11 Golden Rules to Healthier Eating: Clean Slate

by Suzanne Hiscock
When’s the last time a cookbook inspired you to take action and motivated you to eat more healthy -- and even to lose weight?

That’s what Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide by Martha Stewart Living can do for you.

As I was reading this New York Times Bestseller, I was motivated to reboot and wipe my own slate clean after getting into some bad habits.  I’d become a bit complacent with my way of eating: eating the same foods over and over, and not exploring new foods.  Who has the time to do that, right?

Within days, I made seven recipes from Clean Slate, eating foods like kale, millet and farro  for the very first time.  I even tried coconut water!

See:  Coconut Water & Mango Smoothie

I was motivated to head out to a bulk food store and buy small amounts of a variety of grains and seeds to either try out for the first time -- or to get reacquanited with:
  • farro
  • millet
  • bean and rice mix (to put in soups)
  • ground flax seed
  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • kasha
  • soy flakes
TIP:  Buying only a cup of a new-to-you-food  is an economical way to find out whether you like something without wasting a ton of money.  Who wants a 1lb bag of something you’re never going to eat again sitting in your cupboard?

Keep it Simple, Easy and Tasty

If you’ve gotten into some unhealthy food habits and want to wipe some slate clean, reboot and start all over again, Clean Slate sets you on the right path in a simple, clear way.

Forget diets telling you not to eat certain food groups.  Forget diets telling you to eat healthy but then have a cheat day.

Eating healthy and losing weight doesn’t have to be confusing -- and that’s what I like about Clean Slate.

I hestiate to call it a diet. They don't even call it a diet.  It’s more of a guide to help you create healthy eating habits.

With thousands of diet books out there, you’re overwhelmed with too much information. Clean Slate is a breath of fresh, healthy -- and tasty -- air.

Love her or hate her, Martha Stewart has built an empire on cooking and producing beautiful things, whether it’s TV shows, videos, websites and cookbooks.  This cookbook is no different. 

The first part of Clean Slate is dedicated to empowering you with knowledge about food and by briefly going through the 11 Golden Rules for Eating Clean.

The 11 Golden Rules to Healthier Eating

  1. Choose Whole Foods Over Processed
  2. Embrace a Plant-Based Diet
  3. PracticeMindful Eating
  4. Engage in an Active Lifestyle
  5. Make Sure to Get  Enough Fiber
  6. Boost Energy with Lean Protein
  7. Pay Attention to How You Feel
  8. Remember to Stay Hydrated
  9. Establish Smart Meal Planning Habits
  10. Know What You are Buying
  11. Maintain a Healthy Perspective

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​The “Know Your Nutrients” section is a glossary of foods that are anti-oxidants, detoxifiers, anti-inflammatories and digestive aids.

The “Restock Your Pantry” section has solid tips for food swaps and what to look for when it comes to grains, beans and legumes, fats and flavor enhancers.  Healthy food can taste fantastic if you know how to do it!

Like I said, you’re given enough information to understand the concepts and take action, without being overwhelmed.

Over 160 Healthy Recipes to Reset Your Healthy Eating Habits

The recipes are simple enough to make with a variety of ingredients.  Don't be put off by ingredients that aren't in season, that you don't like or that may be too expensive. It's easy to swap out a few ingredients for foods you already have in your kitchen.  You can't pay me enough money to eat arugula.  Well, maybe you could.  It'd have to be a lot of money.

The seven recipes I made -- or used for inspiration --  are:
  • Coconut Water & Mango Smoothie (click for recipe)
  • Strawberry, Grapefruit and Ginger Smoothie (realized I really, really don’t like grapefruit!)
  • Beet, Avocado and Arugula Salad with Sunflower Seeds (major modifications because I didn’t have the ingredients)
  • Carrot, Spinach and Green Bean Soup with Dill (tumeric in soup adds a wonderful flavor)
  • Farro and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (it’s OMG-so-good!)
  • Millet with Pineapple, Coconut and Flaxseed (finally, something new for breakfast!)
  • Kale Chips with Sesame Seeds (Yum! )
 
Kale Chips With Sesame Seeds (fresh out of the oven)
kale chips with sesame seeds

I’m going through the book right this second to look up the names of recipes I made -- and I seriously can’t wait to try more.

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The 160 +recipes encourage you to try different foods without making drastic changes to a mostly healthy diet. If you already eat fruits and vegetables, this can take your diet to a whole new level.

I love that the recipes are organized into action-focused chapters:
  • Replenish (breakfast recipes)
  • Reboot (juices and smoothies)
  • Recharge (soup, salads and meat-free dishes)
  • Reenergize (snacks)
  • Restore (suppers/dinners)
  • Relax (healthy sweets)

Recipes are color-coded as Vegan, Dairy Free, Nut-Free and/or  Gluten Free if you have any food preferences or allergies/intolerances.  There's also a clear and well-organize recipe index in a table format.
 

3 Day and 21 Day Eating Plans

While I wouldn’t call this a diet book exactly, there is a 3 day and 21 day “eating plan.”  I tried the 3 day eating plan and liked it, for the most part.  But found it lacked protein.  Nothing a piece of lean meat or a protein-powder packed smoothie can’t resolve.

Personally, following the 21 day plan to a T would involve a lot of food shopping, and a lot of planning, cooking and cleaning up. Definitely try it if you’re feeling ambitous!  But if you're pressed for time, like me, you can still use the plan as a jumping off point for your own meal planning.

My Only Regret...

Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide is a definite keeper, alongside my copy of Martha Stewarts’ Cooking School.

My only regret is, this beautiful book will quickly become dog-eared and dirty, with pages sticking together from over-use.

But when it comes to cookbooks, that’s a good thing.

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About the Author

Suzanne is the owner of FitWatch. She's had strong interest in nutrition and exercise for over 20 years, and is an ACE-certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. Back in 2002, she started FitWatch.com because she wanted to help people lose weight by creating helpful tools and calculators. A huge fan of calorie counting, Suzanne created the FitWatch Fitness Tracker to make it easy for people to count their calories.