Ask the Health Guru: Clean Eating

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By Devin Burke Special to The Pineapple Q: What does “eating clean” mean? Why should I “eat clean” and how do I start? A: My definition for “eating clean” is eating a whole foods, plant-based diet full of both essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It means steering clear of processed or package foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, avoiding artificial, genetically modified, pesticide laden foods and eating organic as much as possible. Our bodies are amazing machines that need quality macronutrients and micronutrients to function properly. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are the chemical foundations of our food and essential to our bodies. Most of us have hectic schedules and relay on convenience foods to sustain us. But most convenience foods are loaded with sugar, bad fats, are genetically modified, and laden with pesticides and herbicides which have the opposite effect of nourishing the body. These types of foods actually create stress and inflammation in our bodies which is the root of almost all disease. I actually don’t even consider convenience foods, foods at all. A more accurate name for these types of foods would be “food-like” products. The good news is that by just slowly starting to eliminate “food-like” products from your diet you’ll be well on your way to eating clean. The next step to eating clean is to start adding one or two clean food choices to your daily diet. A simple example of a clean food choice would be any fresh organic fruit or vegetable. By incorporating more clean food choices into your diet, eventually you will begin to crowd out “unclean” foods. The more crowding out that takes place, the more in-tune you will become with your body and your food choices. Once you become in-tune with your body you’ll be able to listen to what it is truly asking for which is nutrient dense foods that provide you with sustained energy. You’ll begin to notice that your body will be more attracted to these new healthy clean foods and reject “food-like” products. As you begin adding more and more clean foods into your diet, you may notice your body also beginning to cleanse itself. This doesn’t take place over night but rather over weeks and months. Sometimes you may experience detox symptoms like headaches, nausea and a possible upset stomach. Don’t worry, these are normal and will go away as your body gets recalibrated to your new healthy clean way of eating. Simple Morning Clean Smoothie Recipe: The easiest and quickest way to incorporate a clean food into your diet is by adding in a plant- based smoothie first thing in the morning. Start with this basic clean smoothie recipe below and experiment with your own creative flavor combos from here. 1. One cup almond, coconut, rice or hemp milk. (Organic unsweetened almond milk 365 Brand from Whole Foods is my personal favorite) 2. One cup ice 3. One scoop or serving of a plant-based protein supplement. (Garden of Life Raw Protein, Vega and Sun Warrior are two other reputable companies I use) 4. 1⁄2 of a frozen banana Note: Use this smoothie recipe as a base and experiment with your own creative flavor combos. Devin Burke empowers individuals to adopt wellness as a mindset and develop an all-encompassing lifestyle that is in complete balance –mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Visit EmpowermentWellnessSolutions.com to learn more. Got a health question you want answered? Email Devin@EmpowermentWellnessSolutions.com