That’s right! You read it correctly:
All too often, I get people who are freshly acquainted with the concept of clean eating – either through this website, or through other conversations with friends – and feel lost. What, exactly, is clean eating? How do you start? What makes it so much better than what I’m doing right now?
I’m going to attempt to answer all of those questions in one fell swoop, and spend this first week of boot camp doing my best to make it clear that clean eating is absolutely the best route to go for better health and, consequently, weight loss.
Over the course of this boot camp, we’re going to cover the importance of cooking at home (as well as how to cook, y’know, for those of you who can’t boil water!), the value of limited chemicals in our bodies, limiting the amount of impact we have on the environment in terms of pollution and trash, controlling emotional eating, the problem with processed foods, affordable living, portion control and how to combine all of these to make food enjoyable without stress playing a part in our relationships with food.
Yes, y’all. It’s that deep. I’m not playin’ around, here.
Is it expensive? It may feel that way at first because you may need to buy a couple of big ticket items to get started (and by big ticket, I mean $4 for a bag of flour, $4 for a bag of berries you like, $2 for a 3-pack pouch of yeast) on building your clean eating kitchen, but the pay off in the end is amazing. Some people like to say “pay now with your food, or pay later with your health” – I don’t love that saying because of what it implies (that healthy food is just as expensive as health care), but it definitely applies here. Your choice.
What, exactly, is clean eating?
Clean eating is when the food you eat comes to you from as close to the source as you can get. What is “the source?” The Earth! Regardless of what your beliefs are, you do have to know that all animals, plants and humans are on this planet together, serving as links in a very long chain that are dependent upon one another to thrive. Our animals eat either plants or other animals to survive, our plants only grow when humans or animals deposit their seeds into the ground and spread them, and we humans thrive by ingesting either those plants or other animals. When we do our best to respect those connections we share with other plants and animals, we absolutely reap the benefits of better health because we are serving our purpose in that chain. I’m down 150lbs, and have built a body that I am quite proud of, thus far. I’m a believer. No doubt about it.
Think of it as karma: what you put out, you will inevitably get back in return. If your actions promote better health for your environment, your result will be better health for yourself.
If you didn’t know that I’m a bit of a hippie.. I’m sure you know now.
Clean eating means more fruits. More vegetables. More pleasure, more enjoyment, more exploration. It means living with food, not living through food. It means winding down a long day with a good meal, not hiding from your responsibilities in a box of buttery crackers. It means eating whole foods, which doesn’t mean that you have to shop there. It means learning about your body and what it likes, not just shoveling crap down your throat because you’re starving. It’s loving who you are, not hiding from yourself and shaming yourself with food. It means filing food and dining (not just feeding, but dining) appropriately in your life, not filing everything around your food. Put food in its place, and you will see a change almost immediately.
We’ll spend approximately five weeks discussing clean eating, while taking on weekly challenges to help detoxify ourselves of bad habits and replacing them with healthier, cleaner versions. This week, while we discuss the harms and problems with the typical American diet, I challenge you to spend one week without buying fast food! That’s it. If you usually buy it for lunch, pack a bag! Find yourself stopping by on your way home from work? Go another route! Your only challenge this week is to stay away from the fast food joints while we learn about what good food truly is. Sound fair? I hope so!
I guess the last question to as, here is this: are you in…or are you out?
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I’m in! This week’s challenge will be easy for me since I went without fast food for 3 weeks. I am looking forward to the other steps and challenges!
I began transitioning to clean eating a couple years ago and have been doing pretty well this last year. In addition to maintaining my weight, I feel lighter and have more energy when I eat the way I know I should. I still have a few vices that I reserve as treats, but I’m hoping this bootcamp will push me a little further in the right direction.
I’m in! I’ve been at a weightloss plateau for 4 months so I know it’s time to make some changes. Teach me, Wise One, you’re my Cyber-Mentor! LOL!
I’m in! I really need this!
Interesting… I’m game and I’m “all in”. 🙂 I need to make a change and I can at least start with staying away from Fast Food for one week. I pray this will be the start of something totally new! I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last year and don’t like the way I’ve been living and feeling lately. I definitely need to do something with my weight and hope this will be the jumpstart I need!
