I’ve mentioned before that I’m all about clean eating, and anyone who knows me well knows I’m a bit wacko about what I put in my body. No processed sugars, whole grains and fresh produce only, well-raised meat, and no preservatives. I switched to this diet almost a year ago, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my body. I was tired all the time (especially in the afternoons), and I just wasn’t happy with my mental acuity.
Enter stage left: In the Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. The next thing you know, I was a clean eating aficionado.
But for the past month I’ve been lax. I’ve indulged in cinnamon rolls that weren’t homemade (and yes, you can make delicious cinnamon rolls and cookies with whole wheat flour!). I’ve eaten cookies and candy and…the next thing I knew, MY OLD SUGAR ADDICTION WAS BACK.
All it takes is a single splurge on processed sugars, and the cravings awaken. Some people would consider my lapse minor. Laughable, even…but those people don’t understand just how addictive sugar really is. I know from personal experience because whenever I try to go back to zero processed sugar, I have a solid two days of insane cravings. I mean, mouthwatering, stomach-twisting, never-ceasing cravings.
But after two days of 100% clean eating? The cravings are gone. I settle back into a life of not obsessing over my next “treat” but instead just chowing down on some Ezekiel bread and unprocessed peanut butter. I need an afternoon snack (I literally eat 5-6 times a day. Full-sized meals, too. Ask my friends and family if you don’t believe how much food I can chow down), but that afternoon snack–like all my meals–can be a benefit to my body instead of just to my taste buds.
My “awakening” came a few days ago when I saw this video, entitled Hungry For Change, and it reminded me why I dropped processed foods from my diet in the first place.
Watch it. If you haven’t read In the Defense of Food or heard of clean eating, then watch it. Even if clean eating is a way of life for you–like it is for me–there was still a lot to be learned from this documentary.
We CAN be healthy, and the problem isn’t our own resolve or our genetics or our exercise habits. The problem is the food (or food-like products, really) that we’re consuming, and all it takes for change is to start reading the labels on what we buy. Or better yet, not buying food with labels. 😉
I don’t know about the juicing stuff they talk about in this video–though I will admit I’m curious now–but I CAN attest to the absolutely wondrous results from eating naturally. Yes, it can take more time. Yes, it can cost a bit more to start (since you’ll have to throw out that refined flour and processed sugar in exchange for whole wheat and organic honey). And yes, you’ll wind up getting funny looks from your friends as well as mutters of “new age hippy”.
But it’s worth it to me. The Frenchman and I have solved the time issue by cooking big batches of food Sunday night and freezing the meals for later, time-crunched dates. The costs usually wind up being less than what we used to spend since we plan every meal before we go to the store and we never buy more than what we need. And for those snide commenters, well…I’m the one with the energy and the health, so neener-neener!
You tell me: what do you think about clean eating? Is it something you do? Or something you would try?