The most common misconception that takes place in regards to eating “clean” or “healthy” is that you must restrict yourself to consuming a diet of raw vegetables and nothing else. If that’s how I saw health, I wouldn’t want it either. It’s not only refreshing to realize the freedom and enjoyment you can experience through eating a cleaner diet, but it is absolutely crucial for your brain to let go of this deprivation mindset. Our brains tend to go into a state of panic if we feel that something is being taken from us, and this is especially true for our beloved comfort foods. If you have a story in your head about clean eating and living healthy that is based in thoughts of deprivation, it’s no wonder why you haven’t been able to make any lasting change.
The single most important thing I realized as I let go of the deadly grip I had on junk food, was that I was headed into an abundance of new, delicious, nutritious foods, and I was not going to lose anything through this process.
This is where the personal experience of learning becomes so incredibly powerful. Learning which ingredients to avoid and which to seek becomes a fun game. When I first began my journey, I created a mental list of which ingredients would harm my body and cause physical discomfort, and which would actually benefit me and make my life a little easier. Reading labels at the grocery store was not a chore, it was a privilege. I became so grateful to have the information and the freedom to choose exactly what would go into my body and know the effects it would have on my stomach, my energy, and most importantly, my mood.
If this seems overwhelming, begin with choosing one ingredient from a snack in your home right now. Choose something that you don’t recognize, or something that you aren’t quite sure of it’s origin. This shouldn’t be too difficult, as most processed foods have anywhere from 20 to 100 unrecognizable, and mostly harmful ingredients. Type this ingredient into google and search for about 10 minutes. Allow yourself to read and understand what exactly it is, and also what effects it may have on the body. Don’t just click on the first link and take that as the answer. Click a few, if not many different links and really get to the bottom of it. Once you have the “ah ha” moment, you’ll be hooked and you’ll be that person reading all of the labels at the store, like me 🙂 And by the way, I am a proud label-reader! It is my way of denying ignorance. It is each of our right to know exactly what is going into our bodies and the bodies of our children.
Once you have the “ah ha” moment, you’ll be hooked and you’ll be that person reading all of the labels at the store, like me 🙂
I encourage you to own the power that you have inside and grab ahold of the most useful tool that you have sitting right in front of you. If you are able to read this blog, you have access to all of the answers that currently exist in the world today, and that database is expanding daily. Do not get overwhelmed, and do not let the internet use you. You must take control and use it as your guide. If you’re unsure of where to begin, refer back to my last blog and check out the list of podcasts that I recommend. If you begin listening to a podcast a day (that is pressing play and doing anything else for just an hour!) you will quickly become more aware of what you’re actually eating, and awareness is the ultimate power.
Because I, myself am 2 years into a clean diet that has me feeling awesome, I thought I would share with you some of the delicious & nutritious snacks that you can start adding in & hopefully transitioning to, today! Clean eating isn’t about deprivation, it’s about knowledge and awareness. With the information I have accumulated up until this point, these are products that I consider to be the best out there and far better than the common snacks you may find in the cupboards of the average American’s home. Of course there are many more, and as the demand for these awesome clean snacks grows, the variety grows as well. I hope this blog inspires you to learn on your own, and to start getting curious about what exactly is in the food that you’re putting into your body on a regular basis. I hope that you go out and buy one of these foods and allow yourself to be open-minded to new flavors, new tastes, and new ideas. Understand that our brains and our tastebuds are very much trained to expect certain flavors and certain amounts of excitement from the ingredients we consume. It may take time to transition into these new habits and new tastes. Stay curious, stay open, and don’t forget to eat some clean treats!
*It’s important for me to add that these are treats and snacks that I eat occasionally either in between meals, or as a dessert. Although these are made with cleaner ingredients than other foods, and therefore are much less harmful to the body, they should not be over consumed as they do still contain some natural sugars.