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    BETHIEBOOPS   11,048
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Mini rant about the blogosphere and clean eating


Monday, November 19, 2012

Lately, I've been focussing on cleaning up my diet again. It's a bit of a losing battle since I am still queasy any time I smell meat or eggs cooking, but am craving the substance of a full meal (apparently mashed potatoes and sweet melon aren't cutting it anymore).

I've been reading a lot in my spare time to get myself in the right mindset again, but I've found that so many of the blogs that I enjoyed just a month ago, have recently posted or communicated information in a very judgemental, hurtful elistist way. I'm sickened by their judgements that people who don't eat clean aren't healthy, and people who eat clean are. In a very unclassy way, they managed to alienate good kindhearted people in favour of appearing better, healthier and more "self disciplined" than others.

If you choose to eat whole, un processed grains you are no better than someone who chooses not to. If you have never had a Twinkie good for you. But the people who have had them, and didn't barf after, are not "gross" or "unhealthy".

I personally love clean eating because I save a heckload of money in this economy by avoiding all pre-packaged foods (expensive since it's mostly imported) and I find it helps me feel more in control of my eating. It's the right choice for me, as I am hyper sensitive to colourants, preservatives (especially nitrates and sodium benzoate) and additives. And I don't know why people can't say, "I choose to eat this way. I found it to be best for me, but perhaps you need to adjust the ideals to fit you."

I've mentioned this before: I don't think that a Lean Cuisine is a "healthful" choice, because the colourants and preservatives will make me violently sick. It's not an allergy- it's just that our bodies aren't meant to have so many non-food items in our food. But I also understand that I don't control people outside of myself, and if you like lean cuisine, if it helps you lose weight, GO FOR IT! Once you feel more in control over portion sizes, and expand your recipe knowledge etc, you can cook frozen dinners for yourself without anything added in. But it's a step by step basis.

I love clean eating, because by reading the ingredients, I can tell in 2 seconds if something is "real" or not. In SA, our nutrition labels aren't as clear as in the US. Sometimes it only offers the kilojoules content and fat content, while I am interested in the carbs or sugars. However, the ingredients are listed on the side every time. So I can still track if this food will help me or not. I see an ingredient that is non-food and I can put it back on the shelf.

Where I deviate from "clean eating rules" (not that those actually exist btw), is that I could care less how many ingredients are in my food items (rule is less than 5). What I do care about is if there are non-food items or something I wouldn't/couldn't keep in my own kitchen.

It also irritates that conventional stores are shunned and we're encouraged to shop at health food stores and farmers markets instead. No one should ever be made to feel bad because they don't make the same choices you do. It's ignorant to assume that all countries, states, and cities operate like yours does. In Johannesburg, we have one 'health conscious' choice for groceries and I have not yet seen a real farmers market with organic produce. The health food store we have is a joke. They carry only 44 organic products, 4 of which are coffees, a few are cereals (not whole grain), a few are crackers (not whole grain), and the rest are tiny boxes of 4 plums or 2 peaches or 100 grams of strawberries. Give me a break. This is elitism mentality in it's finest. "We're too good to pay normal prices for organic foods." Rather, can we not spread the word about buying local food (whereever you can find it) or organic foods, and when to choose one over the other, so that we are empowered to make up our own minds?

Good heavens and don't get me started on Michael Pollan. He's got some great information, but like sheep, we're supposed to follow his information without testing it ourselves.

I'm in pursuit of real information about food. I'm done with the bandwagon mentality of crowd following because it's supposed to be healthier. I want to know why, who, when, where, and how, of real food in the least judgmental way possible. I don't care what you think about people who don't eat clean. I do care about how to make my lifestyle the least polluted one possible.

Is that too much to ask?

What do you think about the "Eat Clean" movement? (and it's sister movement Paleo?) How do you react to the attitudes of people who eat differently or similarly to you? Am I totally off base my thinking this way?


edited: I have terrible spelling that early in the morning- hopefully I caught most of my errors. I write for a living- but my editing is awful. lol
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
NIKKICOLE83 11/20/2012 5:16PM

    Everyone has their diet that works or does not work for them. I try not to judge and only offer my suggestions when asked. Not everyone could or should forego carbs or meats. I think it would be in the best interest of most to limit the processed foods we eat but that doesn't stop me from whipping up a box of potatoes or the likes here and there. I too feel better when I eat whole foods and lean meats and limit the additives. Unfortunately time, convenience and cost make that harder for me to sustain. But to each their own.

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PRAIRIECROCUS 11/19/2012 5:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUNKY100 11/19/2012 1:10PM

    All I have to say is AMEN. I do like eating clean when I can, but I don't pay attention to it. I just know that when my mom took me to a health food/grocery store place, and I told the check-out girl that I had eaten Arby's that day because I was craving it for like a week, I will never forget her tone when she basically snarled at me 'Oh and how do you feel now?' All I could do was look her back in the face and say 'Great actually.' And I took my gluten-free brownie and got out of there. I will avoid conversation whenever and if I ever go back.

