‘Clean Eating’: just for health freaks?

So I realised it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything food related – pretty rubbish since I’m supposed to be dedicating the ‘scoff’ part of this blog to eating! But I do have a valid excuse, I swear. Today marks exactly 30 days until I jet off to the beckoning shores of Bali, where I get to experience my first Far East paradise and I am determined to get myself into a relatively beach-confident state. (Admittedly this has always been the ‘plan’ every time there is any imminent holiday, but have never really been completely successful). Until this time round, I hope…

In the last 4 weeks I have been the most strict on myself in terms of eating ‘clean’ (except for one cheat day a week which I have to allow myself, otherwise I will go crazy since I have such a sweet tooth), avoiding any processed foods and increasing my intake of fruit and fibre. To be fair, I’ve never really been a massive fast food junkie anyway and have managed to cut pasta pretty much out of my regular diet, since my final year of University 2 years ago. And believe me, if you suffer from IBS like I do, pasta is such a big culprit to that and not eating it as part of a regular diet has made the biggest difference to my life. When I do have that cheeky seafood linguine on the rare occasion, I prepare myself for the 2-3day bloated discomfort. So in general, it’s not like there were any drastic changes I needed to make for this beach target.

But I can’t help being sucked into all this health business, where I’m learning about super foods and discovering words I never even knew existed. Words like ‘kamut’ (apparently pronounced ‘kay – moot’, although I’m still yet to find someone to say it out loud in a conversation to validate this. Much like my relationship with the word ‘Quinoa’) which comes ‘puffed’ and is supposedly a super low calorie cereal alternative. I have found myself addicted to following not only yogis and aspiring yogis on Instagram (yes, I have now committed to taking up Yoga seriously and following pretty pictures of yoga poses on the beach is unexpectedly inspiring), but also clean-eating-bloggers who are all on their individual journeys to, well, health. Graceful_Health instagram pictures are the prettiest clean eating meals I’ve seen:

clean_eating

I tried to look up the proper definition of ‘clean eating’ and was inundated with a spectrum of views and methods for following this concept. Essentially its about cutting all (that’s the ultimate aim) processed and refined foods from your diet and eating completely whole foods. This is particularly hard for individuals who are obviously very accustomed to eating ready meals and non-fresh produce on a regular basis, however what I was particularly surprised about the high number of people who have said it has completely changed their lives for good, they are now apparently eat nothing but ‘clean’ food, with newly changed taste buds too. But surely you would still like a chomp on a bit of that Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie every once in a while? No?

Can someone really hand on heart say that they are happier with their diet like this?  Just imagine going through every single meal of the day and having to think about whether the chicken I bought from the market is organic or not, would surely become a bit of a headache? And I have always believed that cutting all ‘bad’ things from anything is essentially – bad, in its own way. Much like the notion that if a kid was always protected from most harmful germs of everyday life, he or she is more likely to fall ill once they move out of that environment because their immune system has not been developed to resist such minor viruses. So this really begs the question of how sustainable clean eating really is. Perhaps it is specific to the individual? I know my personal answer to that is a straight no. And I’m simply following small ‘elements’ of clean eating to help myself get a little fitter and healthier. But I have to say, my relationship with food is too major to suffer like that.

I am not saying clean eating cannot be tasty either, but there is only so much ‘rabbit food’ (to put it politely) a real foodie can take! So perhaps my inner will power is just not strong enough to follow this through and maybe clean eating really is only for the extremely committed health bods? But for now, I am happy to do this temporarily and the results of it combined with regular yoga and pilates, is definitely looking promising so far! So if you are also looking to tone up and give yourself that bit of confidence boost in the sun, I would recommend the two together!

On the note of Yoga, http://www.yogabycandace.com is a great place for easy-to-follow videos. And if you are an Instagram addict like myself, Christine_Kay posts some cool poses in random sunny locations to really get you motivated:

beach_yoga2 beach_yoga1

What are your thoughts on clean eating?

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One thought on “‘Clean Eating’: just for health freaks?

  1. Hey wince! Great article! How sustainable are you finding ‘clean’ eating? What sort of foods are you eating? I know being in Korea such a diet is difficult to consistantly follow. I’m eating out a lot to avoid loneliness, make new friends, and it’s the unavoidable result of going away on weekends, and I find this food to be on the whole a lot less healthy than most things I produce at home! And being in a new country creates new food temptations which I pass daily, again putting more of a strain on my will power! ‘Luckily’ like you, ibs, puts a restriction on the amount of less healthy foods my digestive system will accept!
    I think it’s sustainable with the right will power, but if being a foodie is a hobby, there’s only so much one can do to continue the hobby, especially when eating food produced by others, and to ensure a consistent ‘clean diet’

    Xx

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