By JoAnne Romanelli, CHHC, AADP
Board Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach

There’s a new concept being talked about by health enthusiasts everywhere. There’s a magazine and even a book series about it. It’s called Eating Clean. And it couldn’t be any simpler.

Eating clean is all about eating more whole foods and less packaged foods. It’s about understanding the importance of healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado vs. unhealthy fats such as processed milks and canola oil. This way of life is void of any artificial sweeteners and flavors as well as food dyes and hydrogenated oils. It’s easier said than done but by making small changes towards eating cleaner everyday you can achieve better health, a healthier weight and an overall sense of well being.

To illustrate how simple it is to eat cleaner, I took three meals and tweaked them to make them healthier.

Breakfast: Flavored instant oatmeal with raisins and 1 cup coffee with half and half and Splenda.

The Problem: Where do I begin! Since instant oatmeal is highly processed and converts to sugar very quickly, it will leave you feeling hungrier sooner. Most instant oatmeal contains extra sugar and artificial sweeteners as well. Raisins are a high glycemic fruit which can wreak havoc on insulin. Half and half and other coffee creamers usually contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and oils. Splenda is an unhealthy sugar substitute made from changing regular sugar to chlorine. Yes. You read that right – Chlorine.

Makeover Meal: Steel cut oats or slow cooked oats with 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup and goji berries and 1 cup organic coffee with rice milk. By switching to a less processed oatmeal, you are getting more fiber and protein that will keep you fuller, longer and keep your sugar even. Pure maple syrup is a great alternative to processed “fake” sugars as it doesn’t have such a dramatic effect on insulin. Goji berries are a lower glycemic index fruit that is a perfect mix of sweet and tart. Goji berries add protein as well as vitamin C, B12 and other vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to the meal. Coffee is one of the most contaminated crops so by switching to organic coffee, you are drinking coffee free of pesticides. Rice milk is overall cleaner than half and half as it does not contain processed dairy and oils.

Snack: Fat Free Yogurt

The Problem: Most low fat and fat free yogurts contain gelatin, modified corn starch and artificial sweeteners. Not very “clean” at all.

Makeover Meal: Unflavored organic greek yogurt with fresh fruit for sweetness. Sprinkle on some flax meal for a nutty flavor and extra Omega 3!

Lunch: Hamburger on a white bun with french fries

The Problem: Beef contains unhealthy fats that can contribute to higher cholesterol and weight gain. White bread is always a bad choice as it contains refined flour and very little fiber. French fries are high in calories and trans fat.

Makeover meal: Organic low fat turkey burger on a whole grain bun with baked sweet potato fries. These changes create a dish that has less fat and more fiber. The sweet potato rounds out this heart healthy tasty meal with added nutrients.

For more information about eating clean, pick up The Eat Clean Diet book by Tosca Reno or visit


JoAnne Romanelli, Getting Real Health, and Nicole Zaybak Drepaniotis and the AFRP are not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist, other licensed or registered professional, personal trainer or any other certified exercise specialist/health exercise adviser. Our purpose is advising and recommendations.

The information received should not be seen as medical or nursing advice and is certainly not meant to take the place of your seeing licensed health professionals.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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