When A-list celebrities like Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow first started talking about ‘clean living’, it sounded like a flash in the pan — as many Hollywood trends tend to be. But fast-forward a few years and instead of fading into oblivion, clean living is still a hot topic. So what’s the buzz all about?
Clean living is most strongly associated with clean eating, but as a lifestyle movement, it goes beyond diet. Proponents talk about clearing out the garbage in our lives and taking an all-rounded mind, body and spirit approach to transforming our health. Do that, they say, and you can look forward to increased immunity, higher energy levels, better sleep and a deeper sense of overall well-being. So if better health and wellness is part of your new year’s resolution, read on.
Cleansing the mind
In the past 10 years or so, it has become almost fashionable to practice yoga. Combining spiritual and physical elements in its practice, yoga is touted as a holistic package for happy living.
While it is believed to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, yoga as we know it today is said to have only become more common in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist writings starting in the 3 rd century BC. Known then as Yogachara, it involved a series of eight steps of meditation known as “calmness” or “insight”. Inner peace aside, the benefits of yoga also manifest in physical form, with practitioners saying that it reduces stress, alleviates chronic pain and lowers the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Modern yogis have plenty of opportunities with gyms and fitness centres incorporating yoga classes into their schedules. Among which, Amore Fitness & Boutique Spa is a ladies-only facility with a series of Mind.Body.Soul classes.
According to Amore, while yoga improves flexibility, promotes relaxation, encourages concentration and calms the mind, pilates offers a more intense form of physical and mental conditioning that can help to build a firmer and sleeker body, and encourage greater physical agility. The centre also offers yogasana, where postures are held for varying periods of time to balance and harmonise the body, and energise the mind.
Cleansing the body
At the heart of clean living is the notion of clean eating, which is about eating food in their most natural state. Here’s the challenge —eliminating (or at least limiting) your intake of processed foods, including preservatives, additives, added sugar and the like. The idea is to replace these with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, free-range and grass-fed meats, and nutrient-rich whole grains.
If this sounds like a task of Mount Everest proportions, there are ways to ease into it. You could start with cutting back on snacks and flavoured beverages first. The next time you’re tempted to buy a candy bar, which can easily contain 13 or more processed ingredients, reach for a bar of pure dark chocolate instead. Instead of sugar-laden bottled juices, make your own fruit-infused water with the many recipes available online.
You can also pick up a refreshing drink at juice bars like HIC Juice. The homegrown brand is the brainchild of three friends after a chance encounter with Drew Barrymore in Los Angeles opened their eyes to the health benefits of juice cleanses.
HIC Juice’s premium raw, organic, cold-pressed juices are nutritionally designed and certified by a team of qualified nutritionists. To maximise nutrient value, the brand uses juicing technology that allows them to extract almost five times the amount of nutrients from fresh produce.
If the juice bar’s extensive menu has left you confused, take founder Li Lihui’s advice and opt for Kale Tales: “[It’s] a nutritious blend of kale, apple, cucumber and coconut water. Kale is a super vegetable, one of the most nutrient dense vegetables around; the benefits of coconut water are endless; and the apple and cucumber add the hydrating and beautifying factors to the juice.”
As a next step, consider your meal options. With more people eating organic, unprocessed foods these days, many restaurants are offering healthier options.
Simply Wrapps, for example, was founded on the belief that nutritious, balanced meals can be varied and interesting too. At the café, you get to design your own wrap, salad or quesadilla from over 50 healthy toppings and 18 low-fat, gluten-free or vegetarian dressing options. You can also pick from the 15 Chef Creations on offer and wash it all down with a cold-pressed juice or hot organic beverage.
For those just embarking on the clean eating journey, it is perhaps helpful to remember the 80-20 rule. Rather than beating yourself up when you don’t eat clean 100% of the time, aim for 80% and allow yourself some leeway, especially when your choices are limited at social or business functions. You may be taking baby steps but at least you’re headed in the right direction.
Embark on clean living with us:Amore Fitness & Boutique Spa
The Pantry by HIC