Friday, May 24, 2013

My Take on Clean Eating

This idea of "clean eating" keeps coming up on pinterest, in books, on facebook and it seems that everyone has a different idea of what it means. For me it means eating food that is rich in nutrients and limited chemicals/processing.

I thought I should get on the bandwagon and got some healthy cookbooks out of the library. All that did was completely overwhelm me! They called for ingredients, cooking gadgets and time that I did not have. So I started feeling down about eating and cooking and such. Completely not going with my theme of being grateful this year. So instead of complaining and feeling overwhelmed about what I am not doing, I decided to give myself a pat on the back and reflect on some of the changes I have made. Today I am grateful for the healthy choices I make and the people who have taught me about "clean eating".

Here are some healthy things I try to include in my diet:

1) Avocados. Just strated eating these in the last few months. Sliced on toast. Sliced on the side of what ever I am eating. And just started making really yummy guacamole.

2) Hemp. Fell in love with hemp hearts this year. I sprinkle them on salad, cereal, yogurt and this week started throwing them in my smoothies.

3) Quinoa. First had this in Peru and have been hooked ever since. I use it instead of rice. Recently used it in a soup too. I love the nutty taste and the fact that its a complete protein rocks. Oh and it only takes 20 minutes to cook.

4) Farm share. Did our first farm share last year. The concept of a farm share is we pay into a farm in the spring and then for about 12 weeks get fresh local farm produce. Its great for the farmers as they get some secured income and its great for us because we get the best tasting veggies! Last year I was introduced to some new veggies (had never cooked with beets before) and was forced to eat more veggies because they were in my fridge! It was also neat to eat locally, eat seasonally and be so connected to the farm. Cant wait for it to start again this year.

5) Natural yogurt. Didn't realize how much other stuff is in some yogurt. We eat A LOT of yogurt and we try to keep it natural or organic.

6) Honey. Went to a honey farm last year and learned all about the amazing qualities of honey. Now we eat honey every day, on toast, on pancakes, on oatmeal. Yummm!!!

7) No more ketchup! Used up our last bottle of ketchup a few months ago and when looking at the ingredients at the grocery store, just couldn't bring myself to buy more. Not saying I never eat ketchup or that its the worst thing in the world. Have just been trying to use "cleaner" things like homemade salsa.

8) No more fake syrup! We put honey on our pancakes now.

9) Less and less meat. Compared to when we were first married and ate meat almost every night, I would say I make a meat recipe once or twice a week now.

10) Spinach and "greens". I am getting better at adding these to our meals. I get a salad mix with spinach in it. I add a bag of fresh spinach to soups, chili and pasta sauce. And I recently found a bag of organic frozen chopped spinach that I can add to smoothies!

11) Organic when we can. I have a few things that I like to buy organic, mostly because they taste better. Apples and carrots and salad greens.

12) Looking at the ingredients. I have gotten way better at reading what I am actually eating and TRY to buy foods that have ingredients that I know and that have a few ingredients. If something has a long list of things I cant even pronounce, I try to avoid it.

So yes, I have made a few healthy changes over the past year. I am grateful for the changes I have made.

I am grateful for the kick I have had to make some more changes such as:
1) Adding more beans to my diet.

2) Looking for a way to get some local eggs and meat.

3) Discovering more ways to add fruits and veggies to my diet.

4) Learning some more salmon recipes. Or one good one.

5) Watching some of the food documentaries that everyone is talking about.

My name is Emily and today I am greatful for yummy food and the journey I am on in healthy eating.

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