Healthy eating trends come and go. Sometimes the fads are extreme, over-the-top and hard to maintain, but others offer simple, attainable changes that make them well worth incorporating into your lifestyle. Clean eating, actively seeking out foods that are minimally processed with simple, natural ingredients, is a relatively recent food trend that's well on its way to becoming a popular lifestyle choice for many people.
Over the past several years, more Americans have begun seeking out foods with simple, familiar ingredient lists. The clean eating trend incorporates some very healthful practices, such as eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean, wholesome proteins.
Although some interpret the idea of "clean eating" as eliminating entire food groups, such as dairy or anything that contains gluten, the true essence of clean eating is to eat a wide variety of nutritious, wholesome foods that are minimally processed.
If you're thinking of incorporating clean eating into your lifestyle this year, here are some tips to get you started:
* Read labels. Foods that align with the "clean eating" trend will have fewer ingredients, and ingredients will be easily recognizable as food rather than additives or preservatives. For example, JENNIE-O(R) All Natural Turkey Sausage and JENNIE-O(R) Hot All Natural Turkey Sausage contain only turkey, salt, spices, sugar and rosemary extract. Both varieties are flavorful and satisfying with reduced sodium content and only 110 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving.
* Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That's where you'll find the least processed foods, including the produce section, dairy and egg cases. You can even find minimally processed foods, such as frozen fruit and veggies, in the freezer section.
* Rely on water to quench your thirst. Plain water is the most natural, healthful beverage you can drink.
The best way to approach clean eating is to think in terms of what you will eat, rather than what you might eliminate. Choose lean protein sources like all-natural turkey, nutritious whole grains, fruits and vegetables and you'll find eating clean can be delicious, easy and rewarding.
Start your clean eating lifestyle today by trying this breakfast recipe from Jennie-O:
Southwestern Turkey-Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1-pound) package JENNIE-O(R) All Natural Turkey Sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, if desired
6 medium eggs, if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat oven to 400 F.
In large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook turkey sausage as specified on the package. Cook to well-done - 165 F as measured by a meat thermometer - and crumble. Add onion and sweet potato and cook five minutes. Stir in bell peppers, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt, if desired. Make six wells and pour eggs into wells, if desired. Remove from heat.
Bake 20 minutes or until egg whites are set and yolk is cooked to desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with cilantro. Makes six servings.
For more recipe inspiration, visit www.jennieo.com.