Sigh. Getting my shield and armour out and diving into this controversial topic of What Is Clean Eating. But for REALZ because I hate BS. You know that. Running a clean eating food blog for 4 years now, I think I’m a bit overdue with clearly explaining what do I preach in my temple. I explain a bit here but I feel like a bigger statement should take place now and put an end to media’s BS.
Clean Eating’s False Bad Rep
Clean eating was the fastest growing food trend in 2016. While it is great, many online influencers including media, RD’s and even big bloggers took advantage of this trend and created content completely badmouthing clean eating using ridiculous claims about it. Claims without any back up and just writing what they want to get clicks. I really itch to point fingers but unfortunately it is kinda not appropriate in America. Sigh.
See, online is a very crowded marketplace now because anyone can start a blog and write what they want. Virtually anyone. So, you have to really stand out to fight for your spot under the sun aka page views. And that is what they did. Mainly clinging onto the name “clean eating” and scoring high ranking posts in Google with flashy titles and crappy content. Yes, crappy content. Total BS. I have seen statements saying “All food is good food and clean eating sucks because it eliminates certain foods”. Duh, it does. Clean eating bashes and smashes processed garbage foods. Since when McDonald’s is a good for us food? Someone wrote a total nonsense
without realizing that clean eating doesn’t eliminate ANY single real food item. None. You can’t just go and say that all food is good. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It is what is done to the food that makes it bad and this is what clean eating is about – eliminating junk.
Bottom line is do not believe everything you read out there. I have seen RD’s promoting Truvia full of artificial chemical ingredients because they get paid good money. At last, Truvia is owned by Coca-Cola, so they can afford big marketing.
Clean Eating Is Not a Diet
Now that we brought all bad reppers to justice, let’s talk what clean eating is.
Repeat after me: Clean eating is not a diet. Clean eating is not a diet. Clean eating is not a diet. Clean eating is not a diet. Clean eating is not a diet.
America is the only country in the whole entire world that constantly comes up with diets, miracle pills and easy ways out and excuses to eat junk food and to avoid getting fat and unhealthy. Yes, I used the word “fat”. Yes, it is true! I can’t believe it’s not butter, diet pop, sugar free anything, water drops, fat free everything etc.
Oh, and don’t forget the calorie counting. That is epic. Being an immigrant and growing up in a poor country, this oxymoron is so obvious to me. To make you feel better, I, myself, fell a victim of diets and calories. Thankfully, I dug myself out from this grave.
The thing is that diets don’t work. Neither do pills, shakes and slimming coffee. You simply can’t live all your life depriving yourself of something, counting calories, drinking Hydroxicat pills, eating high protein foods, chugging Valentus and Slimfast. Eventually you will snap and that is why diets don’t work, my friends. Plus diet products made in a lab are harmful for your health.
If you want my opinion what are examples of diets, here you go – gluten free, 21 Day Fix, paleo, low carb, Atkins, Dr. Bernstein, high protein, raw food and vegan. Now, if you have a Celiac disease (which only 1% of people have) then of course you HAVE to avoid gluten. If you chose to eat vegan, it is a personal choice and I am not against it. So I am not even going to argue whether it is healthy or not. I’m just saying that it is a diet. Just like counting boxes with 21 Day Fix or eating only raw fruits and vegetables. Eliminating certain real food ingredients makes nutrition a diet. And it is fine by me because we are all grown ups (I would like to think that).
Clean Eating Is a Lifestyle
So, this is why I chose clean eating – it is a lifestyle. All clean eating means is eating real food. That is it, people. It is just a fancy name for NORMAL food. Not cheetos, doritos or kraft dinners but potatoes, cheese, chicken and bananas. Clean eating basics include minimally processed, quality grown or raised, sustainable ingredients.
This is where online trolls come in sometimes. And they are aggressive. One girl wrote blog posts on her raw food blog about my recipes saying “How is that clean eating if it has dairy in it?”. Well, guess what?! Clean eating is not a raw food diet. Neither it is a plant-based or gluten free diet. Dairy is real food. What quality of dairy, what dairy and in what amount you eat dairy is a total different question. This is how rumours about clean eating are born and today with so many people having online access it happens within seconds.
So, clean eating is a lifestyle eating quality real food you can afford, drinking water and being active. Whether you agree with that or not is your choice but this is what clean eating is.
Real Life Balance
Having said all of the above, now creeps in real life. And my real life is that I have 2 kids (a full-time job), this blog I love (another full-time job), a husband (a full-time job with overtime), a house, friends etc. You got the drill. Aren’t we all busy?! So, I get it.
This is why I will preach – do what you can. Clean eating doesn’t have to be hardcore life-threatening path to follow. Chances are you will die sooner from stressing out about eating real food than eating a hot dog once in a while. I promise you. Let’s not kill ourselves.
So, as a real life mom I do what I can. I would say we eat clean 80% of the time and that is why I started What I Ate Weekend series so you can see I’m not perfect. Because no one really is. So, live a little and have a cookie during holidays or pizza when your fridge is empty. At the end of the day, you gotta eat.
Also, I want to mention that eating clean is easier for some people and harder for others depending where you live. I find, the US has more affordable organic and whole food options than Canada. For example, one can buy prepared fresh whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s where as in Canada – good luck with that. So, I do what I can.
Clean Eating Rules
- Real Food – vegetables, fruit, meat. If it didn’t grow or had a mother, it is not real food.
- No Crap Ingredients – read the label and if it contains lab made ingredients, don’t buy. You will have to educate yourself on some weird names – Google is your friend and you can do it.
- Quality – use common sense. You got it. You are a human. Sometimes you are better off to buy organic. Sometimes local farmer’s lettuce or chicken who doesn’t have money to get organic certification is better than organic from Mexico. Ask questions and use your common sense. You got it. You are a human. Here are my tips for shopping at the farmers market.
- Water – water is the only liquid I drink to satisfy thirst and I always carry a bottle with me. Again, just use common sense and drink a good amount of water. There is really no need to chug down a set amount of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty and do not kill yourself over counting oz’s.
- Check out how we eat organic on a budget – 120 cheap organic foods I buy.
Clean Eating for Beginners
Where to start? Where to start? Where to start eating clean?
In a nutshell: Start cooking. Pick a recipe from the lists below and make one. Or two. Just start and the rest will follow. Don’t be scared. It is damn easy. Forget about Martha Stewart and Bon Appetite. That is some complicated SHIT. I blame 50% of those publications responsible for North Americans’ fear of cooking. And another 50% of the blame goes to food corps producing cheap junk to make billions of $$$ and not caring about people’s health.
NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR HEALTH EXCEPT YOU. DO IT! COOK SOME REAL FOOD TODAY!
55 Clean Eating Dinner Recipes in 30 Minutes
25 Clean Eating Breakfast Recipes on the Go