clean eaters avoid processed, refined, and altered food. We seek out whole grains, fresh fruits/veggies, and ditch refined sugar in lieu of natural sugars like honey and stevia. You can read more on the basics of clean eating here.
I stumbled upon clean eating a year ago this month after having some undiagnosed health issues. Basically, I just felt gross and had no energy. I believe in exhausting natural remedies before going to see a doctor (I don’t endorse this for anybody else, just myself) so I started looking into changing my diet. I had given up fast food 6 months prior to going clean and noticed a change right away so clean eating really clicked with me. The more I read about it, the more I fell in love with the idea. After several weeks of research I took the plunge. I’m not going to lie, it was hard giving up all the food I took comfort in but I knew it would be for the best if it made me feel better. Which…..drum roll please…..It did! As an unintended result, I have also lost weight from the changes in my eating habits.
So why is this information relevant to you as a fit and busy mom? First as a mom you deserve to feel your best ALL of the time. With running from one event to the next it’s really easy for your immune system to become compromised. Clean eating provides your body with the essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you running full speed ahead unlike the processed foods offer your body little more than empty calories. Second, as the head of your house (c’mon we all know who really wears the pants when it comes to food choices) you owe it to your family, your children especially, to set a good example of how they should be living. Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate so why not give your children the tools to combat it? Instead of serving them a greasy bag of chips, swap that snack out for some pita chips and hummus or apples and peanut butter. By making small swaps like that you are equipping your children with the knowledge to make healthy choices in the future. Healthy kids turn into healthy adults! Below is a kid approved (I tested it on my niece and nephews) clean taco cup recipe.
Not ready to go completely clean? It’s ok! A clean eating lifestyle isn’t right for everyone. Instead, focus on make some clean switches in your pantry and refrigerator. Purchase whole grain bread and brown rice. Become a label reader and commit to buying foods made with ingredients you can pronounce; the harder the nutrition panel is to read, the more likely it is that you’re about to eat food made with fillers, preservatives and laden with chemicals. Pack a cooler when you travel and fill it with naturally flavored water and snacks like pre-bagged fruits and veggies, this will keep you from making an unplanned drive-thru run. It’s simple steps like that that can have a huge impact on both your life and your families lives. So why not make a commitment to cleaning up your life one bite at a time?
Gina is the voice behind Noshing on Asphalt, a healthy living blog emphasizing her love of running and passion for clean eating. Gina believes that everyone is capable of living a fit and healthy lifestyle. She is currently training to run the Marine Corps Marathon which will be her first full marathon; she is running it in memory of her brother Ln. Cpl. Roger Deeds who was killed in Iraq. You can find Gina on Facebook and also Twitter.