Clean eating – 7 critical rules, free nutrition plan & recipes

Clean eating is a healthy diet that is also great for losing weight.

 

The principle of this diet is that mainly unprocessed foods should be ingested. On the other hand, heavily processed foods and additives should be avoided as much as possible.

 

In the following article, we will look at this diet together. You will learn, among other things, what the most important rules are and which foods you are allowed to eat.

 

In addition, you will also find numerous recipes and a free Clean Eating nutrition plan for seven days.

 

Was it Clean Eating?

Clean eating

Who does not know that? A strenuous working day comes to an end, and, like every day, the question arises, “What should I cook now”?

Even the thought of cooking causes a little stress. The way to the supermarket and the agony of choosing what to put on the table from these seemingly endless offers puts the tired nerves before another ordeal.

 

And then the redemption from the refrigerated section: “Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage – ready in just 30 seconds” for € 2.50. Perfect with a glass of potato salad, a small chocolate bar for dessert, and a smoothie for the necessary vitamins and a clear conscience.

 

An offer that makes you weak at first glance. However, only at first. Because if you think about it carefully, you have to ask yourself how that can be possible?

 

Quite apart from the financial point: What has to happen to a meal so that it can be put into a small plastic bowl for months and wait there for your connoisseurs without losing taste and appearance? Anyone who has ever left roast pork with cabbage for a few hours too long knows what it should generally look like.

 

A look at the list of ingredients gives the first indication that, on closer inspection, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up: excessive amounts of fat, salt, sugar, and a large number of ingredients whose names are often not even known.

 

And that even with the seemingly innocent glass of potato salad. It is better not to look at the chocolate bar in detail.

 

This is precisely where the concept of clean eating comes into play. And although the potato salad now looks wonderfully shiny and clean out of the jar, it has absolutely nothing to do with clean eating.

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Definition

Clean eating means “real food” and is as simple as it sounds.

 

Food that is recognized as such and has been processed as little as possible in its original form is “clean.” With an increasing degree of industrial processing, however, this property decreases. For example, most foods that you can buy in the fruit and vegetable department of the supermarket meet the criteria for clean eating. But fresh fish, nuts, and quality meat are also allowed. When it comes to sausages and other processed meat, things are becoming more critical again, and on the candy aisle, we are moving far away from what is meant by clean eating.

 

If you deliberately avoid these “unclean” foods, you can do something good for your health and save quite a lot of sugar and fat and thus unnecessary calories. Therefore, this concept can also pay off when losing weight.

 

The right foods

The concept – in its simplicity, not to be surpassed by any diet – can do much more than help us lose weight. The Clean Eating philosophy also promotes regional and seasonal cooking, i.e., using ripe foods in the current season in our region.

 

This pleases not only our farmers and the environment but also our bodies. Surprisingly, our body needs the ingredients in the food that are naturally available for the current situation.

 

Strawberries in December or chestnuts in June are unnecessary and pollute the environment, but they also do not necessarily contain the ingredients that the body needs most urgently in December or June. Quite apart from the fact that long transport routes or unfavorable preservation methods damage most of the valuable ingredients anyway.

 

For completeness, however, it should be mentioned that there are a few exceptions where processing the food does not reduce or even improve the quality. This applies, for example, to yogurt, certain types of cheese, or high-quality vegetable oils and whole-grain products.

 

However, with these foods, it is always essential to ensure that no artificial ingredients have been added.

 

At first glance, this sounds like a series of rules and prohibitions, and we are faced with the daily question, “Yes, and then what should I cook”?

 

Of course, we don’t want to leave you out in the rain here and have put together a sample nutrition plan for one week. Due to the occasion, a week from midsummer was selected for our Clean Eating nutrition plan. Fresh herbs, high-quality oils, and salt and pepper can and should be used to prepare the dishes. You don’t really have to pay attention to the amount of low-calorie food because you can eat your fill with clean eating, provided you eat slowly, enjoyably, and very consciously.

Sample nutrition plan for seven days (weekly schedule)

Monday

Breakfast: Fresh grain porridge

Recipe: Process 6 tablespoons of the whole grain of your choice with water into a porridge and serve with fresh fruit and almonds.

