Fall is in full swing, and people everywhere are talking “clean eating.” This month, I inspire you to take a little challenge, and "fall" into clean eating. It’s not filled with rules and regulations, but it empowers you to make better food choices. These food choices are those that make a positive impact on your health, your attitude, and the environment.
Eat Seasonal. One of the best ways to fall into clean eating is to focus on fresh foods that are abundant and in season. A few of my favorite fall foods include:
Greens - kale, turnips, Swiss chard, and mustard greens
Fruits - apples, citrus fruits, pears, pomegranates, dates, kiwis, cranberries, persimmons, and grapes
Vegetables - sweet potatoes, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, rutabaga, cauliflower, turnips, onions, garlic, beets, endive, zucchini, and carrots.
Try going Meatless. Enjoy a vegetarian meal once a week. Enjoy the abundance of flavor and nutrition in a vegetarian meal. Include a combination of beans, ancient whole grains such as quinoa, seasonal vegetables, and fresh herbs. Be sure to check out the recipe below for a fantastic, “clean eating” fall vegetarian recipe.
Ditch the Dressing. Toss out store-bought salad dressing, and opt for simple homemade olive oil and lemon juice toppings. Not only is this a way to reduce overall calories, fat, and added sugar, but it reduces sodium, additives, and preservatives. We often use traditional dressing out of habit rather than loving the taste. Experiment, and enjoy new ways to dress your salad.
Go Nuts! Increase your intake of healthy fats by adding more nuts and seeds to your menu. Nuts are an excellent source of essential fatty acids that help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, selenium, and fiber, nuts will provide a variety of essential nutrients. Nuts are also a plant-based protein, which are good for your body, as well as the earth!
Forget the Fake Stuff. Stay away from artificial sweeteners, fake fats, reduced-fat cheese, etc. During your fall into clean eating challenge, forgo the fake stuff, and focus on eating real food in its natural state.
Don't be afraid to try new fall foods and recipes!