PHOENIX, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eating "clean" isn't always practical or feasible because of a fast-paced lifestyle and limited food availability. However, it's possible to stay on track, even during holidays, if you know the secrets to success, says Lifestyle Fitness Chef Jen Arricale, author of Healthy Recipes for a Busy Life: Easy to Prepare, Fun to Share!
Maybe you can't avoid Grandma's fruitcake or the dessert table at the holiday party, but you can make healthier choices most of the time with this advice from Arricale who says, "With the right information, you can make the most of what to put on your plate. It's really no secret at all. Master the basics, and you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle, even if you do get sidetracked once in a while. We all do."
- Eat clean (but how?). We're not cavemen. We don't hunt and gather. And most rarely make meals from scratch anymore. A smart definition of eating clean is to choose ingredients you understand (and can pronounce) and can buy in the store.
- Clean can come from a box. Even with prepackaged foods, read the Nutrition Facts labels and judge for yourself what's inside. Don't be swayed by the billboard-like hype on the front of food packages. The fewer ingredients, the better.
- Processed isn't always bad. Highly processed foods may contain dangerous chemicals, especially those that are shelf-stable for years, like a holiday fruitcake. But minimally processed foods (anything put in a package is technically "processed") can still be organic, natural and clean. Compare highly processed foods such as lunchmeat to less processed canned tomatoes and other canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- GMO isn't always horrible. Genetically modified foods aren't always Frankenfoods to be avoided. Some seeds have been crossbred to withstand drought or grow in harsh conditions where people would otherwise starve, and the "modified" part may be a natural mix of plants to yield something stronger. Ideally we would avoid anything modified to be safe, but in today's modern industrialized world, most produce and grains have been modified at some level from their original heirloom seed. Don't hate the label. Read and understand it.
- Organic is best; natural is great; but healthy is a lie. Organic describes natural foods grown without chemicals. Sometimes organic foods cost more and aren't always available. Natural foods (like canned) are not highly processed. But foods labeled as healthy may not be healthy at all. Don't be fooled by labels. Read them.
- Even clean eaters do dirt once in a while. This is all personal choice, however, I believe it is best to eat clean most of the time and occasionally allow for relatively "unclean" food as part of being a normal, social being. What's important is to acknowledge that one plan doesn't fit all. Do what is best for your health and happiness.
MEDIA: Jen Arricale (pronounced ah-ri-KAHL-ay) is a fitness chef, champion natural physique competitor, and frequent media guest. Her award-winning book, Healthy Recipes for a Busy Life: Easy to Prepare, Fun to Share! is available for review. Her recipes and preparation methods result in delicious meals with little fuss and reflect her healthy, balanced approach to food and life. In Arricale's words, the most important thing of all is to "love yourself, love your life, and spread it around!"
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Contact: Ellie Pelto
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SOURCE Jen Arricale