Healthy Eating – Four Ways To Jumpstart Your Clean Eating Program

Are you looking to clean up your diet? Do you want to improve your nutritional standing but are not too sure where to start?

Clean eating is all about eating foods in their natural, unprocessed state. It is about avoiding all the packaged and manufactured foods we see lining the supermarket shelves today and instead, focusing on foods that nourish your body and provide an abundance of nutrients to each and every one of our cells.

If you have been following an eating plan rich in processed foods, it can be quite challenging to at first make the transition to clean eating. The good news is it doesn’t have to be. Here are four great ways to jump-start your clean eating plan…

1. Eat One Salad Every Day. Adding one large salad to your meal plan every day will give your nutritional profile an instant boost. Fill this salad with dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, seeds, nuts, and a lean protein source if you want to make it a main meal.

Having a salad each day can help you take in three to four servings of fruits and vegetables, which tends to be the hardest food group for most people to take in.

2. Ditch The Deli Meats. It is also a wise move to consider ditching the deli meats. As tasty as the club sandwich may be, deli meats are highly processed, loaded with nitrates, and very high in sodium. Instead, try freshly shaved chicken or roast beef. You can often find these at the deli counter if you ask for them. It’s far purer and will be in line with clean eating principles.

3. Check Your Breakfast Bowl. If you sit down to a bowl of granola for breakfast, the bad news is this is anything but clean. Give your breakfast bowl a thorough examination by checking the ingredient label on the package. When in doubt, go with oatmeal. It’s one of the cleanest breakfast options you can get.

4. Cut Out All Alcohol. Finally, as much as you may dislike doing so, if you want to give your meal plan a boost, consider cutting out all the alcohol you are consuming. Alcohol is anything but clean, as it is a toxin you are putting into your body on a daily basis.

Choose water or club soda more often when out with friends and you will notice a difference.

Try these four tips, and you can jumpstart your clean eating efforts and begin feeling better about what you are putting into your body.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

Could Your Food Cravings Be Sabotaging You?

Food cravings would be no problem if they were for broccoli and kale. How perfect would that be? But those aren’t the foods – or kinds of foods – we tend to crave, mainly because they don’t cause much (if any) change in brain chemistry.

Cravings tend to be for foods that feel like comfort foods: from Christmas cookies and other holidays treats to plain old mac and cheese. Foods with sugar, flour and fats are the go-to comfort foods – and the ones we crave – because they’re big brain chem changers.

This short article will cover two ways that cravings can sabotage us: 1) by derailing a weight-loss plan, and 2) by derailing our work productivity.

Cravings and Weight Loss

Cravings prompt many of us to eat the foods we crave. Before you say, “Duh”, that’s not as obvious as it seems. It’s definitely possible to eliminate cravings so they don’t make us eat those foods.

But let’s say you haven’t eliminated the cravings and you do eat what you’ve been craving. The foods you eat will often make you eat more – yes, more of the craved stuff, but also more food in general.

The endorphins (beta-endorphin) triggered by sugary foods, for example, can inhibit the part of the brain responsible for satiety – the feeling that we’ve had enough food and don’t need any more for a while. So the meal can just keep going.

Those endorphins can also make us eat different foods than we typically would. They might lead us to eat more sugar, more fat, or both. Even if you’re just looking for something sweet, that sweet treat will often also contain fat and provide far more calories than you expected.

Obviously, weight-loss plans end up suffering as a result. An effective short-term fix for any craving is a teaspoon of liquid B-complex. (Please check with your doctor to be sure this is a strategy you can safely use.) If your doctor gives you the okay, the craving will be gone in a matter of minutes. It really works.

Cravings and Work Productivity

If you eat sweet or starchy foods when you crave them, both trigger a high release of insulin. That can cause sleepiness or “fogginess” that call out for a caffeine fix. It’s especially true for those who are carb-sensitive – who produce more insulin after eating sugar, for example.

Who is carb sensitive? Typically, anyone with a family history of hypertension, alcoholism, diabetes, hypoglycemia, or obesity.

Extra caffeine may battle the sleepiness, but it’s temporary. It may also lose its effectiveness if you’ve already had lots of coffee during the day. Staying alert and productive is far easier (and takes less caffeine) when you balance out any high insulin-triggering foods with protein and lots of vegetables.

Plant sources of protein have commanded much attention lately, but may not provide enough protein to balance out the insulin effects in someone who’s carb-sensitive. If you’d rather not eat animal proteins, make a point of mixing some vegetable protein powder with water. It will provide more protein than, say, nuts.

Have that protein powder mixture anytime you’ve been giving in to comfort food cravings. If you’re on top of things, have it before you indulge in holiday foods. It won’t reverse all the effects of sugars and flour, but it can help.