I’m in I want to eat clean thank you !!
I’m in 🙂
Count me in!! Ut-oh I didn’t bring lunch today! I will still eat as clean as possible!
I am down……I am 290lbs and I am so unhappy with my lack of energy and I want to be happy with how I feel….I am so ready for this bootcamp.!!!
And so it begins…I’m in! I’m a little scared, but I’m in.
I’m in also!!
This is going to be great – thanks Erika!!
This sounds great! I’m in and look forward to the challenge!
Woo-hoo, just in time! I found myself getting away from clean eating last week due to lots of traveling for work and succumbing to the stress so now that I’m home and back to my life, I’m excited for this boot camp.
I do have some questions though….
How do we build a “clean” kitchen?
I initially started by throwing out everything with HFCS and anything with hydronated oils then started adding lots of fruits and veggies but I need a guide on how to really build my clean kitchen.
Might as well give it a go…I’m in.
COUNT ME IN, I’m like spongebob, I’m ready I’m ready:)
I am so in…I have been hoping that you would walk us thru it. I have been getting Clean Eating Magizines from time to time and I just need help in transitioning!! Thank you so much! Btw You have done an awesome job You are an inspiration and I thank you for this website!! It is so great!
I’M IN!!!! I need something to jump start me and this just might be the ticket. Where do I sign up?
Count me in. I love it and look forward to the next sessions.
I’m in! I’m really excited to learn more about clean eating over the course of this boot-camp… I know I’ve been trying, but I definitely don’t eat 100% clean yet.
I’m going to try!!! I’m in!
I’m in. Gave up fast food in January of this year. Haven’t touched it since (and I LOVE a good Big Mac). I would like to improve on my clean eating at home however, because we out several times a week and why I try to pick healthy food, I’m sure it will be even healthier if I eat at home.
I’m definately in for this challenge! I just started a transformation challenge and this is the kickstart I need to help me place in the top 25 of the contest.
I’m in … bringing my 12 year old along kicking and screaming….well more like moaning and whimpering.. but…
I’m totally in – I have a NYC trip this week and it will be a great opportunity to TEST my mettle… let’s see who wins.. Old Me vs. New Me baby
I’m totally in!
I’m definately in..Can’t wait to start this journey!!!
WOOO! I’m in for this challenge and am so excited!
This is my first day looking at your site, and to say I’m excited is an undersstatement. I’m totally in. I’ve restarted my weight loss journey for the umpteenth time starting last week. I’m ready for some permanent life changes. I haven’t the first clue about clean eating, so I’m wide open and ready to learn and apply.
This is great! I am in. I am really looking forward to this.
I’m in. I cut meat, fried food, sweets and sodas out of my diet for Black August. Giving up the fast food hasn’t been as hard as I thought. I did buy a baked potato from Wendy’s…I was soo hungry and not on my way home. Packing and being prepared has really been key.
I’m in! I’m doing this with a friend and hopefully my mom will come along for the ride. I started trying to eat “cleaner” after reading your post on sweetners and have been spreading the word about HFCS and agave nectar since then. A few people have told me I’ve changed their lives! I credit you!! Thanks, Erika! Let’s do this!
I’m down for a challenge like this. As a graduate student and intern, I just don’t time manage as I should I wind up going to Mickey D’s or BBK or Jack’s (all less than a mile from my apt–on the same street, actually).
I made the decision last week to get back in the gym, and can I say…um…ouch? lol. It’s more of a life overhaul;taking care of my hair, my body, my future, and I’m totally ready. It was nothing but a good God that brought me to this site. I’m excited (and a little afraid;po’ college student budget on deck! lol) and ready to take the journey!
Sorry for the long response!
Miss Erika, I’m already seeing progress from dropping the HFCS and processed foods, so I’m down. You’ve been a source of great help for me. Keep giving up the common sense (CS) and putting out the articles that make me bonk myself (gently) on the head and say “well, duh! I shoulda known that!” 😀
I am in but they are opening a sonic 2 blocks away from my house on Friday. So everyone one say a special pray for me on Friday.
