Most of us know that the way we eat is central to our well-being. But we may not always know exactly what ingredients to buy or meals to plan for the most satisfying, delicious, and healthful results. This book will show you how easy it can be: Start with fresh produce, whole grains, and lean proteins; prepare them simply; and take the time to share and enjoy them.
This old-fashioned approach to food has a modern name—eating clean. It means making meals from scratch, whether a workday breakfast for one or a weeknight dinner for four. It means making your own snacks instead of relying on anything from a package. And it can also mean enjoying dessert (see Golden Rule 11: Maintain a Healthy Perspective, page 34)! Just as important, eating clean means focusing on every aspect of our meals—turning away from our screens and devices and avoiding other distractions, so we can savor the process of cooking and eating.
Perhaps you’re already eating this way, or maybe these ideas are new to you. Either way, there is plenty to discover here. You’ll find excellent recipes as well as the very latest advice from reliable professionals, including nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift, who contributed her knowledge and expertise to this project. I’m still exploring and evolving and looking for new ways to appreciate clean, whole food, and I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same.
GET A CLEAN START
Whatever inspired you to pickup this book—a resolutionto eat better, a desire to wipe the slate clean with a whole body detox, or a wish to boost your energy level—you have just taken the first step toward achieving that goal. This book is designed for anyone wanting to hit the reset button and gain a more rewarding, and pleasurable, approach to food.
Food plays a central role in our lives. On the most basic level, it feeds our hunger and keeps us alive. But it also functions on social and emotional levels, so to fully address nutrition you need to consider, from all angles, what you eat. Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods helps your body prevent and fight diseases and increases your energy levels. This means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and other legumes, whole grains and whole-grain pasta, nuts and seeds, and modest amounts of lean proteins, including fish, eggs, chicken, and tofu. And yes, even the occasional dessert.
As you evaluate what you eat, you should also consider your relationship to food, in terms of how you plan your meals, how you shop, how you prepare food, and how you actually eat it. In our grab-and-go lifestyle, food can become mere fuel to get us through the day, rather than providing us an opportunity to slow down, switch gears, eliminate distractions, and relish the moment.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
“Know Your Nutrients” on page 36 lists foods that are the best sources of antioxidants and antiinfl ammatory, detoxifying, and digestive properties. Having a wellstocked pantry is an essential fi rst step, and we’ve covered the basics— whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, and fl avor enhancers—in the “Restock Your Pantry” section starting on page 46. Then, we encourage you to clean the slate with one of the action plans (designed for either three days or twenty-one days) outlined on pages 62 to 69. Or you can just start cooking from the wealth of delicious recipes in the second part of this book. But before you do anything else, read the “Golden Rules for Eating Clean” on the following pages, and remember that the goal is a healthy, whole, wonderful appreciation of food, not deprivation.
ABOUT THE RECIPES
In keeping with widely accepted ideals of “eating clean,” none of the recipes in this book contains any butter, refi ned sugar, all-purpose fl our, or red meat. Honey and other natural sweeteners appear, as do whole-wheat fl our and pasta, and dairy products; full-fat dairy is the most minimally processed, but you can use reduced-fat varieties if you prefer. Look for the icons listed below on each recipe page; these are indicated by colored dots in the Action Plan menus and on the juice and smoothie recipes in the “Reboot” chapter.
Copyright © 2014 by from the Editors of Martha Stewart Living. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.