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Questions. By now you know I like to ask questions in our Facebook community – How To Get Fit At Any Age – How To Get Fit Over 50 (our name is evolving as our community has evolved). One of the more recent questions asked was what is more difficult for you – exercise or diet/eating clean? The majority of the responses are diet/eating clean.
So what is eating clean? Let’s start there so we have a starting point. The basic definition of eating clean is to replace processed foods with whole foods as close to their natural source as possible. For example, eat an apple versus apple pie or apple juice. Instead of a blueberry muffin, eat blueberries and nuts. Instead of chicken pot pie, grilled chicken and vegetables.
Next are whole grains. The best way to get whole grains is to buy in bulk and stay away from anything with “minute” in the name and where the only item in the ingredient list is the item you are going to eat. Quinoa only has quinoa in the ingredient list.
Next grocery trip, give yourself some extra time to read labels. Just because it might be in a box doesn’t mean you can’t eat it. Taking the time to read the ingredient will guide you as to whether you should or should not eat that product. If there are ANY products on that list that you do not know or cannot pronounce it’s a safe bet you shouldn’t be consuming it so put it back on the shelf.
Other products to avoid like the plague is ANYTHING that starts with the words artificial, additives, sweeteners, colors and preservatives. If you see these words on the labels you are reading, again put the product back on the shelf. Choose organic if at all possible and you will also be on the right track.
Try to prepare all aspects of your meals in your kitchen from scratch including sauces, salad dressings, and anything else that might come out of a package. One of the first switches I personally made was to eliminate salad dressing from my diet. I replaced with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little sea salt and cracked pepper.
Lean toward organic fruits and vegetables particularly if you eat the skin. What this means is for an apple choose organic because you will consume the outside of the apple when you eat it. Growing herbs and vegetables where you live is a great way to supplement your produce. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, you can still grow herbs in containers or tomatoes on your balcony and I promise you they will taste much better than what you would purchase at the grocery store.
Another trick that saves me a tremendous amount of time is to utilize my rice cooker. I am always walking out of the kitchen and my rice cooker saves me from burning my grains. Just this week, I put quinoa in the rice cooker and went back to work. My rice cooker made enough quinoa for me for the week and I simply put it in the refrigerator and used it as I wanted. For dinner, I added sauteed green beans, broccoli and zucchini to the quinoa. Quick, easy and nutritious.
Eating clean is a way of life for me but I did start with baby steps and I recommend you do the same so you don’t feel overwhelmed. You will notice a difference in the way you feel and your body will thank you.
To your health,
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org