What Is Clean Eating?
It has to be the most cliché statement that I hear multiple times a week...
"I eat healthy, so my body won't have any toxins in it"
The scary thing is that genuinely, people do believe that they are eating healthy and that is purely down to the fact that what most of you think is in food and what is actually in food is vastly different. For example, non organic spinach is known to contain one of the highest amounts of chemicals of nearly all the vegetables and a average tuna sandwich which you get from your local shop regularly has up to 100 ingredients meaning it is full of flavour enhancers, preservatives and so many other unnecessary damaging ingredients
So, this article is about what a clean diet is and some tips on how to implement that:
Clean drinking water is a massive part of clean eating.
Drinking tap water is not clean eating and can introduce massive amounts of toxins rather than naturally cleanse and hydrate the body.
For those of you who drink normal tap water you must consider that it is very different to spring water, here in the UK the tap water also known as drinking water is recycled toilet water, generally by the time it comes through to your house it has been recycled 7 times, this leaves the hormones left over from people medications within it. Tap water is also known to have chlorine, heavy metals and fluoride (in some places) a little-known fact is that a lot of the old houses actually still have lead pipes bringing the incoming water into their houses. Considering all this, an average Britta filter is just not going to cut it.
This is why I advise on getting a reverse osmosis filter with re-mineralisation which basically takes everything out of the water including all the trace minerals; then the re-mineralisation at the end of the process puts all the trace minerals back in so then you have fully pure water which has all the minerals that your body needs to function normally.
For those of you that don't want to get a water filter filtration system, I recommend buying the big 5 L bottles of spring water from your local Co-op or supermarket, yes I know that bottled water has plastics in it, but I think it's fair to say a little bit of plastic in the water is better than all the crazy toxins you find in tap water.
Toxins in common foods:
So many people that I help start off with saying that they eat healthy so there will be no toxicity in their bodies, then I have to explain that even people on fully organic diets drinking clean water and using chemical free household products and skin care products still accumulate toxins in the body from their environment.
In knowing this… it makes perfect sense to limit the amount of toxins that we ingest every day through the foods we eat; so I'm just going to go through the general stuff that is recommended by all good nutritionists to ensure you minimise the overall toxic burden on your body and digestive system.
The clean 15 and the dirty dozen:
The first thing to be aware of when going grocery shopping is the clean 15 and the dirty dozen, if you have met me you probably would have heard me talking about these as they are so easy to implement as they are a quick reference guide on what to shop for and avoid when shopping for wholefood ingredients.
The dirty dozen is the 12 non-organic foods that have the most toxicity in the form of pesticide residue and these foods are important to buy organic or mindfully avoid when possible.
The clean 15 are the safest non-organic foods to consume; these have the lowest chemical levels therefor create the lowest toxic burden on the body.
Due to less insecticides, fertilisers, and chemicals used to grow them means there's less toxins going into your body when you eat them. The non-organic versions of the vegetables you see in a clean 15 are good to buy.
The reason organic is better than non-organic is because it basically puts a lot less toxic burden on your body, which is well worth the extra few pence that it costs.
The thing with shopping for organic food is that you can only find the fruits and vegetables when they are in season, so some things are not available all year round. I do not see this as a problem, traditionally humans have always eaten seasonally and when the winter comes, they ate seasonally with fermented vegetables that were abundant in the summer.
We all know meat is getting a hard time in the media right now... But as you may know; meat has so many vital nutrients in it. The majority of people do have the enzymes in their intestines to help breakdown proteins and fats in meats to absorb these vital nutrients, therefore meats are beneficial to most people. That being said, when shopping, aim to purchase the pasture/grass fed varieties which are certified organic and/or local where you know the animals have had a good life.
The reason grass reared meat is recommended and beneficial and full of more nutrients is because the cows live outside in their natural habit in the sunshine grazing when they want whilst eating nutritious grass which their bodies and the four stomachs are made to digest naturally.
For the record I do not support or agree with factory farming and its methods in any way. I would most definitely never eat it! But there is a huge difference between the grass reared and factory farmed which needs to considered.
The problem with factory farmed meat among others, is that the cattle is fed grain… the cow's digestive systems are not adequately designed to break down/digest grain. So, by eating such large quantities of hard to digestive grain their bodies become acidic which is why the grain fed meats are not ideal. Obviously corn-fed chicken is more normal but when looking at eating poultry also just look for the organic as this means it has a lot less toxins in it.
Individuals on a strict diet:
Another thing I see is a lot of people have very strict diets and restrictions that they put in place for themselves because their body is in fight or flight mode and has digestive problems, so many people are cutting out foods without considering these basics.
Cutting out ‘trigger foods’ forever is not a long-term plan as it is so restrictive and limiting in life.
The fact that healthy foods are creating inflammation in your body is a warning sign from the body which needs to be acted upon and sorted out. Spending all your life meal prepping and eating the same foods over and over again which leads to more food intolerances is not the way to go…
In my opinion, it is so much more important to consume organic or toxin free food with high nutrient density whilst keeping away from the foods that contain toxins which are creating that imbalance, digestive problems and inflammation.
It is so important when you are considering putting it in your body.
A tip for when you are shopping is to do instead of just reading the front of the product labels. Flip the pack over and look at the ingredients, go for the most and minimally processed foods when possible and also look for foods with ingredients that you actually know and understand. Always try to eat foods in the whole food form which have minimal processing.
We all know by now that sugars are cause inflammation to our bodies… in short when ingested, sugars spike the insulin levels and have a negative effect on our bodies natural healthy (metabolic) processes
But what about those of us who have a sweet tooth?
The answer is fruit! When you eat fruit in its wholefood form the sugars known as fructose are processed in the body differently, this is because when ingesting fructose in the fruit you are also ingesting the fibres of the fruit which allows the liver to process it properly at a slower rate ensure that the body does not convert the sugars straight to glucose and spike the insulin levels.
Hope this article helps you have a good general understanding of what clean eating is and what it isn't.