By Elke Probkevitz

“You are what you eat” is not just a phrase to take lightly. Food gives the body fuel and is the key to good health. Sometimes our bodies just need to detox. If you take care of your body from the inside out by eating whole, healthy, and fresh foods, you’ll look and feel healthy with glowing skin and plenty of energy. Clean eating is about eating unprocessed, unrefined foods in their most natural state without any artificial additives. Although a complete overhaul of your diet might be difficult at first, making small changes can have a big impact in the way your body feels.

Get rid of chemicals and processed foods. The most important part of eating clean is to eliminate all processed foods and foods containing any chemicals. Eliminate anything white, like white sugar, white flour (including bread, baked goods, and pasta), and white rice. Honey, maple syrup, and agave syrup are good sugar substitutes to be used sparingly. Many who eat clean also do not consume alcohol. You should also eliminate foods high in fat, but not necessarily foods with good fats such as avocados, nuts, and salmon.

Eat lots of plants. Consume real foods straight from nature–foods that grow from the ground, a tree, bush, or vine. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are a huge part of clean eating.

Add proteins. Eat meats that you prepare yourself straight from the butcher, without any additives or fillers. Choose poultry, lean meats, and fish that are raw and all-natural. Beware of pre-seasoned and prepared fish and meats, and check the ingredients when listed. Milk is a good source of protein as well, but unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, or hemp milk are nutritious alternatives. Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans are healthy and good in moderation.

Whole grains. Consume whole grains that have not been processed and broken down. Brown rice, whole wheat, oats, and other grains are all good. Quinoa, barley, millet, and farro are some others, to name a few. Whole-wheat pastry flour is a good substitute for white flour in most recipes.

Check your labels. When you do buy packaged food products, checking labels is important. Many products say “whole grain” or “whole wheat” but only contain that as one ingredient mixed with regular white flour. Check the ingredients to be sure you are getting what you think.

Be a minimalist. Eat simple foods with few ingredients. When you are buying commercially prepared products, try to buy foods with only six ingredients or fewer. Make sure you know what the ingredients are and that they are not foreign to you. If you can’t pronounce it, it should not be in your food!

Eat frequent small meals. Eat smaller portions, five to six times a day. This allows your metabolism to keep working and keeps you from getting hungry. These meals should consist of lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Drink plenty of water throughout the day as well to flush out your system and keep you hydrated. v

Sweet-And-Sour Chicken


â…“ cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

¼ tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1” chunks

1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1” chunks

1 medium onion, chopped

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ fresh pineapple, cut into 1” cubes

¼ cup whole cashews (optional)

¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 cups cooked brown rice


Whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes in small bowl. Place chicken in shallow dish and pour mixture over, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions, and sauté till tender and beginning to brown. Add chicken with marinade and cook for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Add pineapple and cook 2 minutes more. Garnish with cashews and cilantro, and serve over rice.

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to, or visiting

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