The Dirty on Clean Eating

Dec 9, 2021

 by Theresa Struck


You’ve probably read about it, heard people recommend it.  Diet gurus write entire books about it.  But what really doesn't Clean Eating mean? How can you implement it in your life?  

The basic guidelines of clean eating encourage you to consume real, whole foods. (Food as close as possible to its natural state- unprocessed and  unpackaged.)  While limiting or eliminating foods that do not serve your body.   


Things you want to eliminate or limit: 


  1. Highly processed foods. (Crackers, boxed cereals, bread, chips, cakes, cookies, candy, juices frozen pizza, deli meats, hotdogs, refined sugars and flour, etc)  
  2. Sugary drinks (soda, juice, teas, energy drinks) 
  3. Food and drinks with artificial sweeteners and colorings.(Become a label reader- you’d be shocked how many processed foods include these)

How to make it all come together: 

  • Choose the most natural form of the food (closest to the ground) ie baked potato rather  potato chips, an apple rather than apple juice, organic corn on the cob rather than Corn Flakes)
  • Try to buy and consume organic when possible (It is really hard to live in  our modern world and consume 100% organic. But you can make a big dent by following the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen guidelines you find here.)  
  • Consume whenever possible Grass-Fed Beef,  free range poultry, and wild-caught seafood. 
  • Prepare most of your meals at home, using fresh simple ingredients. 
  • Have 3-4 goto simple meals plans for each meal. (Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats, Super Smoothies,or  Scrambled Eggs. Lunch/Dinner: Grilled Chicken Breast over a salad of mixed greens, Turkey Burgers in Lettuce Wraps, Sliced steak, sweet potato & broccoli )    
  • Make water or unsweetened herbal teas your first choice to quench your thirst.   


Clean eating is not black and white. It does not mean that food should not be cooked, pasteurized, or fermented. That is the type of “processing” that makes food safer. It also does not mean that you can never enjoy another Oreo cookie or glass of wine again) It is also not “One Size Fits All” Some people expand their Eliminate List to include soy, gluten(wheat), and dairy because they just feel better when not eating it. Others follow the 80/20 principle. Eating “Clean” 80% of the time, having indulgences the other 20%. It's about doing what is sustainable for you. 

It stands to reason that the cleaner your diet the more nutrient-dense foods you will eat. And vice versa, the more processed food you eat the more empty calories you consume. Find the balance that helps you feel and look your best.