Click here for the Top Clean Eating Trends for 2015
Baking with Benefits
"Gluten-free baking has evolved, and the results are appealing to everyone. Baked goods made with alternative flours such as millet, almond meal, teff flour, and coconut flour are yielding baked goods that are delicious enough to eat for dessert, and healthy enough to eat for breakfast.”
"When you think of food you find in the water, fish and seafood often come to mind — but there are actually vegetables growing down there, too. Sea vegetables like nori, and other types like kombu, wakame, and arame are rich in bioavailable minerals. Sea vegetables come dehydrated, so they’re super easy to store, and a little goes a long way. A thumb-size strip of kombu added to cooking grains and beans infused with minerals helps neutralize acidity, reduces gaseousness, and tenderizes food. Other sea vegetables can be used in a variety of ways, from wrapping rice and vegetables in nori for a sushi-like snack on the go to adding wakame to your soup or arame to your salad. This staple of Asian cultures is finding its way in to the American diet and our health is the benefactor."
Oats and Garlic
"Two everyday foods that have extraordinary health and nutrition benefits are making their way into more diets as people seek to use ingredients they know and trust and are accessible, affordable and easy to prepare. These heart-healthy super foods never go out of style. Whether you’re making homemade granola to start your day, or adding fresh garlic to any soup, dressing, stir-fry, or casserole, you’ll be stronger and healthier as a result."
"Dehydrated foods aren’t just for camping anymore. This is a great way to lock in nutrients and preserve a variety of foods, and all you need is an oven set to a low temperature.”
"Cleanses are highly popular as a way to 'detox,' but they offer only short-term solutions. In the long term, the goal is to eat a clean food diet that supports good health and balance and features the best that each season has to offer. Getting clean may look different for each person. For some it may mean getting rid of artificial ingredients, for others it may mean getting rid of packaged foods altogether, and for someone else, it may mean going straight to the farm. What’s important is not that we make dramatic changes all at once, but that we are empowered by knowledge to make healthy choices as we go along. One new clean food or clean food recipe a week makes for a slow transition that is easier on your body, budget, digestion, and mood. Focus on bringing in new foods, not on deprivation. In the end, you’ll be cleaner on the inside and better able to support good health year-round."
"While some nutrients are lost in the cooking process, others are made available by cooking. A healthy mix of both provides the nutrient-rich diet we need to maintain health. Today, however, processed foods have not only taken the place of many home-cooked meals, but they’ve decreased the amount of raw foods we consume. Fresh fruits and vegetables eaten raw are cleansing and nutrient-rich, and other raw food preparations such as dehydrating, sprouting, and lacto-fermenting make nutrients even more accessible and healthy.”
"These little seeds, which are showing up in everything from yogurt to water, have healthy omega-3 fats that help us maintain balance.”
Growing Your Own Food
"Eating close to the source means getting to know the source, whether it’s the farm down the road or your own garden. Growing your own produce is fun, delicious, educational, and nutritious. It’s also a great way to engage children in learning about food, health, and their relationship with the environment. Working side by side in the garden is a great way to connect with family, friends, and the community — sources of nourishment that go beyond the food itself.”
"Each year, more and more land is being restored as farmland, supporting local sustainable food systems. Farmers markets, community supported agriculture, food hubs, and community farms are making food accessible to everyone while nourishing the land and communities in the process."
"People are continuing to move away from packaged and canned foods and going for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and nuts and seeds, which tend to be higher in nutritional value. Foods with labels [prepackaged] often include ingredients that sound like a formula, and if you can’t identify them in your mind, chances are that you won’t be able to digest them well in your body either. By putting the package back and searching for another option, you’ll be one step closer eating clean and living well, one healthy choice at a time."
What is "Eating Clean?"
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the more convoluted our food [supply] chain has become, the more people desire to return to the basics. People want to know what they’re eating and where it comes from in order to be empowered to make the choices that are right for themselves and their families. That’s what eating clean is all about.”
If you’re considering making clean eating a 2015 resolution, Walters shared some tips and trends to expect in the upcoming year for an easy clean eating transition.