Clean Eating – A Place to Start

Clean Eating - Photo by Gianna Trewavas on Unsplash

When people want to begin a natural lifestyle one of the best places to start is with what they eat. This is because, as mentioned in a prior post, the quality of what you eat determines the quality of your blood.

Blood, in a sense, is what the cells eat.

So, what you eat or take into your body has a direct influence on the health of your cells and ultimately your overall state of health.

Consequently:

Changing the quality of what you eat will……..

Produce a higher level of health in your body.

In short, a good place to start the natural lifestyle is to change what you are eating.

The Fly in the Ointment

The problem is that there are so many conflicting ideas about what is the best diet for you, it can get confusing.

There are:

  • The Mediterranean Diet
  • Atkins
  • South Beach Diet
  • Macrobiotic Diet
  • Raw Foods
  • Shark Tank Diet
  • Vegetarian diets
  • Beverly Hills Diet
  • Grapefruit Diet
  • Or how about this one, the Cookie diet!

and the list just goes on and on and on…..It’s enough to make your head spin!!!

The Problem With Diets

First of all, many of them are aimed at reducing calories or a specific type of food like carbs or fats or animal protein etc.

Let’s look at the caloric reduction subset first.

“What could be wrong with reducing calories?”, you might wonder.

OK, let’s address that.

When you reduce calories, if you have been eating a generally normal amount or even an above normal amount, your body begins to compensate for the reduction by becoming more efficient at using the calories you are putting into it.

It goes into a sort of survival mode.

You can and probably will lose weight during the caloric reduction phase but you cannot continue to operate on reduced calories forever or……. you will eventually become too deficient in energy and nutrients to continue a normal lifestyle.

Eventually, you will have to return to a normal caloric level.

You can anticipate what will happen next. Your body while operating at the reduced caloric level became much more efficient at processing the reduced calories it was getting.

You end the diet but now your body has been conditioned to be more efficient at processing caloric intake.

Guess what quickly happens to all that weight you have lost?

Yep, generally, it all comes back – sometimes with a vengeance! Why?

That dramatic calorie reduction has conditioned your body to digest for starvation. Now you have forced your body to digest those reduced calories at a much higher peak of efficiency. Yikes!

You may end up with even more weight than before and negative symptoms you didn’t have before as well. More heavy, more tired, skin worse, digestion worse etc.

That’s a big problem with diets. People yo-yo back and forth with them a lot.

That’s why people go from one diet to the next, to the next- ad nausea.

It is also one of the reasons we have so many of the darn things around, yet still have a society that is still far too high a percentage of overweight, even from childhood- despite the prolific amount of diets available.

Another Problem With Diets- Which one?

Diet Jungle - Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

It’s a Jungle Out There in Diet Land!

Which one do you choose? The choices above are the tip of the iceberg. Think I’m kidding, go to Wikipedia and see for yourself. There’s vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, weight control, crash, detox,  belief-based, medical reason and others with subsets in each of those categories. It’s enough to make one want to binge eat a box of chocolates or something!

So, let’s start with one that has been labeled “clean eating”. Again, this can be a little confusing as well since there differing ideas on just what constitutes clean eating, but I think we can come up with something you can at least live with and get started in the right direction.

Clean Eating- What is It?

Clean eating is a diet that focuses on natural, mostly unprocessed foods. Now, we’re not talking about the latest and greatest weight loss program or fad. What we’re talking about here is a way of eating.

The focus in the clean diet is on fresh- vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains in their most natural, unprocessed form. To get an idea of what I mean by that read my post about levels of quality of natural nutrition.

In a clean eating diet, the idea is to select the highest quality foods available.

In place of the pizza, pasta, bread and fried chicken, fast foods and snack we are going to substitute selections like organic grilled chicken, omelets, homemade chili or even steak, baked potato or steamed broccoli, and a side salad without a heavy duty, high calorie low quality dressing.

It’s like going back to how we used to eat before there was a fast food restaurant on every corner or grocery stores stocked with meals ready to heat and processed foods ready to serve.

Fresh organic vegetables - local market

Local Market Organic Veggies

In clean eating, we want to substitute quality as much as possible.

We are trying to get back to consuming fresh, mainly unprocessed foods.

We want foods which are somewhere in that hierarchy of natural foods which will, without massive discipline on our part, decisively upgrade our nutritional intake.

As a bonus, they will additionally not be stuffed with preservativesadded sugars and salt, chemical additives to keep them from spoiling on the shelf and flavor enhancers because the foods are so nutritionally deficient they are basically tasteless.

All of which are never going to do us any good whatsoever.

The primary reason for choosing a clean diet is to eat more naturally while upgrading both your nutritional intake and your health.

How “clean” you make your diet will be up to you. It depends on how quickly you want to progress on your path to a healthier you.

I hope you can already see how this is taking some of the pressure off of you to be on a diet which generally end in failure. That’s why there are so many of them and one replaces the other in fad-like waves.

Now, let’s take a look now at some suggestions for initializing your clean diet. Read on.

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