Nicole and I have often found that our clean eating journey has been met with…shall we say…resistance and misunderstanding by others. Especially given that we are doing our 30 Day Challenge of no white flour, no refined or added sugar, no processed oils, and no dairy. Both our significant others have uttered in exasperation, “You can’t eat ANYTHING right now”. Others have asked why we are bothering with our challenge. They think we are crazy, misguided, and even wrong to think that this is a good idea; that there is no science to support the fact that this is healthy. Some will listen to our explanation, but seem to gaze back with raised eyebrows and skepticism. And the doubt does not stop with the challenge, but often targets the idea of clean eating in general.
Let us take a second to reiterate the topic here: Clean eating is not an eating disorder. We are not trying to crash diet, severely limit our intake of food, count calories, drop weight in a flash or do anything else ‘crazy’. We are not obsessive compulsive or masochistic when it comes to food. What we are is aware. Aware that most of the food we put in our bodies is overly processed to the point of losing most of its nutritional value. Aware that healthy eating is the building block of long-term health and fitness. Aware that food is meant to nourish the body, not relieve boredom or satiate emotional feelings. We take the time to educate ourselves, so that we can always better ourselves. We both have families, Nicole has a little boy; we care about our loved ones, we want to see them healthy and happy. We don’t want to remain ignorant and misinformed about our food choices. Since starting our clean eating journey we have felt the benefits of whole foods, we have seen the change in our skin and hair, and the improvement in our mood- and we’re happy.
Clean eating is a lifestyle. When we prepare a meal we want it to fuel and strengthen our bodies from the inside out, rather than consuming empty calories. We want to have energy without having to drown ourselves in coffee. And of course when it comes to fitness, we all know that the truth is you can work out until you are blue in the face, but if you don’t eat clean, you won’t see much change. It’s pretty simple really…garbage in garbage out.
Thus, we like to spend time looking at the stuff we put in our bodies. Does the item have a lengthy ingredient list filled with words we can barely pronounce? Then we probably don’t want to eat it. For example, McDonald’s fries have 17 ingredients in them, rather than the simple 3 you might expect (potatoes, oil, and salt). And with ingredients like sodium acid pyrophosphate and dimethylpolysiloxane, you can bet that this food is far unhealthier then we all joke about.
So we take the time to go to farmer’s markets and find fresh meat and produce that ideally has been naturally and locally grown, free of any genetic meddling or other modifications; food in its purest state. We stand there in the grocery store aisle reading labels and exponentially lengthening our grocery shopping trip, trying to find the best options. We try and recreate our favorite meals using healthy alternatives. We experiment, try new things and see if they work, and believe us- it’s damn exciting when something comes out great and everyone loves it. Does this mean we never indulge in guilty delights like ice cream, donuts, or candy? No. It just means we are aware of the effects on our body, the nutritional limitations, and we choose to consume them in moderation. And honestly, consuming treats in moderation makes them that much better.
Because really, once you educate yourself about the reality of food in our modern world you have two choices: you can decide its too much work or not important to make a change, or you can choose to take your health into your own hands. It’s your choice. But please, don’t judge us for the choice that we have made for ourselves.
- Veronica & Nicole