Count Ingredients, Not Calories

Cound Ingredients, Not CaloriesHello fellow Warhawks. Something that I have grown pretty passionate about is eating clean. I started to get into it this past summer after watching a documentary on Netflix (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead).  Of course in Netflix fashion, one documentary lead to two, which lead to three, so on and so on, and now here I am.

Eating clean isn’t about washing your food before each meal, but more so knowing EXACTLY what you are eating. For example, foods such as fresh fruits and veggies, homemade breads, and locally raised meats are the best choices you can make for yourself.  When it comes to ingredients of a single product – the less, the better. When you choose foods with long ingredient lists with names of things you don’t even know how to pronounce, you are choosing unhealthy fats, additives, refined carbohydrates, and other junk your body doesn’t need.  Eating clean allows the opportunity for you to control and know exactly what is going into your body!

The benefits to eating clean are amazing and universal for everyone. Here is a way to lose weight, feel ENERGIEZED (something every college student needs), and have better-looking skin, stronger immune system, better sleep, and increased mental awareness. Now eating clean may seem like more work than simply a frozen dinner, but with benefits like those I think the extra time is worth it!!

An easy way to get started is to pick a meal. Lets say that you decided on spaghetti. Head to the store, and buy ingredients to make the sauce (ie: tomatoes, spices, veggies, meat) then pick up some wheat noodles. A true clean eater would make the noodles from scratch, but beginners should take it one step at a time. Now you have a sauce that you can know exactly what goes into it verses the canned spaghetti sauce with an ingredient list of about 50 things. If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. (Unless it is some foreign food, and that’s a different story!)

Taking this lifestyle of eating clean one very small step at a time will help you adjust and transition. You don’t have to make huge changes right off the bat; in fact, it is better to focus on building off of small changes. However, if you are a binge drinker who is worried about all of the ingredients that go into your spaghetti sauce, I think you should probably focus on diminishing that habit, first. Soon enough, you’ll be questioning how you ever settled for frozen dinners and overly processed foods!

There are a bunch of farmers that locally sell their produce, and you can also look for signs in the produce section on certain fruits and veggies that say “locally grown.” But remember, it is not necessarily about eating local…it is about being more conscious about what is in those ingredient lists and what you are putting into your body. Just think…you only have one body to live with for the rest of your life…treat it right!

Stay healthy, Stay Strong,
Mary Marren

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