Clean Eating: Not Just A Fad

Posted on Aug 12, 2016

Posted in: Healthy Diet,Uncategorized

For those of us who were fortunate to have grandparents that were farmers, we remember clean eating as a way of life. One of my favorite memories includes a Mason jar of pasteurized milk. I can remember my grandmother shaking it vigorously before pouring me a glass.  While the milk was safe for consumption, it wasn’t homogenized causing the cream to float to the top, leaving me with the ultimate milk mustache.

Basic Principles of Clean Eating

By definition, a fad is something that is popular for a short time. Since the principles go back several years, it is clear clean eating is not a diet, fad or trend.

Let’s start with a list of what clean eating is not:

  1. Clean eating is not about removing entire food groups from your diet.
  2. Clean eating is not about restricting your caloric intake.
  3. Clean eating is not about making you shop in only one aisle of the grocery store.
  4. Clean eating is not about picking “low-fat” or foods with “35% less sugar.”
  5. Clean eating is not meant to be a weight loss solution.

breyers vanilla commercialThe key to eating clean is choosing to eat foods with the least amount of ingredients possible. My mind is going back to the old Breyer’s ads where children try (and ultimately butcher) reading the ingredients off a container of ice cream. Go ahead and treat yourself with ice cream, but maybe opt for the one with ingredients you can pronounce.

Getting Started

The best part about clean eating is that you can start today and it won’t require you to throw out your entire pantry.

Begin by choosing the healthiest version of the food you have on hand. A basic rule of thumb is to try avoiding foods that have long shelf lives or food that you know wouldn’t be sitting on a shelf if it didn’t contain a lot of preservatives.

For me, I am always slightly creeped out by strawberry or chocolate milk that doesn’t require refrigeration.

When replacing items, make better food choices such as buying peanut butter with fewer additives or opt for the whole grain pasta instead of regular.

the science of clean eating shopping listHere’s a list of other ideas:

  1. Search for shopping lists (here is one we recommend).
  2. Create a Pinterest board filled with recipes you want to try.
  3. Visit Appleton’s farmers market as it’s a gold mine when it comes to choices and selections, stocked with fresh produce, local meats, honey and the like.

Spending Time in the Kitchen

Clean eating is not going to add hours to your kitchen routine. There are many ways to vegetables and proteins to make meal combinations that last for several days.

Right now, I’m kind of obsessed with brussels sprouts and cauliflower. I like to toss it with a small amount of olive oil and spices, then roast it in the oven or make a foil packet for the grill.  I add a chicken breast or piece of fish to complete the meal.

You could also try the same meal with a homemade marinade as they are easy and provide clean eaters with endless options. Typically, recipes contain an oil, acid and a herb.  I usually stick with extra virgin olive oil, lime or lemon juice or perhaps red wine vinegar for an acid and a herb such as oregano, basil or rosemary.

When making the above meal I try to make extra to have for lunch the next day, that way I have the convenience factor for packing a lunch and can stay away from processed lunch meat or frozen entrees.

My grandma made everything from scratch. Back in her day, families had large gardens and were able to butcher their own meat. I know that this is not a possibility for the majority of us. (I am a city dweller that somehow managed to kill off my herb garden and patio tomatoes.)  But I have made a committment to cleaning up my diet and see this way of eating as a way of life, not just the latest trend.

If you have a favorite clean eating recipe, please share it in the comment section below.