Posted in Healthy Eating

Make This Year Your Year to Eat Clean & Simply - By Gretchen Scalpi RD, CDE

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups.  She is the author of the "The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes".  If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter or blog visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com.

 

The New Year has just begun and for many, new diet resolutions they made have already gone by the wayside. Why not use this as your mantra for this year and always: Don’t diet!!!  Coming from a nutrition professional, I know this sounds counterintuitive, but I have some very good reasons for saying this.

 

Diets, as we know them in the traditional sense, (i.e. caloric/ food restrictions) simply do not work. Successful weight control is never about placing unsustainable restrictions on yourself. If you have been on countless diets in the past, recall that you probably did not stick with the plan for very long, and once you stopped the plan, you regained the weight. If you just came across a "new" diet plan to try, and think this will finally be the one that works, think again. It's very hard to stop thinking like a dieter, but I encourage you change your ideas about weight loss and approach eating in a new way.

 

My suggestion?  Keep your eating clean, and keep it simple!  Clean eating is not a diet, but more a way of life. It is based on the idea that the best way to eat is to abundantly enjoy whole foods. Whole foods are as close to their natural state as you can get them. In other words, the processing of the food is minimal. Clean eating calls for eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources rather than pre-packaged, processed foods, or fast food. Saturated fats are replaced with the healthy fats found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

 

So here’s the rundown of things that you could include in your “Clean Eating” plan:

 

Fruits & Vegetables: Choose fresh produce instead canned fruits and vegetables or juices.  

 

Use Whole Grains instead Processed Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, barley, or whole grain bread are just a few of the many types of whole grains you can incorporate routinely. Limit use of refined grains (white flour products) as much as possible. A clue that a grain product has been refined or processed is when "enriched" flour is listed as a prominent ingredient.

 

Include lean protein sources at your meals. Lean meat, fish, poultry, or soy are rich sources of protein. Don't forget the legumes (beans and lentils) as an alternative source of protein. Legumes are a wonderful, often overlooked whole food with lots of possibilities. Try having meatless meals using legumes as a protein source 2 or 3 times weekly.

 

Replace sweetened beverages with water: Drinking water instead of soda or bottled sweetened beverages has the potential to save a many calories as well as reduce your overall sugar intake.  Most of us need the equivalent of about 6-8 glasses of water a day, but many people are woefully short of that goal.

 

Trade bad fats for good fats:   By sticking with lean protein sources and limiting fast food you are well on your way to getting saturated fat out of your life. Moderate amounts of nuts, seeds, or olive oil are ways to include healthy fats.

 

Remember:  This is not a diet; it’s a style of healthy eating.  Aim to change your mindset and make a healthy eating plan your goal. Incorporating the simple, clean eating principles listed above can help you get closer to this ideal. Besides losing the extra calories, additives, fat and sodium that come with processed foods, your way of life becomes a bit greener too! The clean foods come without lots of extra packaging! Finding clean foods requires a simple sweep around the perimeter of your grocery store or a visit to your local farmers market.

 

Keeping it clean and simple is a much easier way to tackle the business of weight control. You will feel better, look better, and actually be able to eat an abundance of healthy foods. By following the tips outlined here, you can start to celebrate the benefits and success that come with healthy eating. That's much better than another year of abandoned New Year's resolutions!

 

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups.  She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes".  If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com.

 

This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.