The Trend Is Turning: The “Clean Eating” Myths That Have Been Researched

Popular topic today: CLEAN EATING!! Nutrition is such a vital aspect of our well-being, so it’s no surprise that it has become such a focus in recent years. The internet has given us all the power to have more control of the food we eat and how it’s sourced than ever before. No longer do we just have to accept what’s on the back of a packet as being good for us – we can go and check, verify, and even test the claims that people make. But just like most popular subjects on the internet, there is SO MUCH information and it can be so easy to have no clue what is healthy and what is not.  

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Being healthy has always been important but it seems to be at a new level these days. How to be my healthiest self, constantly hearing of new healthy things and needing to try it, “fueling” our bodies, pinning hundreds of healthy recipes that we someday might try, this popular interest in healthy eating developed the over used term, “clean eating”. When this term was first thrown around it was all you would see on the popular blogs, all about living out a life with “clean eating”. It dominated the blogosphere which meant in time, it spilled into traditional media as well. Anyone who cared about their nutrition wanted to ensure that they were doing it in a “clean” way; they wanted to know what foods to shun, and what foods they should introduce into their diets. Honestly, as annoying as the phrase “clean eating” can be, because it is overused so much, what a great annoying phrase it is! Just like everything new, sparkly, and exciting, it was a bit over the top but really, what is wrong with people wanting to nourish their bodies with clean food and having a genuine interest in what they are putting into their bodies? The negative perceptions on clean eating in my opinion is not on actually eating clean, its on the annoying term CLEAN EATING. 

The tide is turning. There has been a backlash against clean eating for awhile now, to the point that some of its most famous proponents refuse to use the term. The reasons for concern are primarily psychological rather than in terms of nutrition (though there are dangers in this sphere, also). The idea that some food is inherently bad – i.e. dirty – is not a healthy way to think about food and not how we want our kiddos thinking of it either. Are we gross or bad for eating a cupcake? NO! Eat the darn cupcake, just do not eat 10 of them a day 🙂 

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Does “Clean Eating” work, or is it bad for you?

It’s not bad for you, but it can be if you take it too far. The idea of everything in moderation is one that applies strictly to clean eating, though people tend to forget that. It is not an all or nothing concept. Many people follow a “clean eating” lifestyle but remember that everyone is human and even those perfect eaters still indulge, just in moderation. 

When someone switches to a “clean” diet, they tend to have to throw out a lot of processed, high-sugar, bad-fat type food. Of course they feel better and lose weight when they do that! Anyone who reduces their intake of highly calorific food and replaces it with something more nutritious is going to feel the better. The benefits of removing processed food from your diet is undeniable. 

Why Change If It’s Not Broken?

This is a natural thing to wonder if you have been adhering to the “clean eating” rules for awhile now. The main problem with diving in 100% with the clean eating process is that it’s expensive; especially when you factor in all those “superfoods” we’re meant to want to eat or drink. It’s also time-consuming, which can lead to occasional fall-off-the-wagon moments when you’re rushed and it’s inconvenient to prepare a meal from scratch. This cycle isn’t eating in moderation which – remember – is the key.

What’s Wrong With Superfoods?

The problem with superfoods (as well as supplements and dietary additions) is that they don’t tend to be that well tested. Without scientific evidence, you can spend a lot of money for a benefit you’re never going to get.

Of course, some superfood, supplements, and dietary additions are indeed everything that they claim to be. The nutritional content of these foods can be checked and verified, or can be a solution to a genuine problem. So not all of these things are bad – in fact, some of them satisfy a genuine need, and shouldn’t be eliminated from your diet.

So Which Are Okay?

Again, it doesn’t have to be an all in, 100%, only taking in clean foods and eliminating everything else. This is not realistic and leads to frustration. If you want to supplement a healthy diet, then there are some foods and additions that can genuinely benefit your diet.

