Hot cup of tea, clear desk, prepped to go and a peak of sunshine through the window. I was all settled in for a great session with a client, when I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
We had barely exchanged “How are you’s” when she asked me, “What does “clean eating” really mean? If I drop an apple on the floor, and still eat it, does that mean I’m not eating clean?”
Some humor to start the day!
“Clean eating” - Trendy. Buzz-worthy.
And because of that, it has a lot of love/hate associated with it.
Hate precisely because it is trendy. It’s also ambiguous and implies a “good vs. evil” relationship with food. And that’s not a good thing. Even real, whole foods have hate committees. There’s a continual flow of contradiction as food scientists study and learn more.
You’ve heard it. “Fat is bad!” Yet now we know essential fatty acids are called essential for a reason. “Carbs are bad!” Yet berries, sweet potatoes and most vegetables are primarily carbs – and they're full of nutrients.
Love because – well, it’s ambiguous, which gives it a lot of leeway. I personally like that because it doesn’t imply a one-size-fits-all plan. I’m all about bio-individuality. We’re all different, and what works well for some, doesn’t work at all for others.
I love this article in the Washington Post about “Clean Eating” – here’s an excerpt that sums it up nicely:
“When I think of eating clean, what comes to mind is knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body and making mindful decisions that are in line with my values. You have seen people who ask several questions before ordering at a restaurant or making a choice at a grocery store. While it can be entertaining (or frustrating) to watch, being curious about what’s in your food is fair game and, I would argue, important. We live in a world where we must ask questions because we can’t guarantee that we’re eating whole foods. I don’t necessarily need to meet the farmer growing my spuds, but when I eat mashed potatoes, I want to be sure they are, well, actual potatoes. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
Steps toward clean eating:
• Take time to look at the ingredients of all packaged foods, and look at your plate and note what you’re about to eat.
•If you can, find out where your food comes from, how it was raised or grown, and how far it traveled to make it to your plate.
•Determine key ingredients that you are motivated to avoid. What foods don’t feel good to you? Are you avoiding them?
•Decide what is truly realistic for you. Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle, and decide what is reasonable.
If you decide to start eating cleaner, remember that there is no one perfect way to do this. What is one action that you personally can start with? Taking that one step toward eating better is the best strategy for long-term success.
Keep it simple. Keep it clean. ;-)
Wishing you well!
P.S. Need some help defining how eating "clean" can help you? I'd love to chat. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is simple with my online booking system: Schedule Now