As a certified wellness practitioner and yoga teacher, I often get asked this question. What do you mean when you say eat clean? Eating clean is simply eating foods that are not processed, packaged, or from fast-food restaurants. To break this down further, think of eating clean as eating foods that are in its natural state. Clean foods are foods such as locally grown tomatoes, fresh spinach that is not frozen or in a can, and fresh wild-caught fish that does not include food coloring from pellets, which is usually found in farm-raised fish.
Eating clean is not a diet, rather it is a healthy lifestyle approach to consuming foods that are healthy and provides the body with good-for-you ingredients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, and essential nutrients that promotes health and wellness. When you adopt a clean eating lifestyle, you avoid consuming foods that are processed with unhealthy ingredients such as high amounts of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, saturated fat, genetically modified ingredients, and harmful food coloring and preservatives.
I realize that eating clean can be a difficult process for some to gravitate to and fully commit to. However, you can make the eating clean transition much easier if you avoid consuming foods from fast food restaurants, which tend to sell food products that are high in fat such as hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs. It can be hard to know where to start when you want to change your eating and lifestyle habits. To help with the transition of eating clean, I am providing links and information on some of the top health and wellness apps that can help you on your wellness journey. Some of the apps are free and some charge a monthly fee.
If you are not a gym rat, prefer to work out at home, or travel a lot, the Aaptiv app offers step-by-step instructions and programs for weightlifting, running, and other cardio exercise routines. Seriously, this app does it all! You will have access to real trainers and playlists specifically set up to motivate you through tough workouts. There is a free version of the Aaptiv app or you can have full access for $9.99 a month.
Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app provides access to one of the largest nutrition and calorie databases. MyFitness Pal is easy to use and allows you to scan the barcode of your food for easy tracking of pre-packaged foods. This app can also help with fitness goals, whether you are trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight. There is a free version of the app and the expanded version is $9.99 a month.
I am an avid believer in meditation and mindfulness such as mindful eating and mindful meditation. In order to make a successful transition from eating unhealthy to eating clean, you will need a strong mind. Meditation has so many health benefits but it requires practice and dedication. The Aura app can help you get in the habit of meditating. Each day you can get a new and personalized three-minute meditation. The app will ask you if you’re feeling “stressed,” “okay,” “great," etc., to find the perfect meditation for your day. The Aura app also has a link to their mindfulness blog with features on mental health, wellness, and mindfulness.
One of my new favorite apps is HealthyOut. This cool app helps you make better choices on the go without sacrificing your health goals. You can choose from options such as paleo, gluten-sensitive, and vegan to find restaurants that meet your dietary criteria. You can also use the apps filters to pick what kind of food you’re looking for, making it easy to narrow down your search and find a restaurant near you. This is a great app to use while on vacation, a business trip, when you’re exploring a new city, or simply want to try new restaurants where you live.
Mealime is a great app to try if you want to try out new healthy meal recipes and suggestions. This app has hundreds of recipes focused on a healthy and balanced diet. You can even customize it to pick foods that align with your health and wellness goals. My favorite feature of this app is Mealime also takes each ingredient from the recipes you’ve chosen and creates a grocery list for you to use at the store. How about that for convenience! The grocery list feature and most recipes are free, however, some recipes require a $5 monthly subscription.
I hope you try one or more of these great health and wellness apps and enjoy them as much as I do! Be well!