Keto. Paleo. Gluten-free. Non-GMO. The words are endless.
It’s hard keeping up with it all. But I realized this past weekend that one concept ranks high on my confusion list: Clean eating.
How do you eat clean? What is it? What does it mean?
In my attempt to figure it out, I got even more confused.
On one site, they had recipes for Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Chili Cheese Fries, and Beef Short Ribs. What!? How is that clean?
What is clean eating?
After reading a magazine that touted clean eating, and discovering their complex recipes with lots of ingredients, I started thinking more about clean eating.
I’ve defined it for myself as:
Eating as close to the natural state as possible.
When you take a tomato off the vine and eat it, it’s in its natural state.
Taking that same tomato and converting it to ketchup is not clean. It’s processed.
Yet thumbing through this magazine made me realize just how confusing a term like “clean eating” can be.
So I went the extra mile and Googled it. The confusion continued.
There was loads of advice, all that made it feel like clean eating was a one-time thing. Something you “cleanse” with for a 7-day cycle, and then get right back to your “old” way of eating. The headlines were just as mind-boggling:
- How to eat clean for a whole entire week
- Clean week – get healthy in 7 days
- Clean eating reset after indulging for a week
The purpose of clean eating – in my mind anyway
In this diet-crazy world, people (women) are always searching for the next-best weight-loss strategy.
I’ve never liked the concept of “diet.” In fact, I banned it from my vocabulary when I first had my daughter. (It turns out it’s tough to “ban” a word like diet from your vocabulary. But I was a first-time mom, and I gave it a go.)
Diet refers to short-term fixes. It’s filled with restrictions. It’s about accomplishing something … and, when it’s over, moving back to normal patterns.
Clean eating isn’t a weight-loss program. It’s a way of life.
Most Americans eat a diet of heavily processed foods. It’s packed with sugar, salt, fat, and synthetic ingredients that do little to enhance your health.
Clean eating cleans up your diet, gets rid of the bad stuff, and incorporates more of the good stuff. Every day. Every week. Every month. Every year.
Yes, this can seem like a daunting task. But here’s how I like to think of it.
Clean eating is a journey, not an endpoint. It’s okay to mess it up from time to time. You make the best choices you can every single day, every single meal.
How to eat clean and how to make it gorgeous
“You eat like this every day?”
I looked at my table through the eyes of my friend.
“I may have added a few splurges here and there, but … yeah.”
Every meal doesn’t have to be an event to be decadent. Yet why wouldn’t you make it a delight when you can?
I’ll admit, it’s taken me years to get to where I am today. But the most critical part of the process was … I started. And I’ve made choices.
How do you eat clean every day? You make clean choices every day.
My sister said it well when we went grocery shopping together recently: “Don’t you shop the aisles in the center of the store?”
I laughed as we continued our journey around the perimeter.
In our quest for speed and a simpler life, we’ve made things waayyy too complicated.
Food was never meant to be a casual stop at a quick-and-go, fuel up and get on your way.
Food is solely for nutrition. For energy. To help us be the best versions of ourselves. (Of course, it can be Gorgeous too!)
Clean eating is a journey, not an endpoint.
And you can start that journey today.
Make a better choice.
Cook instead of going to a restaurant.
Choose something as close to natural as possible.
Shop from the perimeter of the store and skip the inside aisles.
Pick up a cookbook and fix dinner yourself.
You may fall in love with the results.