  • We know that chia seeds are high in protein, so they’re a fantastic source if you need a natural energy boost. 
  • Dietary additions such as sulfur crystals and magnesium flakes are also satisfying a need; the issues that industrial farming has brought to the nutrient quantity of our fruit and vegetables. This is a known fact, so using these items to try and replace what has been lost over the years is a great idea. I will say I have not personally tried this one but I had to share the research as it is very interesting. 
  • There’s a pretty great chart here which brings together all of the scientific evidence for the various superfoods. Garlic, olive oil, and omega 3 supplements all score well; superfood staples such as acai berries or alfalfa, meanwhile, are struggling. What?!? I thought acai bowls were an awesome thing, that’s what pinterest and instagram post have shown 😉 

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What Should Proper Nutrition Look Like, Then?

So how in the world do we know what is right and what is wrong? The opinions and research are overwhelming and often over the top. If adhering to the core principles of the “clean eating” movement isn’t the best idea and you don’t need to spend a fortune on unnecessary superfoods and supplements… what do you do?

The truth is that nutrition is a complicated science, which means there is no “one diet fits all” available. Instead, you have to listen to your body, especially if you’re trying to solve a health condition. You could try an elimination diet , which can help you identify the foods that you have an issue with. I was having stomach issues years ago and I used the elimination diet to find out that I have a sensitivity to lactose. 

If you just want to eat well for general health, then many of the principles of “clean eating” are good to follow – there’s just no need to call it clean eating, that might just annoy someone 😉 for the love!  Instead, think of it as proper nutrition and keep it simple! 

  • Plenty of vegetables
  • Not so many fruits, as fruits are notoriously high in sugar.
  • Opt for low-fructose fruits such as blackberries and blueberries if you do want to eat fruit.
  • Grains and nuts should be incorporated into your diet.
  • Avoid highly processed food on a regular basis – it’s fine for an occasional treat, but not for a nightly staple.

And there you have it. Clean eating has, to an extent, been busted. The superfoods that cruised on the back of the movement have definitely – with a few exceptions that satisfy other “need” criteria – been busted. You don’t need to spend a fortune on nutrition to feel and look good; you just have to practice moderation, and never let yourself be convinced that anything is inherently “dirty”. Sometimes we need to step back and just do what works best for YOU and ignore all the newest trends. Do your best, stay realistic, indulge in moderation, and don’t be too hard on yourself! 

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you have a great first day of summer 🙂

Thanksgiving Tips

Hi!! I hope you all are having a great week. I am so excited for Thanksgiving, it has always been one of my absolute favorite Holidays. There is just something about it that gets me all giddy! I think it’s a combination of the amazing food, family gathering together, a long weekend, and taking even more time to feel so thankful for this life I have been given.

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I can’t even count how many Thanksgiving meals I have taken the “treat yourself” much to literal! Like for the love… why over eat to the max every single year and be miserable for hours? Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL about enjoying some yummy foods that I usually do not eat and absolutely indulging, but doing so in moderation and keeping portion control in check is important if I do not want to feel crappy after the amazing meal. I was so proud, one of my clients I did a fitness plan for actually purchased a portion control plate for her Holiday season, AWESOME! That may sound silly to some but during the Holiday season it is so easy to put your goals on the back burner and forget about your healthy habits. So if a portion control plate will help you stay on track while still being realistic, why the heck not?!

Above I have put some tips together that might help you enjoy your Thanksgiving festivities without feeling bad about yourself after the fact. I assume you are interested in sticking to your goals during this season, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this post 😉 My number one piece of advice is to start your day off with some kind of activity.  It could be taking your dog for a walk, or spending literally 10 minutes doing one of the workouts I have put together. Beginning your day off with some activity will make that pumpkin pie taste THAT much better. I have designed a low impact at home workout and a high impact workout. Jump out of bed and do one of these before you jump back into the kitchen!

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Above everything else, ENJOY your Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Take some extra time to be thankful for your family, friends, health, and whatever else we may take for granted sometimes. This is a season of peace & love!!

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Moderation! PB2 Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Good Evening Beauties! We are sitting down for what seems like the first time this weekend. We have had a couple days full of yard work, landscaping, and family <3 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Lets jump right into tonight’s topic… “CLEAN EATING” & MODERATION

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I struggle to even use the words “clean eating” on My Goodness. I know the eye rolls and thoughts that can come along with the phrase. So what does it mean? What classifies you as a clean eater….opposed to what… a dirty eater 😉 In MY non professional opinion, clean eating is different for everyone. I know some people think if you say you eat clean, that you would NEVER pick up a french fry or eat chocolate. If that is you, more power to you, that is great! Although I do make healthy choices majority of the time with what I put into my body, I still eat french fries and sweets sometimes! For me, it’s all about moderation. No I do not eat fried food barely at all, and sweets isn’t a daily routine, but I think you can still be a clean eater and indulge in a vanilla mocha coffee, or hamburger sometimes.

