Guest Post: Rebecca’s Favorite Food Rule

My great friend and Tribune co-worker Rebecca Gonzales has inspired me to eat clean. In her post below, she explains why “eating clean” is important for your overall health and well being. My friends and family inspire me every day to be a happier and healthier person, which is why I asked Rebecca to write a guest post on my blog. She has some pretty awesome tips sooooo take it away Beck! …
My Favorite Food Rule: EAT CLEANWith all of the diet tips that surround us every day, you have to wonder, where can I find that magical diet trick that will help my body reach its full potential? I’m here to let you in on a little secret… there is nothing magical about nutrition, nothing at all—keep it simple and you will notice a change in your body and overall health. For the last 4 months or so, I have been practicing eating clean— essentially eating natural foods that contain very few ingredients, all unprocessed. My renewed outlook on food was inspired by the practices of Alicia Silverstone (The Kind Diet) and Michael Pollan (Food Rules), who actually take clean eating as a religion of sorts, so I tailored their practices to fit within my lifestyle. While I find it difficult to adhere to every rule on the weekends, I take eating clean very seriously during the week. Here are some food rules and practices that I try to keep at the forefront of my mind

1. BEWARE OF SODIUM – this is my #1 tip for a reason!The vast majority of the sodium in our diets isn’t from the saltshaker—it’s hidden in processed foods, such as canned vegetables and soups, condiments, fast-food, and deli meats.
 I try to keep my sodium intake to foods in which it is contained naturally, such as unprocessed dairy, fresh meats, leafy greens, beets, etc.
2. Any food that markets itself as “THE” perfect diet alternative is almost always too good to be true. These foods tend to contain high levels of sodium, sugar, and a laundry list of other ingredients that are too difficult for many of us to pronounce—pick up any Slim Fast product, and you will see what I mean!
3. Prepare your own food as much as possible. 

This way, you are in complete control of what enters your body.
4. When you buy a packaged food of any sort- READ THE INGREDIENTS and be mindful of the nutrition facts!   Most pre-packaged foods are a BIG NO-NO, but there are a handful of options that are great. My favorites include: raw almonds (oh yeah, rule of thumb: don’t eat nuts unless they are unsalted), Kind Bars (MY OBSESSION), freeze dried fruit, and Dr. Krackers to name a few…

 I really can’t stress this enough- you gotta keep it simple, folks! If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it and if it comes from a can, try to avoid it!
This isn’t about taking the fun out of food and eating—I still go out to fantastic restaurants, I party on the weekends, and I tend to indulge in the finer things that life has to offer. The important takeaway is this- stop obsessing over calories, stop reaching for the diet food, stop buying into marketable weight loss gimmicks, and start being mindful of what enters your body. Now there’s no excuse- so give it a go! Once you start eliminating those “dirty” foods, you’ll look and feel fabulous! C’mon… that’s what it’s all about, after all!
Kind Bars link – http://kindsnacks.com/buy-products/kind-fruit-nut/kind-fruit-and-nut-delig
Kind Diet Link – http://www.thekindlife.com/about
Michael Pollan Link – http://www.michaelpollan.com/

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