Clean Eating Resources for Beginners
Cramping, aching and nausea. That is what I experienced from the moment I woke up this morning through the entire workday. If you have IBS, you already know that dealing with it, especially when you aren’t at home, is just the worst.
This morning I was given a painful reminder of just one of the reasons why we started the Clean Eating Diet. Read on to find some of the symptoms and some foods that will help you answer that popular question…How do I manage IBS symptoms?
Not sure if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? THIS LINK has great info on the signs and symptoms.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
The first time I went to the doctor for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), I actually thought I might be pregnant! My lower stomach felt like someone had punched it and I had a constant ache for days. I was constipated and nauseated.
Anytime I ate, I felt queasy 5 minutes later. I was miserable. The doctor first diagnosed me with IBS in 2010 (right smack in the recession) when I was going through a very stressful time in my life. We had a baby at home and at the same time work had announced a merger, meaning we didn’t know who was going to keep their jobs.
I wasn’t paying attention to stress because I thought I was managing it. Over the years I have identified stress as a trigger for my IBS. Though IBS triggers are different for everyone, stress is a common one.
I should also note that some people experience diarrhea rather than constipation.
What to Eat for IBS
The good news is that if you are already Clean Eating, your symptoms are likely controlled most of the time. Since we have started eating Clean, my IBS symptoms only bother me maybe 2-3 times a year. And each time I could tell you why.
Last night we picked up Teriyaki Chicken with white rice. While that isn’t typically a problem. we also ordered a plate of teriyaki vegetables which ended up being a head of cabbage sauteed in lots of oil. As I ate it, I knew I would regret it.
But I did it anyway. The cabbage coupled with the oil and White rice was enough to trigger IBS. So let us start with foods to avoid with IBS:
What Foods Trigger IBS Attacks
Here are some food to avoid if you suffer from IBS:
Now the fun part. What you CAN eat!
What to Eat on the IBS Diet?
Fortunately, there are a lot of foods you can eat on the IBS diet:
- Take Probiotics! Take it twice a day during an IBS episode
- Fruits that are low in fructose – bananas, oranges
- Sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, carrots
- Peppermint Tea
- Turmeric Tea
- Turmeric, ginger
- Whole Wheat Bread or Brown Rice
- Oatmeal & Almond Milk
IBS At Work – Eating Out With IBS
IBS at work can make you paranoid about eating just about anything. Here are a few lunch ideas on the IBS diet that you should be able to find at a cafe, coffee shop or restaurant.
- Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat (avoid white bread)
- Veggie Sandwich – A small amount of avocado is safe but you may want to avoid it
- Clear soups – look for Chicken, beef or vegetable broth bases. Chicken and Rice is my favorite. Avoid creamy soups
- Fruits – find low Fructose fruits like Pineapple (especially good for IBS), Grapes, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Banana, Oranges and Berries
- Tea – Peppermint Tea is best for soothing your stomach. Turmeric tea may help too
- Drink LOTS of water
How Long Does it Take for IBS to go Away?
An IBS attack can last 2-4 days and sometimes even up to a week. That doesn’t sound like a long time but for someone suffering from IBS, it can feel like it is never going to end.
How long you will be symptom-free between attacks will vary from person to person. It is unknown what causes IBS and it is thought to be genetic.
I know from experience that diet, stress, and hormones are all contributing factors for someone like me who is prone to IBS attacks. Clean Eating, probiotics, and exercise are all things that help me. But it has taken many, many years to figure that out.
You Will Get Through it – Seek Help if You Have Frequent IBS Episodes
In the end, IBS sucks. There is nothing fun about it and it can cause stress and anxiety when you have to leave the house during an episode. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be managed with Clean Eating, but sometimes there are reactive foods that are specific to your body.
If you are experiencing frequent episodes, talk to a doctor and see if there is something else going on.
Let me tell you why CSAs are so Awesome! CSAs are a way of connecting consumers with farmers. CSAs for fruits and vegetables have been around for a while. But lately, egg and beef CSAs have also been popping up!
What is a CSA Box?
Our lives are so busy these days. From going to work, to driving the kids to activities, it feels as though we always have somewhere to be! Because of that, I am really excited that our CSA box will be starting this weekend! Each Saturday, after Judo, the kids and I will drive to a local farm to pick up our fresh produce. So, are you wondering what a CSA box is yet?
