Is “Eating Clean” a New Fad Diet?
Lets face it, fad diets are here to stay. Strange thing to say since the entire premise of a fad is that it comes… and then goes. However fad diets themselves will always be around, once one finally fucks off into oblivion, another quickly rises up to to take its place.
As a culture we encourage this, when we glorify “ideal” body types, all the while living in an an environment where we have cheap garbage food more easily accessible than proper nutrition. Additionally, in modern society we have almost no connection to the food we eat, and are largely at the mercy of asshole companies who fill our food full of all sorts of bad shit with no regard at all for public safety or health, because hey baby, it’s a capitalist world and there’s mad profits to reap!
With so many of us overweight and wanting to change, fad diets (who usually promise quick results) seem like a beacon of hope that also tickle that urge for instant gratification.
What is Clean Eating?
The definition of clean eating can depend on the source. Generally, descriptions of clean eating emphasize fruits and vegetables over processed and ingredient laden foods. This has created a movement that makes some sense in relation to what is coming out regarding the safety of sugar and commercial food additives.
And boy does it ever look fantastic on Pinterest and Instagram.
However clean eating has recently caused some controversy with some comparisons to orthorexia, and because it seems to carry an inherent judgement that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to eat.
With health bloggers flexing their skinny yoga arms and posing with bunches of kale, it’s no wonder that the phrase “clean eating” makes most of our bullshit detectors beep on high alert.
Clean Eating… for Regular Bitches Like Me?
However, for many of us, eating clean can be so much more than a fad diet. I would say that the majority of my adult life I ate maybe 10% good, unprocessed food. Aside from that I very much allowed myself to go on a weight and health roller coaster with junk food, takeout and high sugar/fat/salt snacks.
I felt depressed, suffered from chronic illness and overall just felt like garbage.
I think for myself, the key was more to view the ingredients themselves, and not get too hung up on following much for rules, or looking at food in terms of “clean” vs. “dirty”
How to Approach Clean Eating (Without Being a Dick About It)
I consider myself to be eating clean when:
- I am aware of the ingredients in my food
- I am eating foods with less processed ingredients
- I am eating foods with little need for or opportunities to contain additives
To achieve this I have a couple of tricks:
- Prepare food at home when ever possible. If you are worried about running out of time and caving for pizza, make sure to meal prep or have healthy easy freezer meals on hand (sounds easy, but actually requires some work and planning ahead)
- Eat foods with color. Typically, beige foods include fries and bread products made with refined white flours. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everything, but making sure you add color in the form of natural fruits and vegetables can help make food more interesting as well.
- Try to buy food which doesn’t produce much (if any) garbage. Meat trays and vegetable bags are obviously an exception (although for environmental reasons I am trying to find an alternative to produce bags as well!)
It’s About Healthy Choices
For myself whether it’s called “clean eating” (CLICKBAIT BUZZWORD ALERT) or something else, the principles are to make healthier choices that can help attain your goals, whether it be weight loss or a general desire to improve your overall health between nacho binges.
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