The clean lifestyle

Most people have tried some sort of a diet at least once in their life. I sure have and like many people I quit because it was too strict, I was either too hungry or too tired of eating the same over and over. At the end I would always go back to my old habits, feeling like the diet was a waste of time or it was a huge sacrifice that I did not want to make again. There was no lifestyle change. Does this sound like you?  
 
This is the problem with diets, we go back to our old ways and that is why I do not believe in dieting. I believe in learning what is good for your body and making better choices that will last. 
 
If you are at a point in your life where you want to start making healthier choices this blog will give you a great start. 
 
So now to the basics. 
 
What is a clean lifestyle?
 
A clean eating is not a diet, it is more a of a lifestyle. The idea is to eat and live the cleanest possible. Eating whole foods, and the least processed as you can. It’s all about making better choices for our body and life removing toxicity and nurturing our body. 
 
This not only include the foods and drinks we ingest but also all the products we might use around the house to clean, the makeup we put on our faces, lotions and deodorants we use on our skin, etc. Even the containers we use to hold our food and the utensils we use to cook with. 
 
So, it’s all about swapping one unhealthy item for a healthy one gradually. Clean eating is about adding the foods that are best for your health, while crowding out the unhealthy and since you are at it; you can also clean up your lifestyle. Does this sound good? 
 
Just remember, the cleaner the better! 
 
10 Clean lifestyle guidelines
 
Here are a few clean lifestyle guidelines to help you get started. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to get all these done at once. Pick one and incorporate it into your life, and gradually start incorporating more. 
 
1. Remove processed foods and junk food:

Any time food is altered or processed from its natural state it loses something; nutrients, freshness, fiber, etc. When you eat a processed food you put into your body foods that are lacking something but also you might even get add-ons, most likely chemicals or preservatives that weren’t there before. 

 
2. Limit or remove added sugars:
Some foods have sugar naturally in them, and this kind of sugar is ok in moderation. The problem comes when we start adding sugar to foods to make them more “appetizing”. This is a where we get hooked into a vicious cycle of sugar addiction. We load our meals with extra sugar that will affect the sugar levels in our blood and can start to create issues in our health. 
 
3. Load up on veggies and fruits:
This is one of the basic rules of clean eating. The more you eat veggies and fruits, the better! This is where your body will get most of its nutrients and if you are able to eat organic, A+ for you! This way you can avoid harmful pesticides or chemicals that harm our body. 
 
4. Bye-bye refined carbs, Hello whole grains!:
Refined carbs or simple carbs can be considered processed foods. When carbs are refined, they lose important qualities like fiber and nutrients. This is what we call “empty calories” because they do not give any nutrition but can cause a lot of trouble in the sugar levels in our body and start to cause disease. Whole grains on the other hand, are exactly that: Whole. They have all the vitamins, minerals and fiber that they should, they are called complex carbs. 
 
5. Keep an eye on sodium:
Just like we should watch out for how much sugar we eat, we should do with salt (sodium). Salt enhances other flavors and its delicious in meals but can cause high blood pressure and fluid retention in our body. If we abuse the use of it, it can cause even more serious issues like stroke, heart failure, etc. All in moderation!
 
6. Limit alcohol:
A glass of wine once a day can actually improve your health. The issue starts with too frequent and too much alcohol in our diet. Alcohol promotes inflammation in the body, which is the culprit of most diseases. 
 
7. Drink more water:
Our body is made of more than 60% of water. Drinking water helps with important bodily functions like digestion, circulation, absorption, transportation of nutrients, among many others. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. 
 
8. Avoid vegetable oils:
The problem with some vegetable oils is that they are highly processed with chemical solvents and go through a purifying and refining process, which can create inflammation in the body. If you are using vegetable oils make sure the process used to get the oil is by crushing or pressing plants or seeds. I recommend you switch to these vegetable oils: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and ghee. 
 
9. Favor organic, ethically produced food:
They main reason to buy organic is that these foods have less toxic chemicals and therefor are cleaner food for your body. The climate and wildlife is less affected in ethically grown foods because they don’t use pesticides and chemicals that can harm them. These foods tent to be more expensive so if you can only buy some foods organic, check the dirty dozen list and get only those items organic.
 
10. Minimize toxins: 
The key is reading labels. It should be the priority when trying to avoid or minimize toxins in products we use. The products include the ones we use to clean our homes, the lotions we use on our body, or makeup, etc. Make sure to avoid herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, hormones, chloride, fluorides, heavy metals, BPA, mercury and toxic organic chemicals.
 
Having a clean lifestyle is a matter of making better choices for your health each day and it starts by learning what we are putting in and on our body.
 
Start small, and continue cleaning it up!
 
With love,
Patty

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