Clean Eating: Your gut will thank you

I have never been the type of person to try fad diets. I never did the Atkins (yes, I’m old enough to remember that), the South Beach (yep, old enough for that too), the honey/water/pickle juice only diet, or thethe only-eat-2-beets-and-a-piece-of-chicken diet. I currently live in Hippie Town, USA so there are lots of people out here that spew their only-organic/farmer’s market food in your face when they are trying to tell you what you should eat.

Alas, as my loving husband will tell you, these organic hipsters have gotten the best of me. I cloth diaper my child. I shop at Trader Joe’s and/or the farmer’s market when I can. I use a local CSA our neighborhood organized for organic eggs. I only by organic milk. We extended breastfed and we are extended rear facing E’s carseat. For frick’s sake, she wears an amber teething necklace aka the hippiest of all hippie baby stuff.

Hippie Baby 2

One thing my hippie self couldn’t latch onto like extended breastfeeders is the Paleo diet. Never heard of it? You aren’t crunchy enough, then. The Paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet. You basically don’t eat anything that the cavemen didn’t/couldn’t eat. So no processed foods, no dairy, no sugar, no salt. There are lots of things you can eat on the Paleo diet though. You can eat lots of meat. Eggs. Fruits and veggies. Anything that our ancestors could once hunt and gather is a-ok. Just don’t bring a spiked club to your local Safeway.

Another diet that seems to be pretty big ’round these parts is no so much a diet but a way of eating healthy. It’s known as “clean eating.” It is similiar to the Paleo diet in that you cut out processed foods and refined sugar and white flour, but you can eat ceratin breads (whole wheat only) and you can have dairy. If you would like to learn more about what you can and cannot eat in the clean eating method, click here.

I first became aware of the “clean eating” method via Pinterest. People kept pinning these recipes labeled “Clean Chicken Recipes” or whatever and I was intrigued. In doing some digging for my meal planning, I came across this website called 100 Days of Real Food. Lisa, the creator, and her family made a pledge that they would only eat “real food” for 100 days. They have since completed their pledge but they continue to eat as clean as possible, with an occasional treat here and there.

One of the reasons this website and healthy eating method caught my attention was its adaptability to the military lifestyle. As I mentioned before, I live in an area where organic and all-natural foods are pretty easy to find. Local farmer’s markets are year-round and there are several to choose from. But that isn’t the case with every place, especially some of the no-man’s land places Uncle Sam sometimes decides to send us. However, “clean foods” like fruits, veggies, and meats are found in every grocery store so even if you’re in Armpit, USA, you can eat clean. This method also seems to be budget friendly, as Lisa demonstrates by providing meal plans and weekly budgets that are under $125/week for a family of 4. And Lord knows us military folks like saving money. As a plus, there are more things you CAN eat with this “diet” as opposed to most diets where there are more things you CAN’T eat. Therefore, eating clean seems to be something that anyone can do (for the most part) no matter where you live.

I say SEEMS to be something anyone can do because I haven’t done it yet. But I’m planning to once we get all our sh*t moved across the country (I can’t drive some 3,000 miles without getting me some sugared coffee-water and McDonald’s. Unless you want to see a trail of dead bodies behind me Hanzel and Gretel style).

I’ll be honest with you though, people, I don’t know if I can do this. I have a few staples in my diet and I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to give them up. Of course, there is Starbucks and any coffee creamer I use here at home. And soda. Cookies. Crackers. Chips and guac (so guac’s ok, but not the chips). A bar of dark chocolate. HAMBURGERS. I’m getting the shakes just thinking about the withdrawal. The good news with all of this is that we are moving out to the boonies so the Starbucks and junk food will not be accessed as easily. I will also have more time on my hands to make things from scratch since I won’t be going out as much because WE LIVE IN THE BOONDOCKS.

Luckily, Lisa provides several different pledges for starting your clean eating transformation off slowly, so that’s how I plan to start. We will probably start off with the 10 Day Pledge and then go from there. And I will be honest again, because that’s how I roll- I don’t think I will ever become a 100% clean eater. Its just not in me. I will still drink my morning creamer with a splash of coffee. I will continue to buy our meat from the commissary. Not everything will be organic. I just can’t do it. I’m not that crunchy. I’m only like, part crunchy. Like this:

See, part crunchy/part normal. All-natural, not organic. This is me if I was peanut butter.

Either way, I still think trying to cut out as much processed foods as possible is a good idea. And I think as a military family, its one diet that is actually do-able for the most part because “clean” items are everywhere. Obviously, some refinements to the method have to be refined for those of us that travel to the buttends of the world and don’t have all organic stores and the locally raised meat is skinnier than Nicole Richie, but for the most part its possible.

But for now, I’m going to go enjoy my Coke and store-bought cookies while I begin to sort through all the crap the movers are going to have to pack up in about a week.

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2 thoughts on “Clean Eating: Your gut will thank you

  1. Remember you gave me the ” Clean Eating magazine subscription a while back! It’s full of recipes and wonderful info. Happy to share anytime! You can certainly do it!

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