clean eating

My herb garden in the backyard has been a success this summer. I used our back planter boxes to plant some starters, and they’ve done great! Once I got our drip lines turned on, that is. I’m useless when it comes to remembering to water – drip line and sprinkler timers are my friends. :-)

Among my herbs, I planted stevia. I’ve never been a fan of the store-bought stuff – it’s far too bitter for me. I’d heard good things about home-grown stevia extract, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I plan to harvest a few sprigs today and see how it works for me. I’d love to have a natural no calorie sweetener option for when my sweet tooth hits. This time, I found a video showing me how to harvest my stevia plant and grind up the sweet leaves in to a powder form. My plant is still rather small, but I’ll do a few test batches and see how it goes.

I noticed the link to this woman’s blog on her youtube video, and saw that she hosts a “clean eating” website. I’m happy to see so many people glombing on to the clean eating bandwagon. Or maybe I’m just one of the masses, and having my eyes opened to this way of life is making me more conscious of others around me doing the same.

There are a few facets to “clean eating” that I love…

First, it’s a great opportunity to get back to nature, understand where your food comes from and, when possible, grow it yourself. Sure, these things can take longer, and probably wouldn’t fall in to any definition of “convenience” food, but that’s what we’re trying to get away from anyway, right?

Second, it’s not a “diet” in the conventional sense of the word. Sure, it’s a way of eating that can be referred to using that terminology (i.e. “the cleaning eating diet”) but is not intended as a quick fix weight loss. It’s more of a lifestyle overhaul – replacing the junk in our diets with real, wholesome, close to the source food.

Third, there are so many creative adaptations and recipes out there! The internet is such a fantastic place for pooling together ideas and bringing the masses together. There are clean eating recipes for most anything your heart desires (possibly even twinkies… although, again, that’s probably not in the spirit of “clean eating”).

So, what is this whole “clean eating” deal? It’s not so far of from what Ben and I have been doing for the past eighteen months. It’s about eating more whole foods and helping your body help itself. The main things that you reduced from your diet are refined foods – white sugar, white flour, white rice. Foods that turn to sugar quite quickly in your body and give you little nutritional “oomph” for the calories. Now, you bring in the substitutes. Maple syrup, agave and honey are all excellent replacements for sugar (although still to be enjoyed in moderation); whole wheat flour or nut flour to replace white; brown rice as a substitute for white, etc. Overall, it’s common sense stuff… make smarter choices and your body will thank you for it.

I love this page that discusses clean eating. It’s a good, simple explanation. She does a better job at breaking it all down than I, and her website is pretty nifty, too!

Continuing on in this site, I found an interesting article last night about soaking and drying raw nuts before eating them, similar to how we soak beans. The part that won me over was how the author described the texture and flavor as being enough to entice her to soak. So I decided to give it a shot. I threw some in a bowl, added some salt and let them soak overnight. They went in the oven this morning to dehydrate. Results to be determined…

Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the summer! Until next time…

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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