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The Clean Eating Method

Clean eating sounds like fitness and lightness – and of course, it sounds very clean, i.e. clean. You may already be living the Clean Eating method. You just don’t know yet. The term may sound trendy and new in our part of the world, but in the USA it is more than twenty years old.

Clean Eating – An old concept in new packaging

Clean eating is ancient – as old as the organic movement. With this, the clean eating concept also moved into the country – only at that time it was not called clean eating, at least not in German-speaking regions, but simply “healthy wholesome nutrition”.

At that time, many people began to worry about the quality of their food and no longer wanted to eat products with artificial additives. They started baking their own bread again and grinding the grain for it themselves. Ordinary household sugar was no longer an option either. Instead, alternative sweeteners such as thick juices, maple syrup, and whole cane sugar were used.

Are you eating clean yet?

So it may be that you’re already living the Clean Eating method, but you just don’t know it because you don’t know the new term for it. So if you mainly cook for yourself, buy organic food, prefer whole grain products, and avoid sugar, that looks a lot like clean eating.

Nevertheless, the advantages of a lively name cannot be dismissed out of hand. Because it makes a lot more sense to say that you live by the clean eating concept than by the good old whole foods. Whole food sounds a lot like eco, Birkenstock sandals, and grain bread. Clean eating is exactly the opposite: modern, sporty, enjoyable, and busy – the diet of the hedonists and the fitness scene.

But why not? If a new term helps to have more fun with healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, then that’s great! So what exactly is clean eating? People often speak not only of clean eating but also of simple eating.

Clean Eating – What is it?

The clean eating concept not only avoids processed foods and products with artificial additives but also tries to eat as simply as possible and as freshly as possible – which is of course ideal for everyone who never has time to eat anyway.

For example, instead of a banana nut muffin, just grab a banana and a few nuts. People prefer to eat foods to which nothing was added during the manufacturing process and which also did not go through complex processing processes, which is known to significantly reduce the nutritional value.

You can therefore also eat cereals as long as they are not refined flours. Meat and dairy products are also possible – everything is genuine, homemade, and without questionable additives such as preservatives, colorings, flavor enhancers, acidifiers, aromas, etc.

Clean Eating – Read the list of ingredients

If you want to avoid all of these substances and still buy a finished product – and if it’s just crispbread in a health food store – then you should definitely read the list of ingredients of the product. Only if you do that can you really know what you are eating and only then can you decide to buy food that comes as close as possible to its original state. Of course, this tip isn’t particularly new either, since everyone who goes through life in a health-conscious manner will certainly take a look at the lists of ingredients when shopping.

The clean eating concept – for example crackers

When it comes to clean eating, finished products such as crackers are not taboo from the outset because they are processed in some way. After all, clean eating is not raw food nutrition. In an organic shop or health food store, there is a good chance that you will find ready-made products – if you don’t want to make them yourself – that meet the clean eating criteria.

To stay with the example of crackers, Govinda’s hemp crackers would be real clean-eating crackers, just as good as homemade ones. They contain nothing more than sprouted sesame, sprouted buckwheat, golden flaxseed, hemp flour, and salt – and therefore fit perfectly with the clean eating concept.

In normal retail, on the other hand, you can be lucky to find crackers that only contain the following: wheat flour, vegetable fat, glucose syrup, barley malt extract, liquid whole egg, salt, ammonium and sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulfite (preservative) – which clean eaters don’t even have to be considered in exceptional cases.

Other cracker ingredient lists are even longer and scarier: Potato powder, potato starch, wheat flour, vegetable fat, sugar, table salt, sweet whey powder, dextrose, onion powder, aroma, emulsifier: soy lecithin, yeast extract, acidifier: lactic acid and malic acid, parsley, garlic powder, milk protein, maltodextrin.

As far as the eye can see, nothing but powder, extracts, undefinable fats, processed eggs, sugar, isolated milk components, and flavors. Of course, all of this is not suitable for the clean eating concept (like for any other halfway healthy diet).

With Clean Eating: It is best to ignore advertising slogans

Also, many people are misled when the packaging says “low-fat”, “low-carb”, “low-salt” or “no sugar” and believe that the product must then be very healthy overall. But of course, that is not true.

