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Food For Thought

Please enjoy the following guest post written by Ambassador @knead_to_cook. For recipe inspiration, head to her blog! www.kneadtocook.com

Clean eating & gluten-free may seem like trendy buzz words on social media platforms as of late, but let’s break it all down into really simple terms and why it’s important.

Clean eating is defined as a diet (the way you eat, not a fad calorie-restrictive program) that is filled with food that is as close to its natural state as possible.  That means not manufactured, manipulated or genetically modified.  So real food!  Fruit, veggies, grains… you know that stuff that comes from the ground or trees without chemicals or pesticides.  Food has amazing powers… seriously! Natural plant-based foods cover all your dietary needs from protein (hello lentils, nuts, seeds…) to calcium (think every green leafy vegetable out there).  Filling your plate with 60-70% of veggies and fruit will not only fill you up and keep you regular (thanks to the fiber content), but will keep you heart healthy, energized and fuel all your #BestYouBestYear goals you have set for 2017!

Need some nutrition ideas to help you get started? Try introducing one of these foods below into every meal this week.

Top plant-based protein foods:

Tempeh

Green peas

Soybeans/edamame

Black beans

Chickpeas

Peanut butter

Quinoa

Top calcium-rich plant-based foods:

Broccoli

Almonds

Avocado

Brussels Sprouts

Asparagus

Collards

Onions

Squash

The best way to tackle your clean eating goals is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store because the freshest ingredients are there. Head there first to fill up your cart.  Avoid pre-packaged, manufactured or genetically modified foods.  Fill your plate (and your cart) up with color, focusing on greens and expanding out from there to include reds, oranges and more.

Okay, so you know what to eat, now to incorporate that into your daily life.  Start with adding more veggies to your plate at each meal.  Swap out your midday cookie or muffin with carrot sticks and hummus.  Grab and apple with some almond butter.  Or my favorite – a tablespoon of coconut butter straight out of the jar.  Did you know coconut is a medium-chain fat that the body uses as an energy source?  Truthfully, plant-based foods are amazing.

Gluten is the substance present in cereal grains, particularly wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease or intollerance.  Okay so gluten is in bread, pasta and Twizzlers.  Wait, what?  Yes, I mention this because gluten may pop up in many foods that you don’t expect, like Twizzlers.  Always read labels to see what you’re putting into your body.

So you so got this, right?  Totally!  It’s easy.  Natural (check), not from a package or factory (yes!), the color is vibrant (ummm think about all the vitamins and nutrients –YES and YES!) and read the label to see what you put into your body.

Don’t forget to share your progress on your favorite social media channel with #BestYouBestYear!

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