Lifestyle

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Feel good about the food you eat

Clean eating is the hottest new buzz phrase, but it's not clear what "clean eating" really means, or how to clean up your diet. If you eat clean, it means that you're making the best and healthiest options in each food group and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. In a nutshell, that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, as well as healthy proteins and fats. To eat clean, it means that you cut back on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats. The best part is that by eating clean, you don’t have to count calories or give up entire food groups such as carbohydrates or fats.

If you have a favorite recipe that isn't clean, it's easy to revamp many recipes by swapping out traditional pasta for brown rice pasta, or replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats, and replacing white sugar with agave or coconut nectar. To help get you started on the path to clean eating, here are nine of our favorite recipes.

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9 Ways to Eat Clean

15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

Use your favorite pasta in this recipe - my personal preference is the gluten free Trader Joe's Brown Rice Penne. If you start the water boiling before you prepare the creamy avocado sauce, you'll have dinner ready as soon as the pasta reaches an al dente state. This is a delicious, creamy pasta sauce that pleases adults and kids alike. No one can tell that it's vegan and clean. All they taste is delicious avocado, lemon, basil and garlic. Tinker with the amount of garlic to please your own palate. One clove adds a pleasing undertone, while three gives it a raw garlic punch.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad

Clean salads include fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. This delectable salad features spicy arugula, sweet red grapes and sunflower seeds. Seeds and nuts are a common ingredient in clean cooking because they fill you up, provide hard-to-get nutrients, and contain good fats.

This salad has a clean dressing with red wine vinegar, maple syrup, honey and spicy mustard for a sassy punch. 

9 Ways to Eat Clean

No-Bake Almond Butter Squares

Try these protein bars as a breakfast option. The recipe uses coconut flour, cashew meal, almond butter and eggs for plenty of protein. The coconut flour provides extra fiber, the eggs are a source of necessary choline and cholesterol, and the maca is incredibly nourishing. It's an adaptogen packed with fatty and amino acids, minerals and hormone balancing/libido enhancing/stamina building properties.

These bars are sugar free, with a bit of natural sweetness from the nuts. They're ideal for a post-workout treat to boost your blood sugar.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Tomato-Beet Salad

Stunning shades of red and yellow make this salad a standout before anyone even tastes the fresh cilantro or salty feta cheese.

Pair this dish with poached chicken for a summer meal. Use a mix of varying colors of tomatoes and beets for a dish that's as beautiful as it tastes.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Cumin Roasted Carrots

Simple is often best, and this is a great example of how a basic vegetable - the carrot - turns into something remarkable with the right treatment. Try this with parsnips or Brussels sprouts, too, because it works well with many roasted vegetables. 

The sweetness of the coconut oil and coconut palm nectar is the ideal balance to the warmth of the cumin and the spice of the chipotle powder.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Mediterranean Rice Noodles

This is a recipe from Dr. Alejandro Junger’s new book, "Clean Eats."

Use King Soba noodles for this delicious Mediterranean-flavored version of a noodle bowl. It's quick and easy and will be on the table soon after you come home from work. Perfect for busy families.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Tandoori Chicken Thighs

Make your own version of tandoori chicken with this grilled version. Marinate chicken in greek yogurt spiced with tumeric, garlic, red pepper and cumin.

Add onion wedges and small sweet peppers to the grill while the chicken cooks for a complete meal.

9 Ways to Eat Clean

Butternut Squash Soup

Bring a bit of fall into your summer season with butternut squash. This winter vegetable boosts immunity, is anti-inflammatory, contains B vitamins and folate, and is good for the heart, digestion and your eyes.

The undercurrent of sage and kale in this soup adds a delectably different touch. Sprinkle on roasted pumpkin seeds and you'll be set.

Blood Orange Margarita

Mix together freshly squeeze blood orange juice, lime juice, triple sec and tequila for a delectable poolside cocktail.

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