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Thinking Fresh & Eating Clean
Laree Washington
 

       People often say to me, “You’re so small! How do you stay that size?” I credit some of it to good genes, but I rely on the foods I eat for upkeep and longevity. The program I am introducing here are things that I have found to work for myself and information that I have gathered from professionals. Think Fresh, Eat Clean is the idea of eating the freshest foods possible and eating them in a way that gives you the most energy and nutrients and that keeps the pathways of your body cleansed and flowing naturally. This is done by reducing the amount of food you eat that contains damaging fats and replacing it with foods that naturally contain water and healthy fatty acids. This is not an overnight lifestyle makeover marathon; however, you might see yourself making changes along the way. I will show you how to get the most out of your current diet in a way that fits your life, and your budget.

 

      The first step to motivating yourself to eating fresher and cleaner is to know the health benefits of foods. When you know how powerful a piece of fruit or a vegetable is, you will want to eat it more. The next step is knowing what is going into your food. The Future of Food is an excellent documentary to watch. There are so many chemicals in our food, especially processed food, but even in foods from the produce section of our grocery stores. My goal is to know where my food came from and what has been put on it before it enters my mouth. Since that has been my goal, I have become friends with people who have gardens or fruit trees, and I shop at the farmers’ markets more often (whether indoors or outdoors). I’m not encouraging anyone to shop the organics section! What I am saying is find that small market that sells local farm-fresh food. You’ll find that their prices might be considerably lower than the major grocer.

 

       Not only is it what you do or don’t eat, but it’s how and when you eat it that makes the difference. The best way to start off your day is with energy and vitamins. Fruit is the way to go. I will warn you, fruit will not hold you over until lunch, so you’ll need snacks. I am a believer in snacks! Where most go wrong with snacks is when they buy food that puts their health on a decline instead of eating food that propels their energy and nutrient intake forward. Lunch is a good time to eat a big filling meal. Most people are most active at the peak of the day, which allows you to burn off your lunch and wind down for the evening. For dinner, keep it savory and light. Be sure to eat your last meal of the day by 7 p.m. but no later than 8 p.m. to give your body time to wind down for a good night’s sleep. If you go to bed late, you’ll most likely get hungry. Eat your favorite fruit to keep your digestive system relaxed and clean. It is important to eat at the same time every day. Your body will learn what to expect, and this saves you from going off the deep end — for example, screeching your tires into the McDonald’s drive-through because you didn’t eat breakfast, you forgot your snacks, you’re eating two hours later than usual, and now you’re starving.