A CSA box is an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested by a local farmer of your choice. They grow and pick the vegetables for their members and have it ready for pick up on your designated day. The produce is fresh and therefore more nutritious than store-bought produce. And the feeling you get for helping out a farmer is just the best!
A Component of Clean Eating Healthy Living
When most people think of clean eating, they often focus on the recipes. However, the very essence of the movement is that we should be eating as close to nature as possible and the one component that is often overlooked is where your food comes from. Is it organic? If not, does the farmer use organic practices? How large is the farm and are the animals being well cared for?
Now I am ALL about convenience as much as the next person. I use Instant cart at least weekly and I place periodic orders from Thrive Market to be delivered straight to my front door. I don’t have time to add one more errand to my schedule and I utilize any help I can get. However, I believe in CSA’s so much that I make it a priority in my life. Let me tell you a little more and by the end, you will be a believer too!
What Does CSA Stand For? And Why Helping Farmers is So Important
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it allows consumers to connect with local farmers. I work in lending at a Bank and I see loans to farmers all the time. When it comes to small farmers, many of them are operating on small margins.
If there is one year of bad weather or one crop that doesn’t fare well that year, the farm really takes a financial hit. They sell their produce to the stores at a steep discount and sometimes have an agreement with large stores to take back produce that doesn’t sell. Some years their crop will sell at high profit margins, but other years, the price of the crops crash.
However, when they are planting their seeds, they don’t always know what the prices are going to look like when it comes time to sell their produce. Now add in tarrifs and regulations on workers and the business costs skyrocket. In the end, some years result in farmers operating at little to no profit. Keep in mind that many farmers have children and families to support.
Why We NEED Our Farmers
However, when we talk to farmers who are struggling, they express their desire to keep the farm going. They love what they do and they want to find a way to make it work. To be fair, they do have good years that, when budgeted, will carry them through the tough years. They are hard workers with a passion for farming and they honestly care about the people they are producing the food for. And let’s face it, we don’t want to see farms disappear! If farms are gone, large corporations will take over and we will start to see more GMO foods since they are cheaper and easier to produce. Organic options may be limited and the corporations will be able to set prices with little to no competition. We will never know where our food is coming from or what processes they use. In the end, the food will not be as nutritious and there will be more chances of food borne illnesses since quality control will be compromised.
Pros and Cons of a CSA
As with anything, participating in a CSA comes with risks. However, I’m going to convince you that the benefits outweigh the risks! Remember that by supporting a CSA farm, you will also be joining the sustainable agriculture movement! So let get down to the Pros and Cons:
- Support Your Local Farmers! – This is the largest pro for me personally. I just love meeting the farmers and talking to them about their produce. When I tell you they take pride in what they grow, I mean it! Take 5 minutes a week to talk to the farmer and you will see what I mean. They have a way of getting you excited about it too!
- Know Where Your Food Comes From and Get the Kids of their Tablets – I once saw a show that said kids in some areas couldn’t recognize vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis and onions. That was just shocking to me! Bring your kids to the CSA Farm and let them see how their food grows and where it comes from. They will keep that experience with them forever. It also gets them out of the house and away from electronics!
- Eat More Nutritious Vegetables – CSA farmers take pride in their products so they want you to be happy. As a result, they often pick their produce at optimal times. Usually, this is the day before pick up and sometimes even the morning of. Vegetables start to lose their nutrition as soon as they are picked. So those vegetables in the grocery store are questionable!
- Vegetable Varieties You Have Never Heard of – Because the CSA is a small farmer, they often like to experiment with unique varieties of produce. We have had some odd varieties of squash, lettuce and tomatoes. Even though they look weird, they are so much fun! It’s fun to try new varieties!
- Sometimes More Affordable Than Stores – The CSA that we participate in breaks down to $25 a week. If we were to have the produce delivered, it would be an additional $5. For the amount of produce we get, it is cheaper than what we would pay in the grocery store
- An Excuse to Buy Cute Tote Bags – I can hear my husbands eyes rolling but I care not! I am always looking for an excuse to buy cute tote bags and CSA’s are no different. Afterall, I will need a way of getting my produce home…for my husband to eat! This is my favorite bag (This is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission on your purchase but I really do love this one) 🙂
Cons of CSAs
- You May Have to Pay Upfront – Many CSAs require you to pay for the entire season up front. Some will offer payment plans to make it manageable and I have even seen some that allow you to pay weekly. The farmer is using these funds to buy seeds, set up irrigation and grow the vegetables. I had to pay for our CSA box by January 15th and we won’t start picking up our produce until April.
