It’s 2022. We made it through another 365 days around the sun! The beginning of a new calendar year often inspires a new mindset--new goals and a new focus. We want to improve in some way or develop, which always seems easier to begin as we enter a new year. In addition to that, we have spent the last six weeks or so indulging in one way or another by stress eating and drinking due to work pressure, and over-eating and cocktailing at the all too frequent holiday celebrations. So, let’s begin again, reboot and align our mind, body, and spirit.
Rather than dive in with the traditional fitness regime that often begins at this time of year (and subsequently ends by late January), we thought we should start small and tweak our daily diet. Let’s try to simply clean up one area of our life. Let’s eat clean. We’ve heard the phrase before, but what exactly is this trendy and dare we say healthy approach to eating? Clean eating encourages us to consume more whole foods and limit processed and packaged foods. I'll call this the basic philosophy. Then of course, as you investigate further, you’ll find a slew of additional tips and techniques to pull this off effectively. The beauty of this approach is that there is room for flexibility. You are not required to eat the same foods, nor are you restricted to eating only raw food--cooking and preserving are allowed. (Emily Brown, 2020)
The benefits of clean eating go far beyond just losing a few pounds, although that it is generally a byproduct of this eating regime. Eating clean is a diet higher in antioxidants and other nutrients, which is a natural mood-enhancer; it is also rich in fiber, which will improve your gut health. Clean eating helps regulate your blood sugar, aiding to avoid the sugar spikes which occur after eating sweets or refined grains. Combine that with the additional B-complex vitamins and iron that are plentiful to clean eating, and you have tapped into a natural energy source as well. (Tremblay, 2019)
Clean eating is not a diet. It’s a healthy way of living. There are no strict rules and ultimately, we are hoping to incorporate some of its guidelines into our daily diet in our continuous effort towards better health and increased energy. Recommendations include eating smaller meals more frequently, loading up on fruits and veggies and limiting caffeine and alcohol. In terms of how to begin with your food list, the rule of thumb is always to focus on the outer aisles of food in the grocery store where you will find more produce and protein options. Try to ignore processed snacks as much as you can, or at least limit them. (Forest, 2021)
Too many rules and regulations to a new meal plan can be distressing and cause you to give up. That is not the goal. The intention is not to revamp your diet, but rather to incorporate the clean-eating philosophy and add a few healthy habits to your current regimen. You will find clean eating general guidelines online. Tycor’s January Challenge is to pick two of these principles and see if you can maintain them through month’s end. If you want to pick more, go for it—if you want to choose only one and simply challenge yourself, that’s fine too. At the end of day, Tycor’s Wellness Program endeavors to find the balance in monthly challenges that are within reach, but also a bit of a stretch. We will continue our pursuit in 2022 to remain in search of healthy sustainable habits. We hope you’ll participate and find a few that stick!
Happy New Year!
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Emily Brown, R. L. (2020, 8 14). What does it mean to eat clean? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/what-does-it-mean-to-eat-clean/art-20270125
Forest, C. (2021, January 31). How to Eat Clean (Diet Plan and Tips). Retrieved from www.cleaneatingkitchen.com: https://www.cleaneatingkitchen.com/how-to-eat-clean/
Tremblay, S. (2019, January 22). What Are the Benefits of Clean Eating? Retrieved from www.livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/article/284722-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-clean/