New Year’s Intentions
More on Vocabulary: Clean Eating
I’ve recently been stumbling over these words: “Clean Eating”. You see it on the Environmental Group’s web site (quite possibly the instigators of the use of these two words together, implying without pesticides or chemicals), the title of a magazine (articles and recipes with reduced sugar and fat, and increased whole grains), and in the eating disorder vernacular “clean eating” is a nutritional concept to avoid using as it implies avoiding all fat and all forms of sugar.
A hundred (100) years ago people weren’t so concerned with dirt (mother earth). It was part of the worldly experience. Today with pavements, sidewalks and in cities with very little exposed dirt (read earth) many see dirt; well as dirty. Yet dirt is where the most nutritious food is grown for humans and animals. So what then is clean eating? Is the food grown without dirt? No I don’t think that’s what’s intended with the concept.
Growing our foods without chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides; now yes this is a concept that makes sense. Before the Agri-business model of food production our food was mostly local from small family farms, and organic. That meant we didn’t have as much choice depending upon your location, and we certainly didn’t see tomatoes and melon in January or oranges and asparagus in August in the grocery stores. The childhood winter salad I remember contained oranges, avocado and lettuce. Everyone had a garden with summer fruit and vegetables. Meat and eggs were often procured locally. Bread was made fresh as it wasn’t overly processed and developed mold quickly. Ever leave a slice of bread out today? How long does it last before it gets moldy? Improved transportation, development of large farming operations in South America with US support, fertilizer and pesticides changed the availability of produce from seasonal to year round. With it of course is the chemical load to our bodies and the known and unknown consequences. When there is a choice, choose organic as your financial budget allows. Use this web site to determine the most important produce to purchase organic: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/. And then there’s the packing materials, plastic, BPA in cans …
The fat, sugar, grains concept of cleaning eating comes from years of promoting low-fat eating, much to the detriment of the health of Americans. Looking at office photos from the 1950’s, you’ll find most office workers were not overweight. They were more active and get this: ate more fat! Next was the focus on fat, the use of commodities to create processed food products, and then the resultant obesity epidemic. Our grocery stores are now Super Markets filled with mostly processed food that last a very long time without becoming a “science experiment” (read moldy, rancid, spoiled). America’s sweet tooth has expanded as food manufactures know you’ll buy more of it if it’s sweeter. Ever notice the sugar in your frozen meat products? Why is there sugar in meat? Oh, I digress! The grains in processed foods are refined, not the whole grains the body may benefit from if soaked and cooked well (Nourishing Traditions for best cooking methods). Next was the focus on losing weight by decreasing calories from fat and sugar, and increasing whole grains and with it came a cycle of dieting, deprivation, and then re-gaining weight. So to eat healthy or in the new vernacular “eating clean” fat and sugar are foods to avoid eating.
Not so quick, this is not the nutrition message that promotes health. Everybody needs fat, every cell in your body needs fat and all of your hormones need fat, your brain needs fat. Eat healthy fats. Avoid foods with trans fats, hydrogenated fats or vegetable shortening. Yes, hydrogenated and shortening are other long words for trans fats. Start with coconut, avocado, olives, sprouted nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, olive oil, coconut oil, and if tolerated: butter, cheese and cream. Yes, organic is better, yes pasture raised is better for you (less pesticide) and we all do what we can with the financial resources we have. Processed foods don’t provide satiety (the feeling of comfort “fullness”), and cause blood sugar swings and leave you feeling hungry and moody. Add some fat and you may eat more calories, yet you won’t gain weight and you’ll feel better between meals, often not needing a snack.
Sugar on the other hand, does need to be decreased in the foods you choose. It may seem like you don’t have a choice when you are in a store filled with processed foods laden with sugar, flour and hydrogenated fats, or the office is getting the Café Americano and pastry, fast food lunch, or vending machine snack YET YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE!
· Is it the easy choice to make? No!
· Does it take time and planning? Yes!
· Will it taste different than what you’ve become use to? Yes!
· Will your body feel better? Yes!
· Will you have more energy? Yes!
· Will you think clearer? Yes!
· Does this mean you never have anything with sugar or flour again? No!
Choosing more unprocessed foods supports your nutritional health and the health of the earth.
So it seems that one needs to understand the experience, the view point of the person using the words clean eating to understand the meaning of the speaker or writer. This makes for a longer conversation, a longer posting rather than a short nutritional message “clean eating” or “eating clean”. And it points to the lack of agreement on nutrition or nutritional messaging. Language is a tool to help us communicate with each other, yet requires active listening for understanding. Remember listening to your body for its food needs (not desires) is the best way to feed yourself and promote health.
Three Simple Steps to Get Started:
1. Eat Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate foods at each meal and snack if needed.
2. Eat less processed/packaged foods, including processed and packaged meats.
3. Purchase more organic (non GMO) fat and carbohydrate foods and more organic pasture raised protein foods.
Need help listening, or understanding the nutritional message? Let me help you get started. Schedule your appointment at www.foodnyou.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: (011 1) 505-438-2886.
For Online Coaching, Assessment and Counseling, or Nutrition Consulting go to: www.foodnyou.com
or call: (011-1) 505-438-2886