For some reason the term ‘clean eating’ has grated on my nerves since I first heard it. I’ve finally figured out the reason why. I don’t like the connotation that it has to be raw and green or a life of salads only, and by suggestion anyone that does anything other than that, is eating ‘dirty’ or ‘unclean’. It insinuates that eating foods outside of green smoothies and raw food, I am supposed to scrub myself clean for my food sins. Maybe I’m taking it too personally! I swear I had a shower this morning!
I caught myself wondering whether I should instagram my beautiful, locally reared organic roast chook on instagram the other night and examining why I felt I should ‘hold back’. I am a staunch ethicist when it comes to meat for many that know me and actively educate people to the negatives for both animals and people’s health when it comes to factory / intensive farming. I actually feel really happy about that and proud to be a part of the change, so if that means I lose a few followers when there’s a meatball or a roast, then so be it. Social media becomes anti social if we can’t be our true selves, surely? Here’s a little video interview I did on choosing better meat recently. (Note: In the video I didn’t finish a sentence when I say “protein isn’t essential… It IS of course, it’s just that meat doesn’t need to take up 1/2-2/3 of your plate. Veggies are the stars, high quality meat or other proteins if you prefer as the supporting role and healthy fats are back to save the day after decades off the scene!)
Eating purely raw does’t work for everyone. I’m not saying though, that it doesn’t work for some people, as I have raw foodist friends who are very happy and healthy – heck, I even adore several raw foods daily and insist on salad with every meal – It’s a French thing! We are all an experiment of one. If whatever food combination you eat makes you feel fantastic, loaded with energy and free from disease, then that’s wonderful, because you’re doing what’s right for you. The ancient system of healing, Ayurveda, promoted different foods whether raw, cooked, meat, plant etc to create harmony in the body, depending on your type / dosha and the seasons, or what you’re going through at the time. That makes good sense to me! So it’s then about realising that there are many versions of ‘clean eating’ and that a common thread can be found between them all.
What we must continue to focus on the desperate need to turn the global health crisis around – Refined white flour, white sugar, vegetable oil, extruded grains (high heat puffed grain), processed dairy, artificial food additives and preservatives are what are UNCLEAN. These are all refined, inflammatory foods that cause more and more havoc as the generations pass, with our weaker and weaker guts and subsequent immune systems. One in three kids today have some sort of allergy. One in three. Time to ditch industrial foods.
In thinking more deeply about what ‘clean eating’ should mean, I’d like to offer up a new definition.
Clean eating means knowing where you food comes from and
supporting an ethical, local and sustainable food system.
That means eating a diet free from processed weirdness packets, factory farming / intensive farming, harmful additives, preservatives and chemicals as your norm and then every now and then, there’s room for the unavoidable concession.
By concession I mean when it’s not possible or when it avoids stress. For example, if I’m at a friend’s house I’m not going to question whether a salad is organic or not or whether the onions are from the USA, or if it’s white sugar in the pavlova, or if my son is offered a sorbet or if we’re offered fish and chips by the seaside in summer. I’m certain it’s not healthy to become *that* controlling of food!
What do you think?
Here’s to eating clean whether you’re paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, wholefoodies or any other real foodist niche. In my view, we’re all eating clean because we all reject the weirdness of industrial foods!