Low-fat and low-salt usually means that flavor enhancers are included. Because fat is a flavor carrier and salt is known to also provide taste. If both are missing, a replacement is needed: flavor enhancers.

The note “without sugar” often refers to sweeteners, and “low in carbohydrates” is an indicator that instead there are plenty of proteins in the form of gluten (wheat protein), soy protein, or whey protein.

So it’s ALWAYS worth reading the ingredients list if you don’t want to ingest something that has proven to be convenient for the food industry and dirt cheap at the same time but is far from recommended from a health standpoint.

Clean Eating – without genetic engineering

Anyone who eats clean also does not want any food that has been genetically modified (GM soya, GM maize, GM sugar, etc.) or produced with the help of genetically modified ingredients (enzymes, rennet in cheese, etc.).

Clean eating – preferably organic

Animal products from factory farming are also not included in the clean eating concept due to the use of animal-unfriendly methods and medicines that are common there.

To avoid residues of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, clean eaters use organic food whenever possible, which of course not only ensures clean meals but also helps to keep the earth clean or maybe it will be clean again. Clean eating is therefore not just a diet or form of nutrition, but a special lifestyle.

Clean Eating – I am worth it

An important aspect of Clean Eating is to gradually produce the finished products you have used up until now, e.g. B. sauces, soups, vegetable broths, and dressings. But even baby food (instead of jars), ice cream, or pickled vegetables are not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. You just can’t imagine it anymore because you’re so used to using ready-made products. But the change is worth it!

Clean Eating – The 7 Rules

Below we summarize the most important rules of the clean eating concept:

  • Choose fresh, wholesome, and natural foods

If you want to eat clean, you prefer to use fresh food and prepare as much as possible fresh.

  • Eat regional, seasonal, and organic

Clean means clean and should not only refer to the food itself and its preparation or processing, but also to the environment. Clean eating, therefore, means that you shop as regionally, seasonally, and naturally as possible organically. Because that way you put the least strain on the environment.

Artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides are not used. Unnecessary transport routes are eliminated – and the food grows outdoors, i.e. not in energy-intensive greenhouses. Storage rooms are often not required either, as the food goes directly from the field to the consumer’s shopping bag – at least if you buy directly from the producer.

So find a farm shop near you, book a subscription box, become a member of a food coop or ask your health food store which of the foods on offer are regional (the producer is usually right on the box, if not, ask to follow!).

  • Become a self-made man or woman

Learn to make everything you once bought ready-made. It’s simpler than you think!

  • Where possible, avoid convenience foods and highly processed products

Processed food includes any product that is sold in a box, bag, or can. Of course, there are also salads in the bag on the vegetable shelf, which course do not belong in the category to be avoided.

  • If finished products, then organic finished products

If you need a certain finished product, you buy it from organic production or in a health food store – taking into account the list of ingredients, which brings us to the next point.

  • Read the ingredients list

Whether you’re shopping at the grocery store, health food store, or farmer’s market, always read the label/list of ingredients when buying a packaged product. Because things can always be included that you may not actually want to eat, such as B. Flavors, iodized salt, sugar, wheat, undefinable fats, etc.

  • Find quality replacement products

Clean eating does not mean that you can no longer eat 90 percent of the food you previously ate. Clean eating means that for everything you don’t eat anymore, you find quality foods that you eat instead and that are much healthier, e.g. B. coconut blossom sugar, yacon powder, or whole cane sugar instead of table sugar, quinoa and millet instead of wheat, gluten-free pasta instead of normal pasta, milk-free chocolate sweetened with xylitol or maybe even homemade chocolate instead of the usual high-sugar milk chocolate, etc., etc.

But as a clean eater, what could you have for breakfast, what exactly for lunch and what could you have in the evening?

Recipes from the clean eating concept

Clean eating sounds strict and not easy. In reality, clean eating is extremely tasty, varied, of course very healthy, and also wonderfully filling. It only requires a certain amount of conversion time. But as soon as you have thought about it and reorganized it, you can really enjoy clean eating.

Below we present five breakfast recipes based on the Clean Eating concept. You can find delicious lunches and dinners that also meet the Clean Eating criteria in our recipe database or, of course, on our homepage, where you will find our latest recipes.

But now we wish you a good appetite!