- You Are Taking A Risk on the Crops – There are several aspects that could affect the produce that you receive. Some factors include weather, rot and disease. There is no guarantee that you will get a full box each week. While this has never been an issue for us, it is something to keep in mind.
- One More Stop In The Week – I haven’t seen many CSA’s that deliver to the house. When I worked in downtown there were office dropsites where you could pick up your produce. It worked well as long as you weren’t catching the bus home! Unless you can find a delivery CSA, you will likely have to pick it up at the farm or a neighbors house that has been designated as a drop site. I try to view it as an activity with the kids, so it’s more of an adventure for us.
- No Customizing – Now I have seen a few CSAs that will allow you to customize your box. But most of them won’t allow it, simply because they don’t have the volume to be able to offer options. They typically have a set list for the week and that is what you get. Sometimes we get something we don’t like but I either give it away on the local buy nothing site or freeze it until I can figure out what to do with it. Almost any frozen fruit or veggie can be added to a smoothie.
Ready To Sign Up For Your CSA?
Start by searching for a local CSA near you. Local Harvest is a great start: Click Here to Check it Out. It takes a little time to read through the site and figure out which will work best for you, but it is worth it! The peak time for CSAs is in June so you still have time to find one and sign up. They are limited to a specific number of members simply due to supply, so you will want to get it as soon as you pick one.
Now go and find your local CSA! Be sure to let me know what you think! I’m also excited to answer any questions you might have!
Are you tired of being tired? Trying to lose weight or just eat healthier? Then Clean Eating may be exactly what you are have been looking for!
Our journey to the Clean Eating diet was a long one and we unknowingly stumbled on to it when we had kids. When we first started feeding my daughter solid foods, the doctor told me to remember that “organic is best”. Those words stuck with me and forever changed the way our family ate.
We started buying organic foods and seeking out real foods with no preservatives. That sounds straightforward, but back then it was a big task!
I started looking for recipes with no added sugar and artificial ingredients. I didn’t know it at the time, but our clean eating journey was just beginning and it was going to be the diet that we had been searching for!
After several years of trying different healthy recipes and modifications, we have a healthy rotation of clean eating snacks and clean eating recipes that I consider our go-to. Natural Deets has become a place for me to share our favorite easy healthy recipes. All while keeping the kids ever-changing tastes in mind
If you are new to the journey, click on the picture below to read about the 3 steps my husband and I took to get started! Not only did we start to feel better relatively quickly, but our energy levels were higher than they had been in a long time! It gave us the motivation to keep going!
What We Thought Was Healthy Food
Before I met my husband, he had worked hard to lose weight and stay active. By the time we met in college, he was so obsessed with maintaining his weight that he only ate bread and salad…you think I’m exaggerating but I am not! I still remember the first time he ate a mustard sandwich in front of me!
Well, it was working for him, but at what cost?
He was so obsessed with maintaining his weight that he only ate bread and salad
Looking back, I realize that we were eating all wrong. We tried everything from South Beach Diet to Paleo. They worked temporarily but they were so hard to stick to!
Ultimately, we realized that elimination diets were not going to work for us. What we needed was a lifestyle change. Clean Eating has changed our lives and I am excited to share it with you!
Click the picture below to find out just what Clean Eating is all about!
Note: I even included a Clean Eating Shopping list!
Clean Eating is not a Fad Diet
When I first met my husband, I was in cooking school. I loved testing recipes on him because he was great at taste testing and providing feedback. Back then it was seen as “fancy” to cook with such rich and decadent ingredients.
Needless to say, he started to gain weight again (he was off his mustard sandwich diet)! That was around the time the South Beach diet came out so we jumped on board.
In fact, I still have the South Beach Diet cookbooks! Looking back, I can’t believe how unhealthy it was and my husband is convinced that all the dieting wrecked with his metabolism.
Clean Eating is not a Fad Diet
It is easy to say that Clean Eating is a fad diet if you are not familiar with the concepts. However, I started to notice that at the end of every fad diet, the “experts” started telling us the same thing. Eat more fruits and Vegetables. Include lean pasture-raised protein and Wild caught seafood. Well my friends, that is Clean Eating!
…the “Experts” always tell us the same thing. Eat more fruits and vegetables and lean pasture raised protein. Well my friends, that is Clean Eating
So What is Clean Eating?
Simply put, Clean Eating is eating as close to nature as possible. That means lots of fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. It also means knowing where your food comes from.
