I learned about clean eating from The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno (http://www.eatcleandiet.com/). This book was simple to follow and gave me the tools I needed to jump start my journey toward health and fitness. For me, clean eating simply means following a lifestyle of eating a very limited amount of processed food; limiting the amount of junk that I put in my body. The key here is this is a lifestyle not a diet for me. Oh, in case you're wondering: I LOVE FOOD, so I don't eat anything just for the sake of eating clean. I MUST LIKE IT and ENJOY IT! Here are the essentials to my clean eating lifestyle:
Number of times I eat a day: 5-6 small meals, protein and complex carbohydrate. If I am traveling or in meetings all day, I still try to fit in my meals. I have found that people don't care if you pull out an apple and nuts during a meeting.
Fluids: at least 52 ounces water a day; green tea (at least twice a day); I try not to drink calories, except on very special occasions.
Food staples: I eat a variety of foods, but here are some of my core items: old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal; fresh fruit (especially apples, berries, and bananas); fresh vegetables (spinach and broccoli are my favorites); raw and unsalted almonds and walnuts and almond butter; Ezekiel cereal and bread (yes, Ezekiel as in the book in the Bible; the ingredients are taken from Chapter 4, verse 9 -- no flour, but really yummy!), beans and fish (I have pretty much given up all meat; never pork, no beef--but I'll have the occasional taste of a lamb chop if it is yummy!; rarely any chicken); brown rice.
Supplements: I mainly use these in my oatmeal: Flaxseed--rich in essential fats this is great for your hair, nails, and skin!; bee pollen--great in my oatmeal, it improves energy levels and aids fat loss; wheat germ--a great source of fiber; vanilla whey protein--a great non-meat protein source and gives oatmeal and smoothies a little more flavor. I use Aria for Women, a low glycemic (i.e. low sugar) whey.
Cooler-- When I am not traveling, I carry a cooler with an ice pack to keep my 5-6 small meals. When I'm on the road fruit, nuts, and Ezekiel cereal are great for traveling. I also use Carrington Milled Flax Paks so that I can at least have flaxseed on the road.
This is just a snapshot of how I have incorporated clean eating into my lifestyle. It takes a little getting used to at first, but now its no big deal at all!