Have you heard the term “Clean eating before”? Check out my sub title…..“Avocado Runners….eating clean and staying lean”. But what does it really mean?
To be honest, “clean eating” is a bit of a trendy term used in the health food industry, and for some, very confusing.
Kind of like the word “natural”….just because those cookies you picked up are labeled “Natural and Organic”, the first ingredient may be sugar (which of course is natural), and too much sugar we all know is not good for us! Same goes for those blue corn chips labeled “Organic & Non-GMO”.
We use words such as “natural”, “organic”, “clean”, “good”, “bad” etc. as “labels” to define our nutritional choices so we feel accepted. They become common place words that start to mean nothing!
Clean eating may refer to:
- Gluten, dairy, soy, and nut-free
- Artificial-anything free or a dozen other ways we describe our food…
All of these terms can be either spot on or way off depending on your personal opinion.
Have you ever thought that eating clean may also be connected to our thinking, as well as what’s on our plate?
How do you feel if you eat a chocolate brownie – Paleo, of course – do you experience some guilt or shame? Is that still “clean eating”?
I truly believe in living an 80/20 lifestyle, and yes I eat “clean” 80% of the time, (some may say 90% of the time), and in my mind it doesn’t mean paleo, natural, or even meat free. Yes I purchase locally grown, organic, sustainable food when possible, but I also don’t fret about eating a slice of my my mom’s wild blueberry pie. Or a gluten free cookie. In fact I am in LOVE with these protein balls. But some would say these are bad or not “clean” because they are not paleo, or they include nuts, or whatever the reason. So if that’s what they believe, I applaud them.
So if we’re eating healthy but have negative energy going on in our head about eating a energizing protein ball or a piece of dark chocolate, doesn’t that take away from the goodness of our food?
It’s taken me years to figure this out, but I once I did, I can testify that our emotional state dramatically impacts how we digest food. Back in my high-school, college and actually my early years of working in my first Chemistry Job, I suffered from all kinds of negative emotions towards food. I’ve been eating “clean” way before it was cool to do so, but it was very un-heard of back 30 years ago so it wasn’t easy. I found it easier to NOT eat at school than eat food that in my opinion wasn’t good for me. It was a tough time of my life, but thankfully I got help and recovered.
My own personal evolution coupled with my current profession has help me overcome these negative emotions and I now have a much happier relationship with food.
If you’re at all struggling with some of these same thoughts towards food, I welcome you to explore what I think “clean eating” really means.
- Foods that provide your body, mind and soul with usable nutrients, energy and don’t cause havoc on your digestion
- Food amounts that don’t cause you to fill up but just lead to being satisfied
- Food that give you nourishment and pleasure while eating even if our society labels it bad. Go ahead and eat that chocolate brownie tonight but don’t feel guilty!
I try my best not to get caught up in what society, or anyone else says is bad. It’s definitely not easy but in case you’re interested, I can share a little of what my day is like.
ONE DAY OF CLEAN EATING – FOR MY BODY, MIND, AND SOUL
WAKE: Immediately upon rising I have a glass of room temp water mixed with the juice of half a lemon and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. WHY? Because just like what others have documented, this awakens the digestive system and just gets things moving, to put it bluntly😉.
EXERCISE: Mornings are the best time for me to run and hit the gym. I usually don’t eat anything before I go run, but I occasionally have a glass of Shaklee Performance or Coconut water. (If I am headed out for a longer run, I’ll have a cup of organic dark coffee with sprouted ezekiel toast with almond butter & raw honey and part of a banana).
BREAKFAST: After returning from my run and the gym, I whip a Green Smoothie. I have a variety of recipes but they all include my protein powder, greens, and usually some wild blueberries or organic berries of some kind. I throw in a variety of super foods such as flax, chia, or hemp seeds. Maca Root powder. Raw Cocoa Powder. Want to learn more come check out one of our Smoothie Workshops😊. New dates are posted frequently here and here. WHY? You’ll love the way these drinks make you feel. They are nutrient dense, easily digestible, and make an excellent recovery drink. Truly the healthiest breakfast on the planet feeding both your body and mind!
LUNCH: I rarely need a mid morning snack because my smoothie keeps me quite satisfied till lunch. However, if your body signal physical hunger, grab a snack! Maybe it’s a handful of nuts, olives, and seasonal fruit. Try and pair a healthy fat with nutrient rich seasonal fruit for best results. For me lunch is around 12:30. (or when your body signals hunger). Often times I have my famous avocado toast. Or maybe a big salad with some protein source….salmon, an egg, nuts and part of an avocado😊.
DINNER: As mentioned above, I rarely need a mid morning snack, but I almost ALWAYS need an afternoon pick me up! It helps power me through my yoga and or running class….these protein bars are some of my fave but I often times make my own energy bites too. Some days it’s a handful of trail mix made with my crispy nuts. Dinner for me is anywhere from 6 pm to 7 pm depending on when I get home from class. I love a variety so it’s not too often I repeat recipes, but I try and keep things simple too. Last night we had salmon with roasted veggies and crusty sourdough bread dipped in EVO. Sunday night my husband grilled grass fed beef…..rib-eyes and t-bones and some ahi tuna. We paired this with fingerling potatoes and brussels. Taco Salads are a bit staple at our house….actually we love salads for dinner! Simple is usually best! Don’t forget about making your own healthy and tasty soups or chili with homemade bone broth. We also love pasta❤️. Although we’re not gluten free, we still prefer brown rice pasta tossed with a simple marinara, topped with free range organic chicken or clean shrimp. Brown Rice, Quinoa, Veggie noodles also make for yummy options……Look for a follow up on clean eating again soon!
DESERT: For me, it’s a piece of Dark Chocolate almost nightly.
Thanks for reading and please if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.