Breakfast with Clean Eating

For a healthy meal, Clean Eating can of course also simply have a basic, healthy breakfast. Other delicious variations straight from the clean eating concept are the following:

Porridge with amaranth, coconut, and apples

The taste of this breakfast is reminiscent of bottomless apple pie.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 cup oatmeal, gluten-free
  • 3 tbsp amaranth pops
  • 1 cup coconut milk light
  • 1 cup almond milk (homemade) or just water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Some coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or yacon syrup
  • ¼ – ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • coconut flakes

Preparation:

In a saucepan, combine oatmeal, amaranth, coconut milk, almond milk, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. The porridge should not burn and remain creamy. Therefore, if necessary, simply add more almond milk or water. After 5-10 minutes the porridge is ready.

Put the oil or ghee in a pan. Add the apple slices. Drizzle over the lemon juice, water, and syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and wait until the apples are a bit soft. But they shouldn’t fall apart.

Put the oatmeal in bowls or on plates. Place the apple slices on top and finally sprinkle coconut flakes over the breakfast.

Warm millet breakfast

A warm millet breakfast made from cooked millet with fruit (fresh and dried) is also a delicious clean-eating breakfast.

Banana Bread Cookies

These biscuits consist of just two ingredients and are also a great snack to take to work.

Ingredients for about 15 biscuits:

  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups gluten-free oatmeal
  • Of course, other ingredients (add-ins) can refine this simple recipe:
  • vanilla powder
  • cocoa nibs
  • goji berries, Aronia berries, or cranberries
  • raisins
  • Chopped nuts
  • coconut flakes

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Finely grind the oatmeal in a blender. In a large bowl, mix the oatmeal with the banana until smooth. Now, if you like, add ½ cup of your chosen add-in.

Now use a spoon to place biscuit-sized morsels on a baking sheet (put on baking paper beforehand) and flatten them with a spoon. Bake your cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes.

The cookies can be stored in a cookie jar for a few days. They can also be frozen and then baked.

Clean Eating Omelet

If you like having eggs for breakfast in the morning, then you might like this delicious recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large organic eggs
  • sea-salt
  • Chopped Chives
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp nut cheese (recipe here)
  • 1 handful of lettuce leaves or arugula
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee

Preparation:

Put the eggs and salt in a bowl and beat with a fork. Heat the fat in the pan, pour in the egg mixture, and turn the heat down. Only let the egg set, i.e. do not turn brown.

Turn the omelet over and after about half a minute put it on a plate. Brush it with pesto, put the lettuce leaves on top, and crumble the cheese with chives on top.

Cucumber Breakfast Noodles

Are you one of those people who could already devour a huge plate of pasta in the morning? Well, this recipe might solve your problem. Of course, these are not original noodles, but cucumber noodles – and these make a wonderful breakfast with basil, sesame seeds, and a little lime juice on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice of ½ to 1 lime or orange
  • basil leaves
  • sea-salt
  • 1 tbsp black sesame

Preparation:

Cut the cucumber into spaghetti using the spiralizer. Cut the basil leaves into strips and mix them with the cucumber noodles. Sprinkle lime juice, salt, and sesame seeds on top

The sunflower-almond bread or the red linseed crackers go very well with this.

Clean eating is fun!

Clean eating is all the more successful and fun the more you realize that your body is ultimately built from what you eat every day. Every single cell is fed with whatever we put in our mouths. It is therefore a great feeling to treat yourself to high-quality meals made from homemade ingredients and to know that the better the body can function, the higher the quality of the “building materials” we supply it with. It’s just worth it and you don’t want to fob off your body with cheap food.

You can feel and see this new appreciation and better nutrition quite clearly: your hair becomes shiny, your performance increases, your general mood becomes more positive and you sleep better. Yes, you even think more clearly, previous complaints are fewer and everything is running perfectly again in bed.

If you then fall back into old habits, for example, if you went away for the weekend and eat “normally” again for a few days, you often can’t wait to finally be home and eat clean. You feel like a zombie, suffering from bloating, exhaustion, bad taste in your mouth, headaches, and much more that you didn’t even notice in the old days – because it was just so normal. But now – with Clean Eating – all that is passé! Enjoy it!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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