I have been on board with this for a little over a year. I’ve lost almost 80 pounds, and it’s life changing. But the over last two weeks, I’ve pushed it and let processed food back in. I’m back to sluggishness and just feeling “ugh!” So today I join you in cleansing my body again and getting back on track!
Yesszirrr! I need this badly. My mom just went through some medical issues (mini strokes, high bp) due to her lifestyle and unhealthy habits. I want to curb that before it rears it’s ugly head in my direction. I am not in great shape and I realize it….so YES I AM IN!! Nicola
Ready to go!
I’m So IN! I’ve been transitioning into Veg Life for about 3 weeks now….Need some more ideas!
BTW, Love the blog!
I’M IN! The 1 thing most people are consistent in is being inconsistent; I promise to be consistent at eating clean because I am worthy of the results…I LOVE ME! 🙂
You gotta be in it to win it….I’M IN! 😉
I’m definitely in!! I can’t wait for all of the upcoming challenges.
Whew. That’s kinda gonna be a tough one for me but I am willing to give it my all.
If you give it your all, you cannot fail
I am SO in!!
I just have to say that i am compelled to comment on here. I don’t comment on many blogs but yours just is so interesting to me. I will be tuning in and participating more. I am currently trying to get back on track with my eating habits so this is going to help me tons. Thanks in advance and I will be around
I’m in! This is right on time for the 90 Day Weight Loss Countdown at my gym. I am determined to be the champion!!!
I’m in!!!!!!!!!! Let’s go!
I need to kick-it-up-a-notch. I’m IN!
Im in! I just stumbled up on this and I started a 7 day eating clean detox onyesterday…..can you say PERFECT.
This post was informative and great. I will be sending it to my friends!
I am so in!!
I just started an eat clean detox on yesterday….can you say Perfect.
This post was inforative and great. I will be sending to my friends.
I saw this a little late but I’m in…
IM in, ITS ABOUT TIME i START taking this Serious!!!
So glad I found out about your site…I love it…I’m in!
I’m definitely in!!!
I’m in! I just told my husband this past weekend that we’re going to be eating clean. Went to the grocery store today and bought lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts and organic, vegetarian-fed chicken.
Since it’s Thursday, can I start Monday, the 16th? LOL Anyway, I’m in.
I’m in …don’t know how late I am, but I’m ready nonetheless!
I am in and HYPED! Lets Go! :o)
Not sure if this challenge is done already but i’m in..
I really needed this website! I have been working out well, but I haven’t been able to get my eating together. I am IN. I need Ideas what to eat and what to avoid. Lets get started NO FAST FOOD! Shannon P.
I’m almost a year late, just happened upon this blog, wish I had found it sooner because I have a feeling it’s going to be life-changing for me. That being said, I’M IN! I’ll let you know how I fare between tomorrow (because I already spent $ on fast food today) and next Tuesday.
I am definitely all in!
Im in. No fast food for one week! Funny how Im writing this after just eating a salad from Wendy’s, but I’m ready for a change.
I’ve always thought that eating clean was not for me, but rather the wealthier more liberal counterparts of my campus and neighborhood. Thank you so much for starting this boot camp! I am excited to start eating healthy since Im already pretty active it’s def time to start watching what I eat way more!
I’m in 🙂
I’m so ready to do this!
Today March 27th, 2012…..I’m in!
am in too…though i dont really have MANY bad habits….
but these exams and all…..they make me bad…
So am gonna do this..am gonna win…
I’m in 9/7/12
I’m in. Ready to stary anew.
I may be late, but I’m game. I can avoid fast food since I don’t have to go into the office most days, or pass by any fast food restaurants. My thing is working from home, while the fridge is RIGHT THERE!
Doin it too
I’m gonna do it! I’m late but better late than never. I’m pleasantly surprised that I have already been passing up those fast food restaurants for a week so I am already into challenge two. And I have been avoiding caloric drinks for a week as well! Yay me! Let’s go!
I am in….I Need To Eat healthier
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