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Celebrate a Healthy New Year with Clean Eating

At this time of year, it’s easy to become inundated with weight loss advice – some of it sound, much of it not. So how do you navigate the onslaught of information, weeding out good guidance and simplifying the process in order to feed yourself and your family as healthfully as possible?

When in doubt, focus on real, whole foods – anything that doesn’t have ingredients. (Example: rice doesn’t contain ingredients; Doritos do. Chicken doesn’t have an ingredient list, but Hamburger Helper does.)

Some people are referring to this new eating style as clean eating. It makes sense, and encourages us all to use our own common sense. You may have heard the advice to shop your supermarket’s perimeter, avoiding aisles loaded with packaged, prepared foods. The whole foods – meats, vegetables, fruits and baked goods – are almost always found around the outskirts of a grocery store, so it’s a good rule to follow (unless you need to pick up rice, pasta, oats and the like) – but the gist of it is to eat more whole foods and fewer prepared, packaged ones. Some of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules (from his book of the same name) relay the same message -

“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that a 3rd grader can’t pronounce.”
“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

In her recent article, How I Lost Weight by Clean Eating, freelance writer, photographer and mother Cate O’Malley shares how a new organic diet helped her shed excess pounds – 42 of them over the past year.

“This isn’t about calorie-counting or keeping track of points,” she says. “Simply put, good food is good for you. By eating this way, your body is better fueled for what it needs to do to get through the day. And “bad” things for you suddenly don’t have the same allure they once did.”

In the article, Cate shares her basic rules for clean eating in a way that seems completely logical and totally doable. “This wasn’t dieting — it was just eating well, and I was never hungry.”

Eat three meals a day. Drink lots of water. Curb your coffee, alcohol and juice intake. Focus on whole natural foods. It makes sense. And is the sort of thing you want to do for yourself and your family anyway, right? Minimal deprivation, no fad diets or bootcamp-style workouts that result in total overexertion (unless you’re into that kind of thing).

You can also find Cate’s writing (and personal journey) chronicled on her website, www.sweetnicks.com.

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