clean eats.

Ever since I began to educate myself on nutrition and apply it to my life, I have struggled to classify the way I eat for the rest of the world.

I’ve never wanted to be a vegetarian or vegan, for better or worse – I know that having the freedom to eat what I choose is healthiest for me.  I generally consider myself a flexitarian, but that isn’t much of a universally recognized term (outside this community, of course).

A few months ago, I met someone new, and (surprise), we got onto the topic of food.  After stumbling through an explanation that I’m not vegan, but much of the food I eat falls within the realm of veganism, but I still eat some dairy and fish, and I’ll also try pretty much anything once, I was feeling frustratingly long-winded.  But then, my conversation partner responded, “Oh, so, you eat clean.”

green vegetables

I’m not sure I can proclaim to the next person I meet that “clean” is my culinary category.  But the term has stuck with me – it seems appropriate.

Recently I have been learning more about the food industry in this country, and I’m becoming aware that clean is not as simple as it should be.  I’d like to do further research on this, and I plan to see Food Inc. as a start this weekend.  

I have to admit that in the past, my approach to food was often vanity-based.  Somewhere along the way, and it has certainly been happening slowly, I’ve turned away from the mirror and instead thought about food as what it is: energy.  Energy for the mind through flavor, energy for the body through proper nutrition, energy for a long life through vitamins and minerals.

As I focus more on health and less on calories, I continue to wish that healthy food was more mainstream.  The food industry is peppered with misguided information, hidden agendas, and countless loopholes, all of which can make health chaotic and confusing.

Before losing all faith, however, I have to be grateful to have taken steps forward from where I was a few years ago.  Eating “clean” began as a personal choice for me.  If a focus on nutrition ever becomes the norm, I believe it has to begin with individual journeys.  

As I type this, I am munching on the most delicious black velvet apricot, and I have to wonder: what processed food could ever taste this good?


Do you classify the way you eat?  Has your eating style changed over time?

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7 Comments

Filed under health

7 responses to “clean eats.

  1. I don’t classify it beyond ‘healthy’ and ‘balanced’. I have tried vegetarianism and it’s not for me, so I just stick to lots of veggies and some meats.

  2. Amy

    Ah, I love black velvet apricots. And no–there isn’t a processed food in the whole world that could be both as sweet and nutritious as they are!

    Its funny–last night my neighbor asked me “What in the world do you eat?!”, assuming I must not touch sugar and even going as far as asking me if I ate at all. Well, besides that wrong assumption–I said I eat very simply, cleanly, and balanced.

    I do consider myself vegetarian, and maybe 90% vegan, but I wouldn’t want to lodge myself into a category like “raw foodist” or something so strict. I enjoy Fage and could never turn down my favorite belgian waffles, made with eggs! Many of my favorite breads also have dairy.

  3. A

    My eating style has changed over the years. I consider myself vegetarian almost vegan. Recently (like in the last 3 months) I’ve made big changes in a cleaner (as you describe it) way of eating. Oh and yum….. now you’ve got me craving an apricot.
    -A

  4. I do not classify how I eat in any particular term but clean would probably be the closest for me. I have crohn’s disease, which really limits what I can eat. When I first got diagnosed my doctor said “Well at least you have a disease that means you will never be overweight”.

    I cannot eat fried foods, I cannot eat fatty foods, and dairy and I don’t do too well together.

    Also, I have created my own opinion on this situation, but I personally think that the increase in autoimmune diseases (Crohn’s is one) and other things are due to the increase in crap that we are exposing our bodies to. Therefore, I try to limit the chemicals, artificial, fake things I put in my body. Am I perfect, no. Not even close. I just aim to be as healthy and natural as I can be with what I put into my body.

    Happiness Awaits

  5. I don’t classify my eating lifestyle other than to think of it as a lifestyle choice I guess.

    I did veggie for a few years and decided that being an omni works for me. But I eat meat as only a small portion of my diet. So…

    I like the term flextarian, but really, I like NO term the best. 🙂

  6. andrenna

    I eat (mostly) clean and I’m a flexitarian, but seriously I love bacon! 🙂

  7. I love the premise of clean eating!!

    Recently when trying to classify my eating for someone I joked that I was a gluten free vegan who eats meat once in awhile.

    I don’t think we need to classify how we eat! I like to eat what makes me feel good, and for me that means no gluten, no dairy, no casein, no refined sugar. I do still eat meat once in awhile, but I try to choose naturally raised organic whenever possible (always when I’m cooking at home) So what do I call that? I don’t really know and I don’t think that matters.

    On the subject of good movies on the food industry… I saw the movie “Fresh” last night. I really enjoyed it! http://www.freshthemovie.com

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