What is “clean eating”?

The other week we discussed Tiff's diet. One of the things we want to help with is educating and encouraging a cleaner, healthier diet. Tiff’s diet was very strict and designed to make her body work as hard as it could. The power of what we put into ourselves is so important for our bodies as well as our mental health.

We don’t like the word “detox”. It sounds more like a fad and here at Roots we’re trying to create more of a healthy lifestyle, leading to better overall wellbeing and wellness. Maintaining a balanced diet is so important for us all. We are what we eat, so we should really be eating the good stuff. Tiff overhauled her diet early on so she was in control of what she was eating. Focusing on “clean” and “alkaline” eating, with intermittent fasting to help make her body work harder to aid recovery and boost her immune system. Read more about her diet here.

But sometimes a diet overhaul is just too much. So how about focusing on clean eating instead?

What does clean eating involve?

The basic principles of clean eating is that you consume more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. We try and encourage people to eat seasonally where they can; fresh, local, colourful produce and organic where possible. Sadly no sugar, limited dairy, no processed food, no alcohol, no junk food and no coffee/tea/caffeine.

Suddenly changing your diet will have a significantly positive effect on you. Especially if this includes caffeine, alcohol and sugar/white flour which are very addictive. The unfortunate reality of making these changes in your diet is it’s liable to cause a few withdrawal symptoms. The most common are headaches, fatigue, hunger, irritability and sleep difficulties. CBD is something that can really help with this. Maybe start on a weekend to give yourself space and time to rest in order to help with worst of your symptoms before day-to-day life begins again. Hopefully that will make it easier to resist that Monday morning coffee.

I think the best tip before starting a cleaner living lifestyle is to be organised. Look at recipes and cookbooks and make sure your fridge and cupboards are filled with the right ingredients. Meal plan—work out what you’re going to eat and snack on. What you will be drinking. 3 litres of filtered water (which is what we recommend each day) is a lot so find some herbal teas or natural juices that go with this and ones that you enjoy. Use Pollen CBD drink drops in these juices as an extra boost. For me, I need snacks at all times. If I’m hungry I crave sugar so a few berries, dried mango and nuts are always good for me to have in my bag so I can have some quickly.

Having a list of all the foods you can have helps with meal planning. If you look at this it makes you focus on all the good you can eat and enjoy rather than thinking of what you can’t have.

It might sounds daunting suddenly giving up all the yummy things that help keep you running. It might be something you build up doing slowly. Tiff’s diet was extreme as it needed to be but clean eating isn't black and white. There’s room for flexibility and modifications.

Maybe coffee is something you love. Try limiting this to one small cup a day. Have a flat white instead of a latte and make it smaller rather than bigger. If dairy is something you can’t give up, try cutting back and only buying whole milk and full fat yogurt. Similarly with red meat, buy the best you can afford. Grass-fed, local meat from a butcher once a week would be so much better for you and a real treat. Without question giving up bad sugars and processed foods is something everyone should do. This will make a massive difference. And the best thing you can do is start your day with a warm water, lemon, turmeric, Manuka honey and fresh ginger.

We will be doing recipe ideas for all areas of diet, reviewing cookbooks and sharing recipes for meals, drinks, snacks and dinner party ideas. They will hopefully help to keep you inspired and motivated.

What should/shouldn’t I eat?

Below are some foods to include in a clean diet.

  • Clean fruit
    • Fresh fruit
    • Canned fruit with no added sugar
    • Frozen fruit with no added sugar
    • Dried fruit with no added sugar
    • 100% fruit juice
  • Clean vegetables
    • Any fresh vegetable
    • Frozen vegetables with no sauce or added salt
    • Canned vegetables with no sauce or added salt
    • Limit nightshades—white include potato, aubergine, peppers. This does include tomatoes but a limited number is ok (raw is best).
  • Clean whole grains
    • Single-ingredient grains, such as farro, millet, oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
    • Wholewheat pasta
    • Popcorn
    • Sprouted whole-grain bread and English muffins (with no added sugar)
    • Wholewheat pizza dough
  • Clean dairy foods
    • Plain yogurt
    • Whole organic Milk
    • Cheese
  • Clean proteins
    • Single-ingredient meats—chicken breast, chicken legs, ground beef, etc.
    • Seafood (choose sustainable options)
    • Limit oily fish intake but have once/twice a week.
    • Eggs
    • Unflavoured nuts—almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts
    • Plain nut butters (no added sugar)—try and make your own!
    • Dried beans
    • Canned beans (rinse to reduce sodium by 35%)
  • Store cupboard
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Walnut oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Mustard
    • Organic honey
    • Maple syrup
  • Drinks
    • Filtered water (not in plastic)
    • Herbal teas
    • Lemon water
    • Green tea

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