Stevens Point, WI 54481

Eating Clean

#eatingclean #100percentclean #cleanfood

No this is not about how to clean your food, that is another post entirely.

How do you eat clean? After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion it is how I ate as a kid, before everything became so adulterated and inundated with preservatives, additives, and other non-essential ingredients. My mom would can all the goodies leftover from our (and some from my grandparents) garden, use a food dehydrator (for homemade fruit leather, yogurt drops, and just about everything in between), fix us homemade dinners (where I learned much of my cooking skills), made treats, and even had me run errands to the Red Owl down the road if she was short simple baking ingredients. All of this seems to be popular again – minus homemade dinners, unless they come in a box to your doorstep. Not sure how it got lost and forgotten in the meantime.

Many restaurants are promoting clean food, many want to be clean, but are far from it. We as a society are sick of all the additives to our food supply and are demanding less added ingredients, or at least ones we can pronounce. We are demanding more organic selections, while we are also arguing about studies of which ingredients are GRAS (generally recognized as safe), cause cancer, cause inflammation, and are truly safe to eat, or otherwise. I get so many questions and even for someone who reads the research often, it is hard to tell what is what from week to week. I remember one time in college a study that said orange juice can cause cancer…my first thought was “yes, anything in absurd amounts can cause damage” and this is where a lot of research stems from. What is that upper limit that causes problems, causes inflammation, causes cancer? This is why research is done. Yet even the researchers come to different conclusions, different answers, different results.

I still maintain a diet that includes variety and moderation can be healthy for most people. Of course if you cannot consume certain foods, then you are limited by what you can eat. If you are personally restricting some foods you will have problems with getting enough variety no matter how moderate you are. I am always surprised by some people who limit what they are consuming either from a FAD diet, by choice, or because they think they have to, but have never been diagnosed with an allergy, seen a doctor to rule out a sensitivity, or otherwise. But those who decide to “eat clean” still feed their bodies crazy amounts of processed foods, thinking they are doing the right thing. It is a very small amount of people who “eat clean” on a regular basis and do so successfully.

Getting back to basics – the 5 food groups – proper portions, can do wonders. Cooking homemade meals when able, or even semi-homemade, growing a garden, or even sprouting (my boys loved doing that, and we will start some more this week), keeping food simple. Shop the perimeter of the store, where most of the fresh stuff is sold. Limit your time in the aisles, where the “unclean” food lives. Keep your eye on ingredients, stick to ones you can pronounce or know directly what they are, yes there are some that are hard to pronounce, but are perfectly safe. Stay away from artificial colors, if it is not colored by nature, maybe think twice? (Although a bakery cookie with bright frosting is fun once in awhile.)

Rethink your clean food attitude…how can YOU clean up your food? What can YOU do to consume more and cleaner food?