A month or so ago, I stumbled across the idea of “clean eating.” My interest was piqued when I heard about the boundless energy some people experience while eating clean, and with my job (conducting workshops with elementary and middle-school age kids for several hours a day, more energy is ALWAYS a good thing. I never knew it was possible to be exhausted by 3 p.m., but trust me. It is.)
It sounded like a diet regiment with a nice name, so I was a bit wary, but after some research I discovered that it’s more principle-based, with an emphasis on not eating processed foods.
Lots of plants, buy things close to the source, whole grains – not white flour, don’t eat things with thirty scientific-sounding ingredients, buy hormone-free meat from a butcher, etc etc.
The clean eating framework is pretty close to my regular lifestyle. I love shopping at the local markets, I prefer the taste of heavier grainy breads to refined flimsy things, I try to stay away from super processed sugar-heavy things and I love ma’ vegetables.
I decided to cut out a few things and really give it a shot. Less cheese, less carb-ey heavy things, more veggies and reduced sugar and coffee intake.
(I should add that this was less about losing weight and more about an overall focus on health. I lost about fifteen pounds during my senior year of college, and it wasn’t through healthy eating or exercise, but sheer stress. When people lose weight, it’s not always healthy.)
For me, the clean eating venture has been a resounding success. My fridge is now regularly packed with vegetables, there’s very little red meat. I eat nuts with the voracity of a squirrel and still eat cheese, but much less frequently. I only buy whole-grain bread and often substitute vegetables for carbs. When I don’t cheat and eat a heavy dessert, I have the energy of a six-year old. Sometimes.
Here are some regular recipes that have become kitchen staples:
Other clean eaters out there: Any tips? Any spot-on recipes you’re dying to share?