BY RIAN DE LA TORRE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEUN IVORY.
Our bodies are our sacred temples. A way to honor ourselves is to nurture our organism with food that contains the right energy to vibrate higher every day.
The concept of #cleaneating has been going around for a while and I would even dare to say that it is a thing now. Without falling into fanaticism, and to make this concept clear, I can say that eating clean implies basically incorporating whole, chemical free and unprocessed foods, and drinks while staying away (as much as possible) from packed, processed, and junk foods.
As Latham Thomas wisely wrote in her latest book, Own Your Glow, food carries important information to us about the ambient landscape in which we live. The food you eat becomes your blood, your thoughts, and your actions. Therefore, we need to consider the energy of the foods we are putting in our bodies.
We humans eat, not just for pleasure but to create quality blood. It is known that the sun helps us transform the carbs, proteins and fats we eat into energy for our bodies to work properly physically, mentally, and spiritually.
But in this modern society, many people feed their stomachs with chemically processed foods that can take a toll on their health– causing hormonal disruption, weight gain, dehydration, fatigue, anxiety, and even depression.
On the other hand, eating minimally processed foods equips the body with nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are necessary for optimal body function and performance.
To eat clean is not mission impossible or time-consuming, with some organization (and without robbing a bank) you can eat healthier.
I've been vegetarian for a while now and I remember how difficult it was for me to organize my meals at the beginning of my journey. But with the years, and some studying about nutrition, I have implemented some healthy tricks that have helped me deep clean my diet and stick with a plant-based lifestyle.
So, if you are thinking about cleaning your diet or simply looking to eat healthier, here are some easy tips to start enjoying more nutritious eats:
- Stock (well) your pantry. Start buying all the whole and natural foods that you want to start including in your diet. It doesn't matter if you haven't a clue of how to cook them, just welcome them into your life and later you'll find some inspiration on how to make delicious dishes with them. You can start making space in your pantry for some whole grains (brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat), green vegetables, legumes (beans, chickpeas), nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), dried fruits (dates, dried figs, coconut or mangoes), and seeds (chia, flaxseed, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) to name a few!
- Plan your meals. A good way to start eating well is to during the week, think in advance about what you want to eat. Get organized because if not you will end up eating the same “comfort” foods. Have a general vision of your meals, without stressing yourself out, and cook and keep in your fridge the things you want to start eating. Try to have, always, something quick to make as well as healthy foods in your kitchen for those days you don't have time but you still want to feed yourself well.
- Learn to combine (well) your food. “We are not what we eat but what we can digest." Combining your food well will assure that your body is assimilating easily all the nutrients you are putting in it to feel energized, lighter and ready to face your days with more optimism. A bad food combination can cause heaviness, bloating and a foogy mind. As a rule of thumb for an optimal combination formula, you shouldn't combine proteins and carbs in the same dish because you'll confuse your digestive system. It won't be able to recognize the food groups, to create the proper digestive juice, and you won't be able to properly digest the food. When food is not properly combined it gets rotten and fermented in the stomach which produces toxins that are absorbed by your body, generating a wide range of diseases.
- Drink more water. Basically, our bodies are made mostly of water so drinking more H20 will nourish your organs and detox your body. Drinking water between meals will help you also to control your hunger and eat less, which in the long run will contribute to weight loss and glowing skin. Generally, it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters (8 cups) per day to meet your daily body needs. Bear in mind that water content in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables increase hydration in the organism too.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. Nobody is perfect right? So when we spend a day out with family or friends and we end up indulging and consuming unhealthy foods in excess, the next day it's good to try to eat as much healthy and nutritious meals as possible to compensate. The 80/20 rule is basically eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging (because we all have cravings from time-to-time) 20% of the time without feeling guilty.
At the end of the day the most important thing is to start making step by step changes toward a healthier and happier life!
Rian De La Torre is a Holistic Heath coach and writer. She contributes to Om because she feels happy to become part of the holistic black sisterhood. For now, she spends half of the year in Uruguay in the countryside and the other half in Formentera (Spain) which is the lost paradise of the mediterranean sea. Rian's go-to self-love practices consist of eating healthy (vegetarian) and hiking, yoga and journaling.