 

Lunch: Wholemeal rice pan with zucchini, peppers, and carrots

 

Dinner: Colorful summer salad made of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, feta cheese, and nuts

 

Tuesday

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts

Lunch: Chicken with baked potatoes and mixed leaf salad

 

Dinner: Tomato cold bowl

 

Recipe: Roast the garlic and onion in olive oil, add the freshly chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock, simmer for 25 minutes, and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and Season basil. Then puree and enjoy cold or lukewarm.

 

Wednesday

Breakfast: Omelette with peppers and zucchini

 

Lunch: Freshly roasted sea bass with oven-roasted vegetables

 

Dinner: Home-baked bread with herb quark and cheese

 

Thursday

Breakfast: Homemade bread with butter and chives or watercress, two soft-boiled eggs in a jar

 

Lunch: Ratatouille made from seasonal vegetables

 

Recipe:

  1. Braise the vegetables of your choice in a wide pan, then remove them from the pan and deglaze with a bit of water.
  2. Add the garlic and fresh herbs, fold in the tomatoes, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Serve the vegetables with the sauce and sprinkle with feta cheese.

 

Dinner: Homemade rice pudding with cinnamon (optional with plant-based milk, such as almond milk)

 

Friday

Breakfast: Shakshuka

 

Recipe: Finely chop one onion and two garlic cloves and sauté in oil. Add 1 tbsp tomato paste, one red pepper, and four chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour 400ml of chopped tomatoes and season with paprika powder, salt, chili, cumin, and pepper to taste and simmer for 10 minutes. Make four wells with a spoon and crack an egg into each well. Cover the pan and let the eggs sit for 6-8 minutes so that the whites are complex and the yolks are soft. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Lunch: oatmeal pancakes with low-fat quark and fruit salad.

Dinner: oven-roasted vegetables with yogurt dip

 

Saturday

Breakfast: Fresh grain dish (see Monday)

 

Lunch: Homemade whole-grain pizza with fresh vegetables

 

Dinner: Tomato, mozzarella, and basil carpaccio with fresh whole grain pizza bread (can be baked for lunch)

 

Sunday

Breakfast: Raw cheese platter

 

Lunch: Organic meatloaf with homemade mashed potatoes and salad

 

Dinner: Fried plaice with roasted Mediterranean vegetables

 

The essential clean eating rules

From the introduction and the weekly plan, you can already guess the principles of Clean Eating.

 

And all those who feel pleasant anticipation of the next meal when reading through the nutrition plan will quickly discover the advantages: clean eating has nothing to do with hunger and renunciation. It also has nothing to do with strict rules and complicated quantities.

 

Clean eating – once you’ve internalized it – stands for enjoyment, stands for the joy of cooking and eating, stands for mindfulness and conscious eating, and thus ultimately, for a better attitude towards life and an increased quality of life.

 

For beginners, we have summarized the most critical rules in keywords here.

 

Rule number 1: Include appropriate foods in your diet

Above all, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients should be eaten.

 

Specifically, this means that the following foods should be regularly included in your diet:

 

  • Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, sprouts, and legumes

 

  • High-quality eggs, fish, and meat are OK, but they are not the focus.

 

  • Plenty of raw food (adjust individually depending on tolerance)

 

  • Whole-grain cereal products

 

  • High-quality oils, fresh herbs

 

  • Use little to no refined sugar and instead rely on natural sweeteners such as honey, raw cane sugar, or dried fruit.

 

Rule number 2: Give preference to regional and seasonal foods

If you have a farmer’s market nearby, that’s, of course, ideal. Otherwise, you should find out which foods are in season. When shopping in the supermarket, make sure that they are from German-speaking countries.

 

Rule number 3: cook for yourself and consciously enjoy

Only those who prepare their dishes have absolute control over the ingredients used. Meal preparation or restaurants that only cook with fresh ingredients are suitable for on the go.

 

Rule number 4: Avoid industrially produced foods

You should read the ingredient lists on foods and avoid ingredients whose names you do not know.

 

You should avoid foods with flavor enhancers, colorings, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners altogether.

 

Rule number 5: drink enough

Make sure to drink two to three liters of water or tea per day. Ready-made fruit and vegetable juices are only an alternative if freshly squeezed. Of course, the best way would be to make them yourself.

