When the clean eating movement first began it was slightly controversial because it meant that issues in mainstream, tried and trusted products were being pointed out. The dieting industry used buzz words like “sugar-free” and “low-fat” to grab people’s attention and now “clean eating” is being used in that same manner. The use of marketing terms is proven to get the consumer to buy food products that appear healthy or “clean,” but in fact still have ingredients that are not real, whole foods.
So, I wanted to share exactly what clean eating truly means to me. How it’s defined, why I do it and how it makes me feel.
The simplest rule for clean eating is to eat whole, natural and real foods. For example, eat some blueberries, not something with blueberry flavoring. At its most basic this means foods that don’t have crap added to them, but during processing it also means that they haven’t had anything taken away from them. For example, rice. Brown rice is an excellent grain to eat, but white rice has become more mainstream and while it is still rice instead of adding anything it’s been stripped and bleached of its good parts and what remains is practically cardboard.
Anytime a whole food is changed from its natural form the true value of nutrients become diminished. That doesn’t mean you have to live on plants, fruits and vegetables the rest of your life, but it does raise concern when eating foods that come from mainstream manufacturing where not only are the nutrients diminished through processing but chemicals, dyes and preservatives are added. Those are the “unclean” ingredients that the consumer needs to be careful of. If you make your own sauce, marinades, and cook from scratch you can be in control of what you are adding in, but when you buy packaged dressings, sauces, soups , cereals and other foods you need to be aware of the ingredients used.
Clean eating is also a mindset about how you watch what you eat. Most diets and health choices used to be based on how many calories, how much trans fat, etc. So, we started reading labels for these things and ignoring the ingredient list. If you start with the ingredient list and make sure the things you eat are whole, natural ingredients than you are feeding your body properly. These foods will naturally be low in calories and other elements that we check. Start with the ingredients and the other labels on a nutritional label will line up as well.
My rule is five ingredients or less in pre-packaged foods and I still read what those five ingredients are. I am sensitive to certain ingredients such as wheat and dairy so I want to make sure that those are not part of the five ingredients.
There are a lot of tips out there on exactly how to eat clean and live the lifestyle. Here is my quick, down and dirty list of the absolute musts for clean eating.
So, to me “clean eating” isn’t a marketing term. It’s not a fad diet. While you will lose weight naturally by adopting the lifestyle, but it’s bigger than that. It’s disease prevention. It’s life-long.
The better I can fuel my body with foods that It recognizes and absorbs properly the better I feel both physically and emotionally. I am not always perfect but I am aware and mindful of what I am eating.
As a health coach I have helped many men and women learn how to read labels and cook foods that are tasty , nutritious and “clean,” I started Be Well Meals because I love good food and I love to help others get healthy and feel healthy. When you know the right ingredients to use and how to put them together eating healthy becomes part of your lifestyle and is not a burden on your time or energy.
For further information on how you can transform your health with proper food choices you can contact me or come visit me at our restaurant location Be Well Meals , 121 Gateway Rd, Myrtle Beach SC.
When I was 36 I got Lyme’s disease and during the process of diagnosis and treating that I discovered something else, I had the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus is life-changing, yet not. A somewhat silent infliction that causes you to not feel “right,” but not so bad that you are bed ridden and unable to live your life.
Epstein-Barr is the most common viruses that humans carry. I guarantee that at least a few people reading this post have the virus and have no idea. They may feel constantly tired. Have trouble getting out of bed and just start blaming themselves that they are depressed. There’s a high chance that is not the case.
These types of inflictions though can be dangerous not only to your physical health from the symptoms it causes, but to your mental health by feeling like something is wrong with you, but if you aren’t vomiting or showing other incredibly obvious signs you can blame yourself, beat yourself up mentally and be swept into an overwhelming cycle of feeling miserable.
For ten years I consistently had flare-ups. These flare-ups showed their ugly face by making me feel flu-like and more than anything, just completely and utterly exhausted.
The past three years have been so much better though. I’ve put an anti-inflammatory diet in place, engaged in juicing, got plenty of rest and made regular visits to chiropractors and massage therapists. During those years I didn’t really have any flare-ups. My energy was always high. I could go, go, go and feel just fine.
I had no idea what opening a restaurant to help people manage and improve their health would do to mine. The long days, lack of self-care and stress have sent me in a downward spiral that has made me feel like it’s three years ago. While helping others improve, I sent myself back.
So, two weeks ago I decided I needed to make a true, honest effort to change before things continued to worsen. I put myself on a juice cleanse and an anti-inflammatory diet and forced myself to take some time to rest.
I’d like to say that miraculously the symptoms of my Epstein-Barr have faded again, but it is no miracle. They have thankfully faded again, but it’s because I actually took the actions that mentally I know I needed to take. It wasn’t a miracle. It was work, self-awareness and dedication that made my symptoms fade.
If you think you might have Epstein-Barr virus I urge to ask you doctor to get tested. When you know you have it then mentally you realize there’s something there that you need to control and you release the blame you’ve been placing on yourself. It truly helps to understand what is going on with your body, because once you realize it you can get it under control.
Read more about Epstein-Barr virus here >