Cutting Through The BS About Eating Cleaner
We all have to eat. It’s critical for survival. It feeds our minds, our creativity, our coping abilities, our stress management and critical decision-making.
So, why does it end up on the back burner of priorities? We let others dictate what we fuel our bodies with and we haven’t even dated. Cookbooks aren’t always very practical, with their laundry list of hard to find ingredients and complicated techniques. And the Food Network? Sssseeeeeriously. That’s not where you’re going to learn how to eat for health, Pioneer Woman with recipes filled with gobs of white sugar and butter. Enjoy food that’s convenient, delicious and affordable – and if it helps us stay healthier longer, well, that would sure be nice!
I do a lot of speaking engagements and every time, I’m amazed by how consistent the questions are, and the reasons why people haven’t pressed the start button on their clean eating lifestyle. There are so many misconceptions about getting it right. Some literally piss me off. Don’t be seduced by these ridiculous lies. Doing it well is setting a code on a combination lock. You just have to dial it in and lock it up. There are haters and a lot of companies who want to sell you crap. You have to be smarter than that and rise above the muck.
The top 7 BS Lies we’re told
BS Lie #1: Eating healthy is expensive.
If you’ve perused your locally grocery store recently, you can tell me if I’m way off the mark but here’s what I’ve inventoried: $6 boxes of cereal, of which most people pick up at least 4 varieties. $4 coffee drinks, for one bottle. $7 containers of ice cream, 1 pint, of which many can down in one sitting. $5bags of fluorescent snack puffs. $5 boxes of cookies. $6 packages of individually wrapped processed cheese $10 boxes of breaded chicken parts.
You may not find a one-stop shop for your shopping needs but you can be far more strategic to be cost effective. If half your plate needs to be veg, let’s start by sourcing those wisely. You can look in a lot of places depending on where you are in the world, from farmer’s markets to ethnic food stores. Check your local store’s circulars – getting the Sunday paper might be worth it if just for this – and don’t discount shopping online where you can get up to 50% off retail. Plus, you can get those on auto ship so you never run out. When I run out of coconut oil and protein powder, someone’s gonna’ pay!
BS Lie #2: Eating healthy is time consuming
Our ancestors used to spend all day tilling, planting, harvesting, foraging, hunting, filling water from the wells and hauling it back on their heads, cooking, pickling, cleaning and barely surviving – and we’re complaining about washing and chopping a head of lettuce so we have to pay three times as much for the prewashed and chopped produce then bitch about how expensive clean food is? Face it, you’re gonna’ pay through the nose for convenience. But if you’re committed to eating cleaner and doing it affordably, you can’t sleep on your plate.
Here’s where I’m gonna’ become your BFF. None of the recipes I have in this book take more than 30 minutes, most are at the 15-20 minute mark. I double dog dare you to get a pizza delivered faster! When you get your techniques on point and your fridge and pantry are stocked to make the plan work, you’re solid gold. The time consuming part comes in if you’re going to make every single thing from scratch. If you want to do that, knock yourself out. You Can. But you don’t Have to. I’m gonna’ leave that up to you. What I will show you is how to get through a solid week without completely losing your sh*t and getting dinner on the table lickety split.
BS Lie #3: Eating healthy is not as delicious
You don’t have to be a doctor to figure out why we tend to crave sweet and salty things the most. Look at where those taste buds sit on the tongue! They’re hanging out right up front, waiting to dip their sassy little buds into candy, cookies, ice cream and cake with a potato chip and pepperoni pizza chaser.
You’ve gotta’ put in the work. On my 18 year journey, and counting, I can say it’s about the ‘ER’ in the everyday – CLEANER, LEANER, BETTER, FITTER, SAFER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER. It’s not about being perfect today, it’s about being better than yesterday. What you choose today makes the difference for yourself and your family.
I can’t say it enough – the enlightenment of knowing what your body needs and feeding it properly is life changing! It will affect your mood, your energy level, how you handle stress, how you deal with your relationships, your ability to sleep, and every other aspect of your consciousness. You will crave good things. You’ll become stronger than you’ve ever felt and you’ll develop a deeper appreciation for that incredible temple of yours. It’s THAT powerful, and I want you to experience it first-hand.
Eat and repeat, one bite at a time.
BS Lie #4: Eating healthy means my family will freak out
Yeah, if they’re not used to it, they might. But everything takes time, and Rome wasn’t build in a day. Neophobia (fear aroused by new foods) is a common thing – all omnivorous animals are scared to try the unknown. Between the ages of 2 and 10 years old are the worst – and between 4 and 7 years, children usually only agree to taste something unknown to them if they are strongly encouraged, not threatened. What’s in it for them? The key here is neophobia is something that can be overcome with education. If you were the kid who never wanted to try anything new, and your parents were ok with that, your palate is probably reminiscent of a 4 year-olds. If this is you, I’m telling you right now, you’re going to have to take your own training wheels off and suck it up, because this isn’t about you and what you like. This is about giving them a fair chance at developing a taste for foods other than a palate of white and brown food. Threatening them will only make them hate it more. Start with raw, then cooked. Remember that texture thing? Anything that texturally turns them off will have a hard time rebounding from that initial disdain.
