Kitchen 2.0 = Clean Eating
Clean eating is not a fad diet, and it’s so much more than a disciplined eating plan. It’s a philosophy and a paradigm shift. We made a fundamental change in our approach to eating. Our relationship with food changed, and this fresh perspective offers a direct, positive correlation to good health and well being.
The following are the 10 basic tenets of Clean Eating at Kitchen 2.0:
1. Avoid processed foods.
What does this mean? Basically, unless you are venturing inside the middle aisles of the market for pantry staples such as vinegars, oils or whole grains, stick to the perimeter of the store. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, animal or plant protein, and essential pantry items. It’s amazing what you don’t need. Eliminate convenience foods such as: rice mixes (think Rice-a-Roni), canned soup, pasta mixes, processed cheese, bottled salad dressings, etc. Clean eating is simple, scratch cooking.
2. Reduce Sodium.
Get rid of the salt shaker! Clean eating reduces/eliminates added salt in meals. An educated chef will explain that adding salt to food during the cooking process isn’t to add saltiness; it is to bring out the natural flavors in meat and vegetables. However, if you are looking to lower your blood pressure and restore your health, reducing sodium intake is important. The recipes at K2.0 are full of flavor, without added sodium.
3. Eliminate the “whites.”
White flour, rice, pasta and bread are processed, simple carbs. Carbohydrates are GOOD for you, but simple carbs have little value, because they have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients, leaving only refined sugar in their wake. Clean eating emphasizes whole grains and complex carbohydrates.
4. Choose organic whenever possible.
Make a commitment to purchasing cleaner foods. If your budget restricts you, try to make a commitment to meat, eggs and dairy, and the “dirty dozen.” The less additives in our food, the purer it is.
5. Water, water, water.
Aim for drinking between 1-2 liters of water a day. Some experts say it should be more than that. We say: Be realistic. Aim for 2 liters, but don’t stress if you can’t. Some days will be more, some will be less, but by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so stay ahead of the game. Sufficient hydration maintains blood pressure, regulates body temperature, and delivers oxygen throughout the body. For more information on the importance of drinking water, click here.
Know what’s good, but also know what’s not good for you! Eliminate trans fats, fried foods, preservatives, color additives, toxic binders, fat replacers, etc. It’s better to have a little real sour cream than a big scoop of fat-free sour cream, because additives in the fat-free version are included, in order to replace the fat in the original version.
7. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re
Weighing and measuring out portions is negatively restrictive, because once we feel denied something, we want it even more! Plate your meal as a suggestion of the amount of food you might want, but don’t feel you have to eat it all. Likewise, go back for seconds if you are still hungry. Savor every delicious bite. Turn off the tv and maybe put on some music. Light candles, and make a conscious effort to slow down, and pay attention to your meal. How does it smell? Eat with your eyes and enjoy the colors on your plate. Are you a member of the Clean Your Plate Club? Ditch that habit right now. If you eat until you’re stuffed, you’re definitely over-eating!
8. Learn portion sizes.
This may seem to directly conflict with #7, above, but portion sizes are meant to be a guideline to keep yourself in check, not a hard and fast rule. For example, on a restaurant salad bar, the salad dressings are served with a 2 oz. ladle. A standard serving of salad dressing is one tablespoon, but one ladle of dressing = 6 tablespoons! (And most people use more than one ladle of dressing!) Knowledge is power!
9. Consume healthy fats every day.
Just like carbohydrates have a bad reputation, fat does too. The American Heart Association reports that dietary fats are essential to give our body energy and to support cell growth. Limit saturated fats found in red meat, butter, cheese, and certain oils, such as coconut and palm. What are examples of healthy fats? Fish, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. (Click here for more information.)
10. If you enjoy a cocktail, have one!
We see nothing wrong with a glass of wine or a cocktail. We can’t advocate drinking a 6-pack of beer, but we like a drink while we prepare dinner; usually a glass of red wine. And that’s okay!
You can do it!
Not all at once; give yourself time to revise and recreate your life, one step at a time. Your body and your health will thank you, and you’ll be amazed at the results! You can download our pantry guide and our starter guides here: