Clean Eating – what’s it all about?

A co-worker came in last week all excited about ‘clean eating’ and asked if I was into it. I said ‘of course’ I always wash my food and clean up my dishes. She grimaced at me. So, I did some homework and here’s what I found. Clean eating is kind of about going back to the basics with food. Clean eating asks you to reduce the processed foods you take in and prepare and eat them in as natural or as whole a state as possible…eat that potato as a potato, not as a French fry with sauce. It takes me back to growing up with a big garden and cooking our own food vs. eating out of a box, restaurant, or microwave. Clean eating is common sense. That being said, I decided this weekend to track things I eat that are more processed than whole. I was amazed! My Dorito chips were virtually unrecognizable as corn, the broccoli was screaming to get out from under the mushroom soup and crunchy fried onion rings, I couldn’t find anything whole or natural about the hot dog, and I guess the peach cobbler was just wrong from every perspective. My point? Stop and think about what you eat. When you can, eat foods that are in their whole or natural state. Skip the sauces, sugars, creams, salts, crunchies, and all the add ons we use to spice things up. Your body will appreciate you! Check this month’s Featured Recipe on Health Matters…it’s pretty ‘clean’. Do you have a favorite recipe you can share that leaves most of the ingredients whole or natural?

About those leftovers…

It was a warm sunny day with highs in the 80’s. Perfect day. The BBQ was great; now it’s over…everyone has left. You’re faced with the leftovers. The green bean salad and chicken have been out on the table for three hours. Do you throw them away, refrigerate them in shallow pans immediately, or just throw some saran wrap on them, shove in the fridge, and quit worrying? Check the guidelines! How about those hamburgers? Can cooked ground beef still be pink inside? Read the answer. Do you wonder about that pink meat on your piece of chicken? Is it safe to eat? I know we’ve all cheated a bit in the area of leftovers and food safety. I think about that every time I attend a potluck… you can drive yourself crazy wondering how safe the food is! For more information on food safety visit the USDA’s Food Safe Families. What tips do you have to make food safety easy during the summer months?