Thursday, 4 March 2010
What is clean eating or eating clean?
I decided to write about this as the term is being widely used these days and seems to be wildly open to interpretation, where did it originate from? Who eats this way? Why eat this way? What does it involve? Those are just a few of the questions I have seen asked or been asked and the following is a collection of what I believe, what I’ve read and from googling the term!
There is also another reason behind writing this article, something I read earlier this week on a weight loss forum has stuck with me! The question posted was one from the above list and asked what could be eaten to sweeten a morning bowl of porridge, some good replies were amongst them including adding fruits, or making with oat milk etc however one suggested using jam, now having watched my Mum make jam as a child I still remember how much sugar went into the process and I knew nothing about nutrition at that point! The poster then went on to say that as jam was purely fruit and sugar it must be clean! Sugar is one of the most processed and refined substances available! My point here I guess is that people hear a term being used, currently quite a “trendy” term and kind of jump on the bandwagon without really having a clue about what this means! It also shows what a lack of nutrition knowledge we as a nation still have!
Anyway to get back to the main point what is the fuss all about? Clean eating (not my favourite term for it – but one commonly used now) is not a new invention, in fact it has been around for many, many years, centuries even, based really on how our ancestors ate! Wholesome healthy and natural foods! I first heard the term through a fitness magazine called Oxygen and a fitness model/clean eating queen Tosca Reno who transformed her life and body through a clean eating diet and full on exercise regime, she is now a very successful author on the subject!
So what is clean eating? This sentence I’ve borrowed from googling the term as it was simple and is a fairly good explanation of what clean eating is all about!
“At it’s most basic, clean eating is making the healthiest food choices possible, opting for fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat instead of processed and refined foods.”
In other words things that grow on or under the ground, have lived on the land or swam in the sea! Lean, Green or Marine! As nature intended!
Eating this way eliminates processed foods as much as possible, cuts out refined foods that have been changed from their original state, with unpronounceable ingredients on the packets full of additives and chemicals!
Eating clean isn’t a diet it’s a lifestyle choice for life! For me it’s about caring what you put into your body and how it affects you and the knock on effect of how you look and how healthy you are! Another borrowed quote “Clean eating is not about deprivation, avoiding food groups, counting calories or starvation, but about making healthy food choices and providing the body with the best foods possible.”
That last sentence really sums it up for me as the whole debate is open to everyone’s individual interpretation, some state that everything we eat today has undergone some form of processing and that people that say they eat clean are not really unless they farm, kill, grow and then cook everything they eat which is what some people who take it very seriously do, others like me adapt it to their lifestyle and what is convenient for them and their needs, I am no saint my diet is not 100% clean all of the time but the basic principles remain true that I choose to make healthy choices wherever possible and try to avoid as many processed man made foods where I can!
The term clean eating has crossed over into the fitness world quite heavily and the two now seem to make a great match being quite inseparable, you will find people that take on this way of life tend to eat small frequent meals, cook from scratch using fresh natural ingredients, eliminate refined sugars and alcohol, drink plenty of natural water as much as half your bodyweight in ounces! Eat a compulsory breakfast and pack and prepare daily meals and snacks in advance! They do not rely on shop bought sandwiches or ready meals they are always prepared and carry their staples with them!
What will eating clean do for you? Other than improving health and vitality, it will help you lose unwanted bodyfat, give you increased energy, clearer skin, stronger hair and nails, enhanced sleep and clearer mental focus!
So to end I would say adjust your diet to fit in with your current lifestyle whilst staying true to the basic principles of clean eating! There is no right and wrong, it is a choice after all but if you really care about your body then you’d do worse than to take on board some or all of these principles!