The other key to this gem of a piece of data is the note about getting them involved in the process. A child will be much more apt to try something if they’ve picked it or helped to prepare it. As much of a challenge it can be to haul your kids to the store or the farmer’s market, it’s a critical part of their connection to what you’re feeding them. You may even have bought them one of those Easy Bake Ovens or a shopping cart with faux food. It’s because kids have a valid interest in being part of the shopping and cooking experience. Feed their curiosity with small tasks. When my daughter was 1, I’d sit her in the front of the cart and hand her different fruit and veggies and recite the name so she could repeat it, hold it, smell it. By the age of 3, I would hand her a bag and ask her to pick a few of her favorite fruits and when we got home, I’d be sure to have her help wash it and we’d immediately cut it up so she could try it. There’s pride in that. It seems so simple but there’s something about perception and the effort she took in picking just the right ones and if SHE did it, well of course she was going to try it. Fruit may be a little easier chore than vegetables, but here’s where you have to get a little creative. As adults we forget to exercise that muscle a lot.
BS Lie #5: I need to avoid fats
Repeat after me…Fat is not a four-letter word. Don’t be scared of it. Good Fats don’t make you fat. Avocado. Nuts. Seeds. Olives. You need fat to support healthy fatty tissues, lower cholesterol and regulate hormones. Do you know what causes more disease? Sugar. It’s public enemy #1. When you raise your blood sugar with sugar or simple starches, which convert to sugar in the body, you invite obesity, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, hypertension and so many other problems. When you balance your body’s chemistry, you achieve the ultimate – which is, well, balance. Balance is a beautiful thing. Now don’t be seduced by chemical or artificial sweeteners. That diet Coke begins with DIE for a reason…the fact is, our bodies don’t know what to do with those chemicals and preservatives, and they end up being stored in our liver and prevent us from properly metabolizing good food.
BS Lie #6: I need to avoid carbs
The next time someone tells you they don’t eat carbs, you have my permission to say Bullsh*t. There are all types of ‘carbs’ and carbs are necessary for our livelihoods. But there are better-for-you carbs that don’t spike your blood sugar and those are the ones we need to focus on. Check out my book Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive for the full explanation.
BS Lie #7: I need to avoid produce that isn’t organic
Here’s what I know about the Big O. Most of the produce out there is grown with some type of pesticide, even if it’s organic. Only about 10% of the produce grown is certified organic. Not all conscientious farms or growers can afford to go certified organic, but that doesn’t mean they’re less healthy.
Organic farms require a USDA certification that they receive after a period of about three years. During that time, they’re considered ‘transitional.’ For a small farm, the expense can come at a prohibitive price tag, and while they may not be certified organic they are still considered ‘sustainable’ in that they are grown locally and uphold similar growing practices. Often these small farms have a reduced carbon footprint because they sell close to home.
Because of the consumer surge in demand for organic foods, large agribusiness corporations have pulled up to the table in an effort to reap the benefits, threatening the existence of these small sustainable farmers and making it harder for them to compete.
Organic meat farmers are required to use feed grown organically and are prohibited from administering antibiotics or hormones to their livestock. Yet when it comes to animal welfare, they are only required to give the animals “access” to outdoors with as little as an open door leading to a cement patio.
On the flip side, sustainably raised meats, such as venison from New Zealand, are grass fed outdoors year-round on free-range ranches without the use of hormones, steroids or growth promoters. Rainwater and sunshine nourish the pasture the animals graze on without environmentally expensive irrigation, waste disposal or water-table impact. They’re just not ‘organic’ by label, but they are truly sustainable.
There’s no denying that certified organic foods come from a good philosophical place, offering consumers alternatives to products loaded with artificial chemicals, added hormones and pesticides. When it comes to food choices, there’s always more than meets the eye. We have to look deeper than the surface of the label.
If you can’t afford all organic produce, opt for sustainable, biodynamic and locally grown produce where they don’t use harsh chemical pesticides. You can also use a product like our Eat Cleaner produce wash that removes up to 99.8% of the pesticides. Prioritize organic animal products, especially dairy, and organic soybeans to avoid GMOs (genetically modified food). The main point, however, is to eat a variety of fresh fruit and veggies daily.
We can cut through the BS to uncover the real truth around eating for health, and becoming the champions of our own plate, together.