What Clean Eating means to me

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!

 
 
 
 

plant in hands

 

 

Comments 12

  1. I agree with you entirely, Alexx. My family call me the Nutrition Nazi, but when I’m out I go with the flow. I don’t want my hosts to feel uncomfortable, nor my friends to think that I’m difficult or radical. Mind you, I don’t go out that much!
    I’m also uncomfortable with the ‘clean eating’ jargon that is bandied about so frequently. Me, I’m just into wholefoods, no processed rubbish and good old home cooking.

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  2. Well said Alexx, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Once size doesn’t fit all, is what I say. We have too many people confusing us into thinking that we should eat one way or another and look how that’s turned out? Some people just love labels. But, with open minded people like yourself, who wish to educate and help, we can’t go wrong. Keep up with your wonderful work. Oh by the way, please, please, please can you make a gluten free, yeast free and xantham gum free hot cross bun recipe? I miss those and scones. Thank you so much.

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      Thanks Gabriela, that sure is what I’m trying to do! 🙂 And re Hot Cross buns… sheesh. That’s a challenge!!!

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you Alexx. Your definition is both simple & beautiful. I also like the idea of the unavoidable concession. It’s like saying to someone that’s it’s ok to not be perfect. I think the media too often portray things in an all or nothing light & that’s not a realistic way of living for most people.

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  4. Yeah, it is a bit – Your fruit mince pies were so great, hence the question. Ok, how about we put xanthan gum in then? I’ve tried to make things bready like and fluffy by using kefir, fermented cabbage juice and psyllium husk but, I think my ratios are slightly off. I will just keep trying.

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    Hmmm, yes, the fluffiness is the trickiness on that front. Let me know if you succeed at any attempts as will I 🙂

  6. Great article, Alexx. I, too, get heartily sick of food fascism and I love your new definition. Time for a new infographic, I think. 🙂

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  7. Love this! Such a beautiful positive way to look at it and doesn’t make you feel dirty for not being a vegan or for eating meat or for eating with friends and being okay with it! 🙂

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