I'm all about everyone doing their own thing and experimenting with different foods. But it doesn't have to be black and white, like 'either eat everything naked and bare and natural or GTFO!' I have a friend who is now vegan and he totally understands that it's not for everyone. He tells me about a few of his recipes that look really good, but when I tell him I have like chips or fast food, he doesn't get all condescending and stop talking to me. Sheesh.

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MISHAMW 11/19/2012 10:04AM

    I feel very similar to the vegan lifestyle. Many vegans believe there way of eating is healthy and better than non-vegans. But with PCOS/IR, eating vegan is the worst dietary choice one can make. And I was making it for years!!!!

Paleo is suppose to be better for people that need to stay away from carbs and sugar, but I don't see any merit in shunning whole grains and complex carbs like they do. Plus having just a meat/fat heavy diet scares me. I am still a vegan in my head something, though I don't eat vegan anymore. It's hard to have a dietary choice you love and agree with be hurting you!

As for just plain "Clean Eating" I really have to say I don't know much about it. For me clean eating is not eating overly processed foods, or chemical/non food items. I agree with that. But when does a food become too processed? Some say sugar is too processed to eat, but then again, coconut sugar or stevia is okay?

I think it's all a matter of opinion, and what works for you. One diet isn't going to fit all. While I have read, seen, and heard of countless people that thrived and did well on a vegan diet, someone like me was making my health worst. And it wasn't a poor vegan diet either. Then someone that eats a paleo diet might also be hurting themselves, while someone else has found it too be the perfect fit.

I personally want to clean up my eating, but I know that if I deny a craving, it gets worse and worse until I binge eat! So I try to always figure out if I have a craving and eat something before it gets too bad!

Sorry your blogs have gotten weird! Good luck in finding something that is more along your lines!

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SONIA260 11/19/2012 8:50AM

    I hold a similar opinion to yours about clean eating. I basically choose my foods the same way as you do, and because they make me feel good. If I have a craving for an old food love, I may very well indulge a little, but only a very small amount, or I just know that I will be uncomfortable for hours. I have noticed that some people who adopt this way of eating, after years of eating unclean, forget where they came from. They may think that they would not be offended by people judging their old habits WHILE they were eating that way, but really, who are they kidding?! We know far too well that nobody can be forced into a successful healthy lifestyle journey, that decision must be personal and whole hearted. I remind myself every day of where I came from, and to have compassion and consideration for those still struggling to find their true motivation.

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RELIBELI 11/19/2012 7:02AM

    I'm with you, Bethie!

I too primarily stick to whole foods and because I've been eating that way for awhile, when I do veer away from that, my body doesn't know what to do with the stuff it's not used to, and well, it's not comfortable or pretty!

That being said, I like to share what works for me because maybe it could help someone else. But, everyone is different, and different variations and combinations are going to work (or not work) for each individual. I don't feel like I have to 'convert' the nation, or educate for that matter. If just by having a conversation with me about what works for me or what I've learned, makes them do a little research on their own, that's fine, but I don't like being preached to or made to feel bad if I don't 'fall in line' with the 'extreme'. That's not what it's about to me.

That being said, I do like to share resources that I find interesting. Such as, have you seen the movie Fathead? Worth watching (and making up your own mind about it! :). You can stream it for free I believe on hulu.com

Maybe we should start a new group. Non judgemental healthy clean eaters who do the best they can! :)

Have a great day.

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JACOBSBELOVED 11/19/2012 1:51AM

    I personally admire those who eat clean. I wish I had the control and the willpower to do so. I have tried several times to keep to an all clean diet but I found that I have a hard time doing it. I would like to eventually get to that point, though. I think it will take some time to get there but that would be something I would like to eventually work towards.

I too have heard remarks about people eating things that aren't "clean". It's "disgusting" and "gross". I understand that there are things out there that we are all not very fond of. For instance, I absolutely hate eggs. I can't handle the smell, the taste, the texture, and I can't help but think of it as part of a chicken's menstrual cycle. However, I never comment on someone else's choice in food just because it disgusts me. I think it's childish and rude.

If the thought of eating a Twinkie absolutely disgusts you, then don't think about it and ignore those that do eat them. Move on. You don't need to keep talking about it and you don't need to comment on it. You may think you are the better person for not eating that Twinkie, but you don't need to cut others down in order to make yourself feel better.

I can definitely see what you mean about the elitist attitude. A lot of people I know that eat clean do make it a point to talk about it and let others know that they eat clean. I'm sure it is something they're proud of, but I hate it when there are comments made to put others down because they don't eat clean.

I respect your decisions because you made them. You know what's best for yourself and I support your choices. I love that you're open-minded about food and other peoples' choices as well. You seem like you really just want to worry about yourself and your eating, and I love that! And I know you'll give your opinion when it's asked but you will give it with an open mind.

Good for you, girl!

Also, I haven't heard much about Michael Pollan so that gives me something to research. Thank you! :D

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