WARNING: this post is going to be lengthy so hang in there.
Today’s post is two parts – what clean eating is and why you should eat clean.
So, what is clean eating? I’m sure many of you guys have seen the words clean eating at least once in your lifetime(#cleaneating anyone?) In this day and age, despite the obesity levels rising, there is still a lot of hype on clean eating.
When I started my “health” journey this spring of 2015 (so when I went “cold turkey” in being completely healthy), I was confused on what clean eating meant. I mean my foods were always sanitarily clean, so what the heck does this clean eating mean?
Ahhh…after reading this did I realize that clean eating wasn’t as simple as I thought. Packaged and processed foods were embarrsingly definitely part of my daily diet.
To break this definition down for you guys, clean eating means NO chemicals, NO additives, NO GMO’s, NO preservatives. A good rule of thumb is no ingredient that you cannot pronounce does NOT go into your body. So for example, for the perennial favorite Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars here is the ingredient list:
Do you know what Soy Lecithin is? Nope, neither do I, so stay clear of these foods.
Now getting into the grind of clean eating is hard, I’m not going to lie. In the beginning you may hate all foods related to healthy eating. But trust me, it’s because your taste buds are not used to the natural and wholesome taste of “real” food but used to the fake chemicals in processed foods. Give yourself some time. Ease into it.
The second portion of my blog post is why eat clean. In the beginning the only reason as to why I ate clean was because I wanted to lose weight. And yes, it definitely helped me lose weight. However, I never really had an incentive other than weight loss to eat clean until a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, I had to be at a track meet (but not run in it) and then afterwards, go for an erg session. I realized half way during the meet that I was hungry. I didn’t bring any snacks so I went to our team “chill” area and only found Clif bars. I had never tried Clif bars and was sort of hesitant to try them out. Of course, the ingredient list was just filled with ingredients I could not pronounce. However, I reluctantly ate it because I knew or else I would faint.
After the erg session, I felt a stomach ache. I didn’t mind too much about it because I’m actually used to stomach aches since I always had gas problems as a kid. However, as the evening went on, the pain got worse. In the middle of the night, I woke up because the stomach ache was getting way out of hand (and this was a surprise since I’m a deep sleeper). I went to the bathroom and had diarrhoea. I seriously spent a solid 15 minutes in the bathroom. I knew this was from the Clif bar since as a creature of habit, I eat the same things every day. Only the Clif bar was new to my diet that day. I had diarrhoea because my body was adjusted to clean eating that when it got faced to digest these weird chemicals, it just couldn’t perform properly.
This goes to show that our bodies in their most natural state do not do well with chemically, processed foods. We are surviving now because our smart bodies have adapted to these foods. I hope this very personal story has shed some light and motivation as to why you should eat healthy.