Is the farm that raised your chicken humane? Is the beef you are eating grass fed? Let’s take a look at a couple of the major points in eating clean:
Fruits and Vegetables
This one is pretty obvious but it is worth discussing. On some diets, certain types of fruits and vegetables are eliminated due to high sugar or starch content. With clean eating, we don’t care about that.
Any fruit or vegetable is considered a part of the diet. Just avoid GMO foods and non-organic, if possible. Both are relatively new to the market and we don’t know what long term impact it will have on our bodies.
GMO foods are not allowed to be called organic. If you want to know why Organic should be a priority, read this article about how organic may significantly decrease your risk of getting cancer: EWG News – Organic foods
Pasture Raised Protein
We should all be concerned about animal welfare. Today we don’t see where our food comes from so we don’t have to look at the animal that will be a part of our dinner tonight.
That is ok, I couldn’t handle seeing the cow I was going to eat. But we should be aware of how they were raised and ensure that we are supporting farmers that are taking care of their animals.
As an added bonus, pasture raised animals are healthier for us because that is how nature intended them to live. They have lower saturated fats, higher Omega 3’s and pasture raised chickens have 50% more Vitamin A than conventional chicken.
Lately, there have also been numerous recalls on chicken and ground beef. If you are buying from a small farm, chances of contamination are very low since the farmer knows their animals.
Curious about pasture-raised protein? It is literally the best meat you will ever taste (and I hate to use the work literally)! Pound for pound, buying a whole cow is your most economical option but when a cow is 250 pounds, it is a huge upfront cost.
We purchase our pasture raised Chicken and Grass Fed beef from Crowd Cow (affiliate link) where you can buy just what you need. (Click the picture below for more info!):
Flour and Grains
Again, both are acceptable but there is a caveat. They must be minimally processed and from a whole food. If you have time, you can always make your own flour. For example, oat flour can be made by pulsing oatmeal in your blender. So once you get used to it, it really isn’t a big deal.
However, all-purpose flour and cake flour is out. This makes shopping more difficult because you will start to notice how many ingredients are added to a simple loaf of bread!
Click on the picture below to read more about Clean Eating Approved Flours:
Clean Eating Sweeteners
This one is fairly straightforward. There are 3 approved sweeteners. Honey, Maple Syrup and Coconut Sugar. Personally, I don’t bake with coconut sugar because it is still slightly processed, even though it originated with a coconut.
However, it is often used in “healthy” treats at the store. We still have to have fun in life, so I have given in and started purchasing items with coconut sugar!
Honey and Maple Syrup are great substitutions for sugar in almost any recipe. You will likely find that you don’t even miss granulated sugar!
Clean Eating Results
We have now been enjoying the Clean Eating lifestyle for over 5 years. Without trying, we have lost a significant amount of weight, improved our cholesterol and increased our energy levels. Clean Eating really is one of those lifestyle changes that you can stick to forever.
We have watched other fad diets come and go while we stayed on track with whole foods and clean eating recipes. The thing I love most about Clean Eating is that it is so forgiving. If we eat something that is not clean, no big deal, just get back on track with the next meal.
With other diets like Keto, one chocolate kiss can throw you out of ketosis and you are starting all over again.
When the kids have class parties or birthday parties, we let them eat what they want. They still need to enjoy life and one day of sweets won’t hurt them. But the funny thing is that they have gained an appreciation of real foods and they just don’t enjoy store-bought cupcakes, and other foods as much as I did when I was growing up.
Some people have said that we are depriving them of sugary cereals but when they eat it, they tell me that it is too sweet. It makes me a proud mama and I know that if they stay on track, they won’t have to worry about losing weight or keeping their cholesterol in check as they get older.
Clean Eating Recipes
Now the fun part! Are you ready to start making some clean eating meals? The recipes below are just some of our favorites but be sure to read through the website to see everything!
These butternut squash rounds are the perfect appetizer! It takes a little time so don’t start here if you aren’t already spending time in the kitchen! 🙂
This healthy breakfast is one of my favorites. These overnight oats can be made up to 2 nights before, so you could double the recipe and have it 2 mornings in a row!
Looking for a healthy snack for kids? Try these gluten free corndog muffins. They fit perfectly in the lunchbox too!
This is a fun one! Clean Eating Peppermint Fudge just proves that you do not have to give up the good stuff just because you are trying to be healthier!
Another fun one that the whole family will love! This Clean Eating Chocolate Milkshake is so easy and delicious!