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?
Show a little love by voting for me in the Black Weblog Awards for Best Health or Wellness Blog category! That’s right – BGG2WL is a finalist thanks to you! Let’s do what we can to bring it home!