Essential Nutrients for Clean Eating

Do You Consume These?

With changing my lifestyle to eating clean and exercising regularly, I have had so many questions on how I’ve achieved my weight loss goals. The two key techniques that I have found to be successful for my body have been eliminating sugar and adding in healthy fats, such as coconut oil, into my diet. As a disclaimer, these methods are what work for me, but keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and responds to different methods of dieting. Brendan Brazier recently wrote an article on what a plant-based athletes shopping cart looks like, which was right on point with mine! Today I wanted to share my beliefs on what a wholesome diet should consist of and some recipes to go along with it.

Healthy Fats – Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, are a staple in my diet. Coconut oil is a plant-based fat that is made up of medium chain triglycerides. Brazier states “although it is mostly saturated fats, coconut oil is metabolized similarly to a carbohydrate – as instant energy.” This is my favorite reason for having coconut oil in the mornings!  Other examples of essential fats and fatty acids are almonds, avocados, chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Try making these steamed apples with coconut oil to add into your morning oatmeal or my favorite bananas foster protein shake that is great before the gym.

Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are found in every food you consume, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients from these carbohydrates. I’m a big fan of consuming gluten-free oatmeal, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brown rice and quinoa. One of Brazier’s go-to carbohydrates is buckwheat, which contains essential amino acids, vitamin B, E, and calcium.

Protein – Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function and for building muscle. Incorporating plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts and seeds will help fuel your body with nutrition. Brazier suggests adding hemp seeds to salads or smoothies to provide a protein source, as well as omega 3s and antioxidants.

Electrolytes – Going through a vigorous workout or cardio session can make you sweat a ton! Brazier recommends making a drink consisting of coconut water, lemon, lime, and dates to help restore electrolytes that are lost from sweat. I personally like to make a mixture of coconut water, coconut oil, oats, almond butter, and jam for a snack – it’s delicious!

For more tips on what foods are essential to your diet, check out this post or Michelle’s guide to super foods. Add in this fat burning cardio for an additional boost to your success!

-Kayla

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