This morning we have a guest post from Amie Valpone, HHC*, AADP**.
Valpone lives in Manhattan, where she does culinary marketing consulting, runs The Healthy Apple and specializes in gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition.
Valpone practices and teaches a concept known as ‘Clean Eating.’ And she’s sharing with us exactly what that means.
From Amie Valpone at The Healthy Apple:
“Ever wonder what happened to the days of eating pure grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits in our meals and snacks? I sure do. When did life and eating and food get so complicated? What does it mean to eat ‘Clean’?
That’s a question many people ask me as I’ve been living a ‘Clean’ lifestyle for many delicious years. Eating ‘Clean’ doesn’t have to be an expensive, time-consuming process, it simply takes a little planning and organizing to achieve your ideal healthy lifestyle, which you can carry out each and every day.
Start small; take 15 minutes on Sunday mornings to sit down and write a list of clean foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains to purchase for the week ahead. Ask yourself, “Do these foods come from a box with advertising gimmicks jumping out at you?” “Can I pronounce the ingredients?” “Would Grandma have eaten this or even recognized this back in the day?”
I think we all know the right answers to these questions. To eat clean, we can stick to the farmer’s markets, the produce aisle and the natural, wholesome, pure foods that Mother Nature intended for us to consume and enjoy.
Not the ’100 Calorie’ packs or the frozen dinners or the moca frapachinos but the homemade kale cashew hummus and baked chickpea falafels we can easily create in mere seconds. Eating clean can make you feel energized, aid digestion and keep your body healthy and happy.
My easy ‘Clean’ eating regime starts with my food processor: one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It’s a quick and simple way to combine all of my antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats and protein in every meal and snack. How?
First, I begin by steaming vegetables, from spinach to kale, Swiss chard to collard greens, zucchini to Brussels sprouts; add them to the food processor and combine with beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, cashews, almonds, avocado and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Maybe a touch of cinnamon, sea salt, fresh ginger root and chili powder and I’ve created a delicious hummus-like dish that can be used atop salads and pasta dishes, added to soups, spread atop crackers or toast and even thickened with whole grains and molded into falafel balls. No additives, no added sugars, no unidentifiable ingredients.
Easy, right? So, here’s a quick peek at a ‘Clean’ eating day. Simply toss the below Cooked ingredients into your food processor, pulse until desired consistency and enjoy.
Breakfast: Zucchini, kale, rolled oats, dried cranberries, banana, almonds, fresh parsley, agave nectar
Snack: Watercress, celery, apple, carrot, fresh dill, almonds, cinnamon
Lunch: Collard greens, Swiss chard, wild rice, chickpeas, balsamic vinegar, fresh cilantro, pumpkin seeds and freshly ground white pepper
Snack: Crisp bread crackers with roasted garlic, black beans, tomatoes, fresh rosemary and olive oil
Dinner: Spinach, quinoa, sea salt, pine nuts, dulse flakes, fresh basil, nutritional yeast and butternut squash
Dessert: Banana, cashews, coco powder, sea salt, cinnamon, fresh ginger
Each meal and snack above can be made in a few mere minutes and enjoyed on-the-go in a sealed portable container to eat at work or enjoyed in a formal setting at your dining room table.
Again, these ‘Clean’ eating ideas above can be enjoyed alone or atop your favorite dish such as salads, pastas, soups, sandwiches, crackers and tortillas. Just pure, simple, clean food straight from nature. The way eating was intended to be.
I often take the above ideas and pair them with brown rice cakes, whole grain crackers, crudite and freshly sliced fruit. Each meal and snack can be thickened or liquefied using whole grains or apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for the latter. It simply just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
Yearning for a smoothie? Go ahead and toss in some ice cubes and green tea. Longing for a warm bowl of soup? Toss the above lunch or dinner into your favorite soup recipe for an extra protein and fiber boost. Easy, isn’t it?
Along with eating ‘Clean’ I drink ‘Clean’ as well by enjoying a glass of warm water with fresh lemon, ginger root and cucumber slices. This is a great way to remind yourself to feel ‘clean’ and you’re your body hydrated throughout the day and changing of seasons.
What’s your strategy for eating ‘Clean’? Do you have any tips or suggestions that you use throughout your day to keep yourself eating clean and keeping your body healthy and happy? Share them here!
*Holistic Health Counselor
**American Association of Drugless Practitioners