Clean Eating

The buzz is everywhere around clean eating. Have you found yourself wondering what all the hype is about this modern, hip way of eating? When I ponder the basic guidelines around clean eating it becomes clear that this is actually kind of retro: consuming whole seasonal foods, as close to their natural state as possible; and slowing down and taking the time to enjoy the ingredients and the experience of our food. It seems to me that our ancestors 100 years ago were doing just that.

So then what does it take to eat a clean diet in today’s world? It takes focusing our diet on whole, real foods. Restricting processed and refined foods and especially simple carbs and sugar. Emphasis on quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and then consuming this all in a balanced manner. Eat 5-6 smaller meals/day. Preparing ingredients that you understand where and who it came from, putting us more in tune with our food.

I particularly like the simplicity around clean eating, especially in this day and age of numerous nutritional suggestions. It’s not restrictive nor temporary, but more along the lines of a flexible lifestyle. It’s a scalable thing, which allows each person to suit it to them, making it great for everyone. So no real calorie counting. No restricting a complete food group. Sounds reasonable? Now before I go any further let me clarify. I am no expert in nutrition and the likes. With my chef and foodie background, it’s not so simple. I embrace and love all foods, especially pizza and ice cream. I have a great deal of difficulty avoiding foods that fall into the ‘dirty’ category. But it all comes back to balance once again. By being organized by planning ahead, and being aware we can eat clean and still enjoy any food we want. Something called the 80/20 rule can be applied. If you choose to follow a healthy clean eating routine for 80 % of the time, then the other 20% of the time you can indulge in your favorite treats. Sometimes my own balance slips but I shoot for 80/20 as my goal. You never know what life is going to throw at you. If I am in the vicinity of a well-known food truck or hole in the wall that serves kick ass poutine, I’m not going miss the opportunity and spend the rest of my days wondering “what would have that been like”.

When I learned about the concept of clean eating, I realized it not only has a connection to the way our ancestors ate but also the way I have always cooked. A connection to the producers. A focus on ingredients. Clean eating is really more about nourishing on a simple healthy level and by doing this we can benefit hugely through overall health and wellbeing.

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