What is “Clean Eating”?
These words represent a movement within the health industry. A refocus on eating natural, unprocessed, unrefined foods. The way Nature meant food to be. Everyone seems focused on it—the media, politicians, medical professionals, fitness trainers, your friends, your coworkers. And it’s all with one intention: to promote optimal body function. (Though one could argue some “eat clean” mainly for aesthetic purposes.)
It’s a very basic concept: If you eat and drink crap, you’ll feel like crap. So avoid that which is processed and refined and preserved.
Think about the sandwich and the can of soda you may have just eaten and drank. Let’s look at the ingredients.
Processed chicken breast strips (We’ll ignore the processed bread for now.)
“Boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat, water, contains 2% or less soy protein concentrate, modified potato starch, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, maltodextrin, yeast extract, flavors, natural flavors, dextrose, caramelized sugar, paprika, vinegar solids, paprika extract, chicken broth.”
Though I’m a vegan now, I grew up eating meat, and as far as I know the only thing that should be in chicken is chicken and natural spices. Not sugar and starch and random chemicals. Our bodies are not designed to process ingredients like maltodextrin. That screws with our intestinal track.
I imagine a chemist in his lab, tossing chemicals into a test tube until the taste is just right—a fake concoction that tricks your taste buds into wanting more. Nothing about soda says “clean.”
How does a person who doesn’t specialize in health and fitness navigate food labels? It’s challenging! It takes effort to become informed about our food industry and learn the truth of how food is packaged and prepared. A basic rule of thumb: The more natural and from-the-earth a food and its ingredients are, the better for you. Everything you need to survive and thrive comes from the earth. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, animal meat, and when necessary, supplemental proteins and vitamins.
When those things become adulterated with chemicals, saturated oils, and processed sugars and grains, their nutritional value diminishes greatly.
When we eat a diet high in processed foods, our body, specifically our internal organs, becomes toxic, a physical disaster zone.
Ever wonder what it would be like if your body functioned at its highest level?
Go two weeks without any processed foods, alcohol, and drugs, and comment below how you FEEL.
Like anything, it is important to stay level-headed. Becoming obsessed with eating clean can be just as detrimental emotionally as eating unhealthy can be physically. Balance is key. What we eat and how we exercise is intended to make our bodies and minds function efficiently and healthily.
Sabrina Must is an author and blogger with a passion for nutrition, wellness and fitness. She holds a Masters in Writing from Northwestern University and a Bachelors in Writing from Johns Hopkins. She is an avid traveler and enjoys working fitness into her journeys.