 

Rule number 6: Include good fats

Excellent, natural fat sources are nuts, fresh, high-fat sea fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, avocados, and cold-pressed vegetable oils.

 

Rule number 7: Do not consume excessive amounts of salt

While salt is allowed, it should not be used in excessive amounts, as is the case, for example, in highly processed foods. While high salt intake doesn’t have as bad an effect on blood pressure as initially thought, studies have shown that it can damage the gut.

 

 

 

A practical example

To illustrate how many unnecessary ingredients the food industry puts into our food today. Specifically, we use “cherry yogurt” for this.

 

The ingredients are usually as follows:

 

63% yogurt (lean), 33% cherry preparation (water, invert sugar syrup, 6.1% cherry pieces, 3.2% cherry juice from cherry juice concentrate, modified starch, edible gelatine, carageen, aroma, coloring concentrates ( beetroot), coloring agent: carmine), sugar, edible gelatine.

 

It sounds pretty scary.

 

What could the alternative be?

 

An organic yogurt without any other ingredients and a few fresh, halved cherries tastes just as good and contains many valuable nutrients.

 

While in the example above, you add 15g of sugar to 100g (and that’s not even a whole cup of yogurt), a fresh, homemade fruit yogurt gets by without any added sugar. As a result, it is not as damaging to teeth and contains fewer calories.

Clean eating to lose weight.

As already mentioned, clean eating is also perfect for losing weight. In this context, clean eating should deliberately not be spoken of as a diet since it is much more a long-term change in diet than a short, difficult-to-maintain diet.

 

This is also one of the reasons why clean eating has significantly better long-term success in terms of losing weight than a radical diet since a permanent change is usually not planned with a diet. Instead, with diets, certain foods are avoided for a short time, and thus a short-term weight loss is achieved, which often leads to the yo-yo effect.

 

Unfortunately, it is human nature that radical diets with strict rules and prohibitions can only be carried out under tremendous psychological pressure. People tend to encounter the forbidden things with the greatest longing. Therefore, the permanent confrontation with restrictions and prohibitions leads to a release of stress hormones and binge eating, which stand in the way of long-term weight loss.

 

When you switch to clean eating, you don’t cut out an entire nutrient group, as with a ketogenic diet, for example. Instead, there is a renunciation of highly processed foods and thus a rejection of unnecessarily consumed calories.

 

This allows you to lose weight without stubborn starvation diets. In addition, this change will enable you to try out new foods and learn to listen to your body’s signals. In truth, this comes closer to expanding rather than reducing the menu.

Warum Clean Eating?

If the concept of Clean Eating has not yet wholly convinced you, you can summarize why this philosophy is so valuable for our body and mind:

 

  • More energy and increased well-being

 

  • Weight loss
  • Strengthened immune system

 

  • Regaining the natural feeling of hunger and satiety

 

  • New and more sensitive sense of taste

 

  • Better quality of sleep

 

  • Improved complexion, stronger nails, and hair • Improved digestion • More pleasure in cooking and eating • Increased quality of life and joie de vivre Ideally, the clean eating philosophy should also include sports factors and added movement.

 

Exercise in the fresh air several times a week, sufficient fluids, and a wholesome diet made from fresh and regional foods combine with which we can counteract numerous diseases and the aging process in general.

 

 

Possible disadvantages

Despite all the euphoria and enthusiasm for this lifestyle, one must not forget that the new preparation of meals often means additional expenditure in terms of time – sometimes also financially. Especially in the early days, it requires a lot of creativity and flexibility for quick snacks, eating out in restaurants, or a late-night visit to the kebab stand.

 

You shouldn’t see the whole thing too strictly, and under no circumstances should it become a kind of compulsion. After all, what counts when it comes to nutrition is what you do over a longer time.

 

Therefore, enjoying a good meal with friends every week or eating a meal that is not entirely based on the Clean Eating principle is not a problem

 

Conclusion

Clean eating is a diet that aims to help people learn to eat healthy and wholesome food again. Heavily processed foods are deliberately avoided, which unfortunately already make up most of the daily food intake for many people.

 

How about you? Have you already had experience with clean eating?

 

Leave a comment now also if you have any questions.

 

Until then, we say goodbye for now. Greetings, and see you soon, the delicious weight loss team.

 

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