I hear this a lot. My roommate Dee talks about it, the internet is buzzing with it, and it comes up in every article I read about dieting and health. Clean Eating.
I like the concept of clean eating. It’s leaves it open and makes it big, and doesn’t sound like it has a ton of rules or would be hard to follow. It’s an easy concept. Eat whole, clean foods with no preservatives, chemicals or…well anything. Basically natural version of foods as they come out of the ground or grow in a tree, or graze around the field. It goes with the concept if the fewest possible ingredients in a product.
But living with Debbie I’ve learned something about food. I’ve learned that 90% of the time it’s a job. You eat to fuel your body. For a long time I’ve been thinking of food as a sort of event that you enjoy. Every meal you enjoy your food. You can savor it. You can look forward too it. That is a recipe for disaster if I ever heard one. Clean eating isn’t always about sitting down for dinner and enjoying every moment. You need to think of food as what you need to keep going. Satisfaction takes a back seat to high energy and a well oiled machine. It’s the idea of food that I’ve found has begun to change in my mind.
It also clears up a lot of time. I realized before how often I sat down to eat and had a whole meal at lunch time. Maybe because it’s called lunch, but my whole lunch break was made up of finding food, eating food and deciding what food I wanted. Now I grab what my body needs to keep going, and my lunch break is suddenly clear and open to do errands, or just go for a walk. I get so much more done in a day because that break isn’t full of just one thing. My afternoons are much better because I haven’t eaten a whole bunch of food my body doesn’t need.
I think the concept of clean eating is not enough on its own. But once you pair with with eating for fuel, it creates a whole new world of energy and health. Any diet I’ve tried in the past has had one thing in common. It failed. This one is not about restricting foods. It’s about re-learning what food is and what it does. Once your brain has figured it out, then the eating part comes naturally.
It’s really our brains that cause all the problems 😦