Photo: Henry Leutwyler
Maybe you skipped out on making any resolutions in January, but with February kicking off, it doesn’t mean it’s too late. You can still make this the year of eating clean and indulging wisely. What is clean eating? It isn’t about washing all the pesticides off your produce, if that’s what you were thinking. It’s about choosing all natural,whole foods while incorporating complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits, lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats.
And what does this have to do with beauty? Because our skin is our largest organ and its beauty on the surface is a reflection of what we’re feeding it on the inside. Ever notice how when after a weekend of overdoing it with alcohol and sugar, your face breaks out? Studies have shown that those inflammatory foods mentioned above can cause internal imbalances, which are mirrored on our skin, usually in the form of acne. And that’s one aspect of youth we’d all rather leave in the past.
You might be thinking, “What the heck am I supposed to eat?” Luckily there are tons of healthy foods that are easy to prepare and taste delicious; you might just need to explore a few unfamiliar aisles in the grocery store. Plus, inspiring resources are endless; check out #eatclean on Instagram and you’ll find thousands of meals that will actually get you excited about quinoa; or start right here with our own Clean Food Dirty City quick and tasty recipes.
You’ll want to eat 5-6 meals and snacks throughout the day, preferably cooked at home and served in controlled portions. Meals should be high in fiber and, not to be a buzzkill, free of potentially inflammatory foods including dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten, most red meat, caffeine, processed foods, fried foods, artificial colors and sweeteners.
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Creating healthy eating habits gives you the space to enjoy your favorite foods, without feeling deprived, while teaching you to focus on the good foods you should be eating most of the time. Eventually this becomes second nature and you aren’t even thinking about the percentage of healthy food versus those foods that you crave, which might not be so healthy; you’re intuitively eating foods from every color of the rainbow, and those that don’t come from a bag, because they make you feel that much better.
Keri Glassman, founder of Nutriouslife, is a big fan of eating from a place of empowerment rather than emotions. “I like to encourage the attitude of listening to your body and indulging when you really have a true craving or just simply want something decadent. It’s not ‘I can’t eat the chocolate cake,’ it’s ‘I can have the blueberries.’ When you do this, you don’t want to indulge as much and when you do just have to have something it’s much easier to have a small slice [of cake] and move on.”
Being mindful of eating to fuel your body rather than your emotions is key, but so is listening to your body. I’ve got a resolution for you: each week drop one unhealthy food group on the list until you’re eventually eating clean intuitively. In just a few months you’ll reconnect with your body in a way that you’ll know when you’re truly craving that chocolate cake, or you’re just letting it taunt you out of habit.