What is clean eating?

You’ve probably heard of “clean eating” by now and it may strike you as some sort of hipster, hippie, locally sourced, organic, bullshit and in some ways you would be right. I don’t know where the term was coined, but I’m sure you can find it if you look. I’m not talking about anyone’s diet plan called Eat-Clean, I’m not talking about anything marketed to you, I’m talking about simply – Avoid all over-processed, refined foods, especially white flour and sugar. Clean eating basically means eating something that comes out of nature, or as close to nature as possible. Ingredients in what you eat should be things you can pronounce, that you recognize as food. The fewer ingredients in something, the better. As Michael Pollan said, very simply, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Aka – the ingredients in chicken you buy in the grocery store and prepare is “chicken.” The ingredients in a McDonalds chicken nugget is: White Boneless Chicken, Water, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Seasoning (Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Wheat Starch, Natural Flavoring [Botanical Source], Safflower Oil, Dextrose, Citric Acid), Sodium Phosphates, Natural Flavor (Botanical Source). Battered and Breaded with: Water, Enriched Flour (Bleached
Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Yellow Corn Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate), Spices, Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Corn Starch. CONTAINS: WHEAT.

There are volumes and volumes and volumes of information on the internet about why to eat clean and organic. If you have netflix, you can spend just a little over an hour to watch Hungry for Change. It’s a great “beginner’s” guide to what’s wrong with the way we eat in America. Another documentary I highly recommend is Food Matters. You can also find a lot of stuff that says that clean eating is bullshit; that it’s impossible to not eat chemicals – that part is untrue for the most part, if you eat organic vegetables you are avoiding chemicals as much as humanly possible. Or they say some preservatives are ok, afterall salt is a preservative; but my point is you can also say “Well why bother to get fit at all? I’m going to die someday after all and all my work will be for nothing.” It’s not an all or nothing thing here, the point is to eat as healthfully as possible because it makes you feel better.

Bottom line. I like having energy, I like feeling awake, alert, healthy, like I can do the things I need to do. I don’t like feeling bloated, depressed, anxious, hungry, guilty, tired, and ill.

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