You may have heard the term “Clean Eating” and sort of scratched your head and then let the thought slip out of your mind. Perhaps it seems ambiguous or perhaps you feel like “duh, it’s not like I’d choose to eat dirty”. But what does this really mean and why does it matter?
Clean eating is all about eating close to the source as possible. For instance, an egg has just one ingredient. It’s an egg! There are no preservatives, thickeners or whiteners to make the egg white come out super white. A chicken laid it, the end. It even comes in an easy to carry package. It doesn’t need a box, plastic bag, plastic wrap or an aluminum can.
You can take in one step further by say, eating organic. What that means is that in addition to eating something that has just the single ingredient and no special packaging, it also doesn’t have added chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. It’s also not genetically modified either so no gene splicing your tomatoes with a bug. If you want to eat a bug then just eat a bug – just make sure it’s not poisonous like the ones used in tomatoes.
So now you have package free, single ingredient foods that are free from chemicals which is super great. How about added hormones, itty bitty plastics and other weird things that might be lurking in animal proteins. Sadly I’m not sure what we can do about getting rid of itty bitty plastics in our ocean at this point save for not using plastic in the first place but as far as other animal proteins go, select organic AND pasture raised. Considering how much food animals like cows and pigs eat, if they aren’t eating organic and happily munching on bugs and grass, they’re doing a good job of building up those chemical toxins from non-organic foods in their fat tissue which we eat. I’m not saying that you’ll get away from toxins entirely when eating animal proteins because they, like us, drink water and breath air which we don’t have quite as much control over when it comes to cleaning them. I’m not suggesting become vegan but I am a big fan of eating smaller amounts of animal protein and eating way more veggies.
You might be looking at your freezer full of Trader Joe’s frozen food stuff (no mention even where it’s made), your fridge full of packaged goods and your pantry filled with cans of soup and crackers and be thinking, eating clean isn’t easy! You might even be saying to yourself that clean eating is going to mean tons of work for you. Let me assure you that if you mean opening and nuking can of soup versus steaming some veggies and throwing a fish in the oven then, yes, you’d be right. But what’s the trade off? Irradiated sodium laden mystery contents made by unhappy cannery workers or tasty steamed veggies and a wild caught fish that was happily swimming in the ocean until it was caught all cooked up by you – a self loving human? Just sayin – I’d rather have the latter, even if it does take me 5 minutes to chop up the veggies and put the fish in the oven.
The gist of it is, don’t overcomplicate the clean eating bit and start small. As you finish off one processed food, try replacing it with a whole food if you can. No need to try for 100% compliance but challenging yourself to reconsider is a great start. After a few weeks, you’ll have transformed your freezer, fridge and pantry and you’ll feel more energetic and get sick less often. It’s a total win!
Above all, don’t sweat having some processed foods. You are busy gal after all and sometimes you can’t help it, I know. I buy organic sausage and organic marinara sauce in a glass jar as a part of my “lazy girl” dinner. It’s nice to have the option and empowering to not have it be the norm.
If you’d like help creating your own personal meal plan that works just for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 90 minute Personalized Meal Plan session. At the end of the session, you’ll have a clear plan for how to whip your meals into shape to help you feel more energetic.