Living a clean eating lifestyle is easy, has many health benefits, and is cheaper than eating pre-packaged, processed foods.

Clean eating is not a new concept.  Those involved in any way with health, fitness or nutrition, from fitness competitors to personal trainers to health-conscious individuals, have known about eating clean for years. However, clean eating is gaining popularity as a way to gain better health, easily maintain weight and as a way to lose weight and keep it off for life. But what exactly is clean eating?

At its most basic, clean eating is making the healthiest food choices possible, opting for organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains instead of processed and refined foods. To get started eating clean here are a few simple principles to follow.

Clean Eating Principles

  • Eat a small meal every two to three hours (5 to 6 small meals per day total) to keep blood sugar level and prevent hunger
  • Combine both protein and complex carbs at every meal
  • Avoid ALL over-processed and refined foods (especially sugar, white rice, and white flour)
  • Avoid saturated and trans fat, instead consuming healthy fats (like avocados and olive oil)
  • Avoid ALL sodas and other sugary juices and drinks
  • Choose organic food whenever possible
  • Avoid high-calorie, zero nutrient foods (i.e., junk food)
  • Eat meals with proper portion sizes
  • Drink at least 8 cups of water every day

What Clean Eating is Not

When describing clean eating, it’s important to point out what eating clean is not. Clean eating is not a diet, although it is a great way to reduce body fat, lose weight, and keep the weight off. Clean eating is a lifestyle that requires time, commitment, and pre-planning and is not just a way of eating that can accomplish weight loss or overall health just by doing it on the weekends only. Clean eating is not about deprivation, counting calories or starvation, but about making healthy food choices and providing the body with the best foods possible.  There will be times with eating clean will be difficult - think Holiday, restaurants, office celebrations.  Remember, this is a lifestyle, not a diet so just because you splurged and had a donut at the office party doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel.  Put the donut behind you and focus on your next clean meal!

Next Steps?

Ready to start eating clean but not sure how to start?  Find the info you need here:

Clean Eating - Starting Out - The Nice and Easy Approach

Clean Eating - Starting Out - The Dive Right In Approach

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  1. Medeja says:

    I ordered those books and your page is really helpful. Thanks for sharing and working on this :)

  2. Beth says:

    I just landed here when pinning your recipe for cinnamon almond dip… decided to see what “clean eating” meant to you.

    I hope you’ll reconsider your stance on saturated fats and realize that pairing them with trans-fats is a terrible disservice.
    Saturated fats, like coconut oil, butter and tallow are an vital part of a well-nourished diet. Of course it’s necessary to make sure the animals were raised properly: on pasture, under the sun, etc…, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Beth,

      Actually we have changed our stance on saturated fats. We are currently working on some major changes and one of the things we will be rewriting is this post. Saturated fats are necessary for our body and those that come from healthy sources (like coconut, nuts and avocado) are a good addition to a healthy diet.



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