Welcome to Wellness Wednesday! This article is part of a series of weekly wellness stories written to help inspire healthy and happy living in our wonderful readers. Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the latest in fitness, nutrition, natural beauty and lifestyle tips to help you be your best self!
BY MOLLY WINDING
Healthy eating is quite possibly one of the most abstract concepts, because the word 'healthy' means so many different things to so many different people. To some, 'healthy' means low calorie or fat free, to others it means organic or all-natural, or even gluten-free or dairy-free. 'Healthy' as an adjective is subjective, so when approaching a positive diet change of any sort, 'healthy' may be a word to avoid. Instead, focus on the word 'clean.'
'Clean eating' is a pretty all-encompassing term. Rather than emphasizing eating more or less of certain foods or watching calorie intake, it's simply about eating real, whole food, which means food that hasn't been processed and is as close to its natural form as possible.
What counts as 'processed food,' you ask? Food products that have salt, sugar and preservatives to keep them from going bad are considered processed, as are foods that have ingredients processed in labs -- aka ingredients you can't pronounce.
It's a simple philosophy, but one that requires more home cooking than dining out, which can be a pain. If you do have the bandwidth to shop at the grocery store and prepare food for yourself, clean eating is as easy as buying raw fruits and vegetables, avoiding packaged goods as much as possible, and when you do buy packaged goods like pasta, try to choose the brand with the fewest ingredients -- with pasta, that's most likely to be brown rice-, quinoa- or corn-based brands.
What's great about living in an age in which there is a service for just about everything is that there are companies who make eating clean a total no-brainer. One such company is Juice Press, which now offers a five-day 'Clean Eating Plan.' The program supplies five days of raw food and juice, designed to help your body detox without going hungry, which is often the case with juice cleanses. Adhering to the program is easy, too. Juice Press will deliver your food to you each day, or if you live in a city with a Juice Press location, you can pick up your food each day yourself.
As you may have guessed, I did Juice Press' Clean Eating Plan, and I am happy to report that it was pretty amazing. Eating raw food and juice for five days definitely didn't sound super appetizing, but Juice Press has created delicious meals like Raw Ravioli Salad and Butternut Squash Soup. While the calorie intake was minimal, the portion sizes were more than enough. Not only was I satiated throughout the program, I found that I felt less tired every day and had more energy than usual. My workouts were more efficient, I didn't need coffee in the mornings and I felt lighter and happier overall.
For upcoming New Year's resolutions, a food detox similar to Juice Press' Clean Eating Plan could be a great way to jumpstart your new and improved healthy lifestyle. The Juice Press plan costs an average of $60 per day, but it takes all the work out of healthy eating, which for some, may be entirely worth the money.
Several other companies offer similar services, like Sakara, which boasts clean, organic meals delivered right to your door, and five days of Sakara meals costs around $420. There's also Provenance Meals, which prepares organic, gluten-free meals from scratch and delivers to your home or office. Provenance's five-day Whole Food Detox costs $329.
See what each day of meals from Juice Press' Clean Eating Plan looked like below: