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Eating "clean" may sound daunting and — frankly — not at all fun, but according to our buddy and author of The Clean 20, Dr. Ian K. Smith, it doesn't have to be!
In his new book, the doc details a 20-day clean-eating program laid on the foundation of 20 clean foods -- including CHEESE AND BREAD (as long as it's whole-grain or whole-wheat).
(That's right, you heard us!)
And though "The Clean 20" is a food program — not a weight-loss program — Dr. Ian claims the average weight loss is 10 pounds in the 20 days.
Most of all, though, it's meant to make you feel better and boost your energy, he stresses!
So, to get us started, the doctor took us on a tour of the supermarket and walked us through his "clean" shopping list. (Score!)
Watch his tour in the video below:
PLUS, it's all laid out for you below!
(PS: "Basket Buddies" are Dr. Ian's swaps if you don't particularly enjoy his suggested food!)
Dr Ian's take: "[It's] one of the healthiest fruits that you can get. [It's] nutrient dense, full of fiber, it contains 3 grams of monounsaturated fats," Dr. Ian says in the supermarket.
"Those are the good fats [that] lower your cholesterol levels, keep your sugar levels in check and decrease your risk for heart disease."
- Berries (Basket Buddies: apples, pears, mangos, bananas, watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, oranges)
Dr Ian's take: "The dark purple-ish color [in blueberries] is there because of things called anthocyanins," the author explains. "These are antioxidants that are very important for your health. They are anti-inflammatory. They can help with your mental or cognitive function and they are great for your heart."
Dr Ian's take: "Cottage cheese [is] full of nutritional benefits," he says. "High in protein, low in fat and one serving only has 20 calories. You can't go wrong with cottage cheese."
- Chickpeas (Basket Buddies: black beans, red beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, peas, corn)
- Kale (Basket Buddies: arugula, bok choy, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, watercress)
Dr Ian's take: "Kale is the superfood of all superfoods," the doc stresses. "It is full of fiber, antioxidants, calcium and even iron. This is your no-guilt food."
- Lemons (Basket Buddies: limes, grapefruit)
- Nuts (Basket Buddies: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds)
- Oatmeal (Basket Buddies: grits)
- Seafood (Basket Buddies: cod, crab, halibut, lobster, oysters, salmon, sea bass, shrimp, tuna)
- Squash (Basket Buddies, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, parsnips, zucchini)
- Sweet potatoes (Basket Buddies: corn)
Dr Ian's take: "They're low in glycemic index," Dr. Ian says of sweet potatoes. "They release sugar very slowly into your bloodstream, which is very important."
"They also have fiber along with that low glycemic index," he continues. "So if you're going to choose between white potato and sweet potato, I say go with the sweet."
Dr Ian's take: "The redder, the better," The Clean 20 author says. "[They're] full of things like lycopene, which is an antioxidant. And for men out there, it's good for your prostate health. [They] also [have] beta-Carotene, which is great for your vision."
Dr Ian's take: "Buy it pre-washed," the doc advises. "That means that the saponin -- which is the natural pest repellent that's a coating on the quinoa grain -- is already removed for you."
- 100% whole-grain or whole-wheat bread)
Dr Ian's take: "White bread [is] refined," the expert reveals, "which means the manufacturer has crushed those grains and taken out a lot of the healthy nutritional benefits."
- Whole-wheat pasta
Now, we know what you're wondering -- can you have coffee or alcohol on the program?
Well, we have good news *and* bad news!
Alcohol is a no-no, BUT Dr. Ian okays coffee -- as long as you drink it black!
It's all about compromise, right?
Looking for more guidance? Watch the video at the top of the page to see Dr. Ian lay out a "Clean 20"-approved breakfast, lunch and dinner right in our kitchen!
(The full shopping list is an excerpt from "The Clean 20," by Ian K. Smith, M.D. Copyright © 2018 by Ian K. Smith, M.D. Used with permission by St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved.)