the clean eating diet

The Clean Eating Diet – What is it and How to Get Started

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! 

clean eating for beginners

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!

clean eating for beginners

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!):

affordable grass fed beef

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 approve 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! 🙂

roasted butternut squash

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!

clean eating diet

Looking for a healthy snack for kids? Try these gluten free corndog muffins. They fit perfectly in the lunchbox too!

corn dog recipe

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! 

peppermint fudge

Another fun one that the whole family will love! This Clean Eating Chocolate Milkshake is so easy and delicious! 

chocolate milkshake

Can’t find what you were looking for? Whether you are looking for a specific Clean eating recipe or just more information on the Clean Eating Diet, let me know and I will get it done for you! 

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