Ok let me start with the fact that the Optimal Kitchen promotes eating a diet of fresh, whole foods, focused on fruits, vegetables and plant based proteins, but it is the current trend and focus on eating clean we have a problem with. In the first place what exactly does eating clean mean? The idea of eating dirty food grosses me out as I am sure it does most and it seems that is what is implied if I don’t EAT CLEAN. I am guessing most people would say eating clean means avoiding processed, packaged foods, as well as eating organic, non gmo produce but what else does the term imply?
If this is really the definition of Eating Clean than eating a diet of whole plant based foods is the exact same thing, right? Unfortunately like most trends in contemporary American culture it is an extreme version and people who eat clean are almost militant about it and if you ask me those people are doing more to turn people off from healthy eating than turning them onto it. In fact most people when confronted with an all or nothing way of eating will most likely choose nothing, and who can blame them.
Feeding ourselves should be about fueling our bodies with the foods that we need to thrive and feel good and this means focusing our diets on lean plant base proteins with the occasional animal protein, loads of vegetables, organic is nice but if it is not in your budget than conventional vegetables are ok, healthy fats, some fruit and a little bit of whole grains. It isn’t so complicated and should not require a trip to anywhere other than your local supermarket. The more difficult we make feeding ourselves and our families, the more likely we are to push people to eating pre-made and packaged foods because they are made to feel like a failure.
Feeding ourselves is also about pleasure which is why an occasional treat is absolutely fine and in fact what it may do for your mental health is an even bigger bonus. So don’t beat yourself up. Eating in the 21st century seems overly complicated and extremely confusing for everyone. Simply try to eat like you did when you were a child, whole foods, homemade from scratch because we didn’t have a choice. And always remember it is about balance so if you spent last night sitting on the couch with a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream, simply try to eat a bit better today!