The way I see it is, I work my booty off in the gym, and a cookie will not kill me! I will say a lot of processed food doesn’t agree well with me and I simply feel better when I make smart choices, but I don’t beat myself up when I indulge either. Lately I have had a sweet tooth, which is really unlike me. If I crave anything it’s usually FOOD like pizza, a big burger, a gigantic bowl of cereal, not sweets. Anywho…instead of buying candy bars and ice cream and feeling crappy afterwards, I took my wondering eye to Pinterest. I introduce, PB2 FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE BROWNIES!! What?! Amazing! I found these via Pinterest on Skinnytaste.com A friend at work introduced me to PB2 and to say that I’m obsessed is probably an understatement. PB2 is a powdered peanut butter, made by squeezing natural oils out of the peanut and then dehydrating what’s left, yielding a powder in which 90% of the fat is removed from the peanut. These brownies were loved by myself and my husband. They will be made again shortly 🙂 Indulging in moderation is key, and if you can indulge in a healthier way, such as these brownies… why not?! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

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1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup PB2
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a nonstick 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat the egg and egg white in a small bowl with a whisk.

In a large bowl combine the PB2, dark cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well with a spatula. Add the egg and egg whites and stir. Add water, honey, vanilla and stir with a spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool, then cut into 12 bars cutting 3 rows x 4 rows.

Cold Weather/Holiday Slump?

Happy Finally Friday!!

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My apologies for my lack of blogging this week. It has been an interesting week to say the least and I won’t get too much into that 😉 I will just leave it at… 5 day migraine (WHAT?!) and one naughty naughty puppy. But the weekend has arrived and it’s time to move forward! We have been embracing the snow as much as possible so far. Guinness will scratch at the door but then just sit and not want to go outside. Really?! It’s cold!! I am going to invest in that puppy sweater this weekend, its a must!

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I have been really looking forward to this weekend! I am meeting two of my best girlfriends for a girl day/night on Saturday.  We all live hours apart from each other so we are meeting in the middle to spend some much needed time together. Can’t wait!!

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Onto today’s focus, shall we….

That cold weather, holiday time of year slump!!

I don’t know about you but I get this EVERY year and I’m determined it’s just not going to happen this year. The cold weather can make staying motivated challenging.  Going home after work to throw on comfy clothes and hunker down under a blanket sounds much more appealing at times than going to the gym.

The Holiday’s in general bring on another whole challenge. There is delicious unhealthy foods everywhere you look! We get so busy preparing to either host or attend events. It also seems natural to spend more time with family during the Holiday’s so where does eating clean and working out fit into this busy time of year?! Well this year my News Year’s resolution isn’t going to be to “start working out and eating clean again” because I’m not going to stop doing so.

If it’s important to you, you will find a way.  I have found that during struggling times like this, I need challenges! If I commit myself to some sort of workout or eating challenge on top of my normal routine, it helps me stay in the groove. Here are a few that I will be doing this winter.

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I am going to start this one on Monday! I never focus as much on my core as I should so this challenge should help greatly! I took this “before” picture and I’m not too proud of it. Will check back in 30 days 😉

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Below is a morning challenge I have always wanted to try. When the rare occurrence takes place and I workout in the mornings, I feel so great! I thought trying this for 2 weeks or so every morning and still doing my normal workout at night may be fun! Why not?!

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Below is another one that may be tough around the Holiday’s!! I’m thinking its a perfect one to try between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that way you can still indulge on the Holiday’s!

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For me its not about looking the BEST at a Christmas party, or flaunting a new “me” at a family gathering. It’s about feeling the best that I can, while still enjoying and indulging in moderation. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat the pie at Thanksgiving and drink eggnog on Christmas! But if I stick with my clean eating majority of the time and hop out of my fluffy warm slippers to sweat my butt off in my workout, I will eat that pie and drink that eggnog feeling proud!! 😉

Have a great Friday everybody!!!