An apple a day keeps the doctor away – right? Between food pyramids, fad diets, organic sections in the market and increased media attention of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), it can be difficult to discern what is truly healthy for our bodies.

With the increased prevalence of heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, taking care of your body through food, exercise and spiritual growth is more important than ever. It is actually quite amazing to feel and see the differences in your body, energy level and overall clarity when you take of yourself from the inside out.

So…how can I change the way I eat to feel better? First, clean eating is not a diet…it is a lifestyle change. The following tips will help you add healthy choices to your life while eliminating foods that are a detriment.

Add whole foods and eliminate processed foods.

Whole, natural foods like fruits and vegetables should be added or increased in your current diet, while processed foods (anything in a box, bag, can or package) should be eliminated.

Unrefined over refined options.

Whole Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, amaranth, oats, millet

Legumes: Soybeans, lentils, peas and peanuts

Clean sugar: Honey, maple syrup

Healthy Fats: Olive oil, almond oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, coconut oil

Balance your meals and eat 5-6 times per day.

Include plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in each meal, accompanied by a bit of protein and a healthy carbohydrate to keep your body energized throughout the day. Eating 3 smaller meals accompanied by 2-3 small snacks keeps your body fed throughout the day, while eliminating overeating or skipping meals. Additionally, eating throughout the day keeps your blood sugar at maintained levels.

Keep your body hydrated without packing in the calories.

Specialty coffees, sodas, sports drinks and some juices can pack on an additional 400-500 calories per day without hydrating your body. Drink at least two liters of water per day (preferably from a non-plastic or BPA free canteen).

Learn to love labels.

Clean foods generally have one to two ingredients.

Get up and move!

Exercise gives you energy and endorphins! We could write a whole blog on the importance of exercise (in fact, we did write one on yoga and spirituality), however, it is important to note that movement is life. You will free great by incorporating exercise into your new healthy lifestyle!

Part of clean eating is reducing your overall carbon footprint. This includes buying and consuming locally sourced fruits and vegetables, pasture raised meats and reducing waste by opting for reusable bags and containers. Watching your portion sizes eliminates food waste and helps with your overall health.

Simplifying your diet doesn’t mean your food won’t taste good! Over time you will notice you crave fruits and veggies and feel sick when you eat processed foods. Feel great from the inside out by transforming your nutrition.