Today clean eating, or eating clean, is a major movement, spurred by people from all walks of life, who want to feel good about what they’re putting in their bodies. What is clean eating at all? Here are five aspects about it! 1. Eat whole foods. The primary principle of eating clean is to replace processed foods with fresh and natural foods. This means foods that haven’t had anything added to them, and haven’t had anything valuable taken away. So, even if you’re not growing quinoa in your back yard, you can buy this whole grain in the bulk section of your market, or in a box, where the only ingredient is quinoa, and only quinoa. That’s a far cry from a refined grain, that’s been stripped of its fiber-rich bran (outer skin) and nutritious germ, bleached, and doctored up with preservatives. 2. Let ingredients guide you. Reading the ingredient list is the only way to really know what’s in your food, and choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Clean eating is about focusing on quality first, and not letting terms like zero trans fat, low sodium, or sugar free, fool you into thinking that a processed food is healthy. 3. Think big picture. In addition to reading ingredient lists, so you can ditch products made with artificial additives, including flavors, sweeteners, colors, and preservatives, clean eating is about steering clear of foods made from genetically modified organisms, and those treated with hormones and antibiotics, and going organic when possible, to reduce foods grown with man-made pesticides and fertilizers. 4. Do-it-yourself. One aspect about clean eating is replacing packaged foods with homemade versions, from salad dressing to energy bars, and everything in between. For example, instead of buying a pre-made sauce, laden with sodium, sugar and preservatives, you could whisk together a little brown rice vinegar, fresh squeezed citrus juice, minced garlic, and fresh grated ginger. These days, you can find a clean recipe for just about anything, including five-ingredient ice cream, and “old school” food trends, like homemade baby food, and pickling veggies in Mason jars, are making major comebacks. 5. Listen to your body. The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is literally true, so being thoughtful about your food just makes sense. Nutrients create the foundation for the structure and function of every cell in your body. So if you’re just getting started, begin by pulling out the foods in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards, reading the ingredients, and cleaning house, no pun intended. Then stock up on real food replacements, and record how you feel.