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Clean Eating




 

 

 

 

Wikipedia defines clean eating as…” a fad diet based on the belief that consuming whole foods and avoiding convenience food and other processed foods offers certain health benefits. Variations of the diet may also exclude gluten, grains, and/or dairy products and advocate the consumption of raw food.”

 

Hmmm… I politely disagree, Wikipedia.  Let me break this definition down…

I don’t believe that clean eating is a diet.  Diet is a four-letter word based on restriction and deprivation.  Diets rarely work because they focus on what people can’t have, which makes the human brain crave those things more.


And I disagree with the statement that clean eating is based on the belief that consuming whole foods and avoiding convenience food and other processed foods offers certain health benefits.  It’s not just a belief- it is scientifically proven that eating whole foods over processed foods has numerous health benefits.


Finally, clean eating isn’t a fad; it’s how our ancestors ate long before we turned real food into processed food for convenience.


So, I disagree with Wikipedia, and trust me, there are people in the nutrition world who disagree with me.  In fact, while researching for this blog, I found just as many articles written against clean eating as those written for clean eating. The naysayers believe that clean eating isn’t always easy to do, and it can be expensive (one article even referred to it as elitist). A psychologist pointed out that over-focusing on clean eating can cause restrictive eating behaviors to become worse.  All of this has components of truth, which is why it is important to follow a plan that works best for you.


What exactly is clean eating?  It depends on who you ask.  Some clean-eating plans call for eliminating entire food groups including coffee, dairy, grains and more.  That type of elimination diet can be beneficial for many health reasons, but restriction can also be dangerous.  I simply don’t believe in looking at clean eating through the lens of restriction.


 I like to think of clean eating as eating foods that are as close as possible to their natural state. Think of an apple, a stalk of broccoli, an egg, a pasture raised chicken…The foods that are rich in nutrients in their natural form that have not been overly processed. If it comes in a box or bag with a barcode, it may not be your cleanest choice.  Again, I understand that at times that food in a bag or a box is your only choice. I try to make that the exception rather than the rule.


Think of clean eating as eating more of the healthier options in each food group and less of the not-so-healthy ones. Whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins and fats are your “go-to” in a clean eating lifestyle.   Refined grains, additives, preservatives, unhealthy fats and large amounts of added sugar and salt and highly refined “foods” with ingredients you can’t pronounce are best avoided.

 

I once had a client tell me that she was so sick of reading all the shocking ingredients on food labels that she was just going to eat things without a label.  YES!  That’s clean eating for you.

 

We are all beautifully unique individuals, and the same way of eating will not work for everyone. Finding a nutrition plan that works for you is a journey with multiple rewards.  You don’t have to transform your lifestyle in a day; you just need to take baby steps toward eating healthier every day.  Start by cutting back on processed foods and adding more fruits, veggies and lean proteins (and, if it works for you, buying a few more organic items).  Tiny steps can make a lasting impact on your health.

 

When you start to eat “clean” on a regular basis, you will notice that you are no longer craving the sugar, starch, and salt that you left behind.  You’ll find that foods in their natural state are more flavorful, nourishing your body with the nutrients you need.  The quality lean protein, healthy fats, colorful fruits and vegetables will work together to improve heart and brain health, help with weight management, build a stronger immune system, and increase energy levels.  And who doesn’t want that?


Investing in your health is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  You deserve to prioritize YOU and unlock the potential for a life filled with health and vitality.  I’d love to be a part of your health and wellness journey.  Email me at sproutnutritioncoaching@gmail.com for a FREE discovery call.

 

 

 

 

 



 

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