Clean eating really started to resonate with me when I was working on package designs for the food industry. I was often faced with the challenge of fitting a zillion long ingredients in a small area. I had never studied the ingredients in processed food so closely, and I was shocked to find so many ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. I developed my own guidelines for what I was putting into my body; if it has too many ingredients that I can’t buy in the store, it’s not real food. If it came from something living, it is real food. Sounds simple enough, right?
It is very simple, but in today’s world of super-supermarkets and junk filled convenience stores, it can be very difficult. These places are packed with fake food and “diet” foods that state healthy claims on the front to get you to buy it. This is not real food, people! This is the food industry trying to get your money. Trust me, I work in marketing.
Just before I turned 21, I tried the South Beach diet with my mom, and that’s when I decided that diets don’t work. I didn’t need to go on a diet, I needed to change my diet. I knew the basics; eat fruits and veggies and get plenty of protein, but I didn’t know what else was “safe.” Ever since then, I’ve been searching for what’s right to eat and what’s wrong. There’s so much information out there, and it’s all contradicting. Carbs are bad, they make you fat. No, carbs are good, you need the energy. Don’t eat sugar, use artificial sweetener. No, don’t use artificial sweetener unless you want to grow a third nipple. Your body needs protein. Not too much protein, or you’ll become the Hulk. Seriously? With all these “health tips” floating around the internet and magazines, how are we supposed to know what’s real?
Let’s go back in time a few hundred years. Did they serve Cheez-its and Double Stuffed Oreos at the signing of the Declaration of Independence? No, obviously they didn’t want to get crumbs on it, they only had one copy. Ok but seriously, think about it. Back before all this junk came out, people got along just fine without it.
I feel I’ve come a long way in my quest to eat right. I eat plenty of fruit on a daily basis, as well as greek yogurt. Now there’s the question of buying organic. This is something that makes sense to me without doing research, if it’s covered in pesticides, why would I want to eat it? I don’t buy all organic because it’s not always available to me, but I’m considering driving the extra miles to Whole Foods instead of Market Basket. We’ll see how that goes…
For years I was trying to find a brand of bread that wasn’t full of bogus ingredients. I tried many, but just a few weeks ago I finally discovered Ezekiel 4:9 Bread sprouted grain bread. It’s a game changer. I don’t feel guilty eating it, because it’s actually nutritious.
The other day, my BFF Steph (ha, rhymes…) introduced me to a clean eating book called The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged. I immediately downloaded it to my kindle and dove in. This was the lifestyle definition I had been searching for! The eat-clean diet. Not the Atkins diet, not the South Beach, not Paleo, Dukan, etc. Simply eat clean.
I had crock pot meal cooking all day while I was at work today. Coming home to the smell of an already cooked dinner is a pretty good feeling, but I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly was simmering in there. The crock pot lasagna soup recipe called for canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, ground beef, onion, garlic, pasta, and some spices. I looked at the ingredients on the box of shells I had put in:
I’m not really sure what these ingredients mean, but I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing. Looks like I need to find a clean pasta! When I checked the ingredients on the tomatoes, I expected to see “tomatoes” and maybe one other thing. Nope, this contains calcium chloride (a firming agent) and citric acid (preservative). When I googled these, I learned that calcium chloride is also used to prevent ice from forming on roads because it’s safe for plants and soil, except roadside evergreen trees. Interesting.
Though this dinner was very easy and tasted alright (after I added shredded cheese, bad girl!), I’m not sure I’ll be making it again anytime soon.