Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Take On "Clean Eating"

Our Take On "Clean Eating" by Custom Taste. What do you think?

Unless you have been living under rock, you have more than likely seen this new push in healthy eating dubbed "Clean Eating", but what does it mean exactly? The problem is that clean eating is not technically defined, but the good news is that you can define it yourself! Depending on what your health goals are, you may choose clean eating to lose weight, for allergy management or anything in between. Some choose to avoid breads, pastas and dairy while others choose to go raw.

We have recently ventured into this "Clean Eating" world and have made up our own definition that many of you might be agreeable with. For us clean eating is avoiding highly processed foods and fake ingredients essentially making everything from scratch or buying foods and products that are natural, unaltered and avoid those pesky hard to pronounce fake ingredients. With that being said, we also had to educate ourselves on a variety of terms that, while not commonly used in conversation are common themselves as well as study into what we felt was best for our health goals. 

For example in our clean eating diet we eat natural, unsalted butter but try to avoid the use of vegetable oils/margarines. WAIT! Before you think "these people are insane," hear us out. Do you know how conventional vegetable oils/margarines are made? Did you know that chemicals which are used to make certain foods do not have to be listed on the ingredients because they are technically not an "ingredient"? Vegetable oils/margarines fall into this category (aren't you glad you kept on reading?). The only ingredients that are listed on the label are the ingredients you will readily find in the package. . If you would like to see a more extensive article on vegetable oils and their process please visit "Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine". However, there are some companies (at least when it comes to vegetable oils) that you can trust to be organic and 100% chemical free in their product as well as the process to make their product.

If you have guessed (or skimmed ahead), we are clean eating to rid our bodies of chemicals and toxins, you can exercise to get rid of calories after all. Natural foods also generate energy to help burn the calories they give the body so they work for you, not against you. By removing toxins from your bodies it can also help with allergy management,weight loss, immune support and a long list of other health benefits. To break it down simply here is our list of rules:

1. All natural, and try to aim for organic as much as possible.
It can be hard on a budget to eat all natural AND organic. So we are making a strong effort to keep to that, but if the money is not there, we can't force it.
2. Aim for non-GMO/GE foods.
It is tricky to determine what brands are non-GMO and which are not considering the internet has varying sources on pretty much everything. So to make this more simplistic we will also be avoiding any brands associated with Monsanto. We also had some communications with the Non-GMO Project and they informed us that eating non-GMO is great but aim for organic all the time, since a non-GMO crop does not always mean organic, but organic means non-GMO.
3. Limit (not eliminate) carbs.
Carbs are good for the body, just not in high quantities. We also do not have the luxury of switching to whole wheat or whole grain as Mr. Custom Taste has a grass allergy. However, over time we are aiming to move away from gluten.
4. Package food items (such as pasta) must have 5 ingredients or less, and we must be familiar with all ingredients listed.
This one we got from Michael Pollan (click here to read about his 7 rules for eating) as well as it is just common sense. We know how to make homemade pasta (it is annoying and time consuming so I am okay with buying it the majority of the time) and basic pasta only requires four ingredients. So if we are buying a pasta that has more than five ingredients we are buying something that will not benefit our bodies.
5. Research our brands and grocery stores before venturing into a new area.
We will have a page for "safe" brands being posted soon.
6. Do not let it take over our lives.
We know that our diet is our responsibility and not anyone else's  So if friends or family want to have us over for dinner or go out to eat we will oblige and try to make the best decisions we can, all while having a good time.
7. Remain knowledgeable about what we are putting into our bodies.
Our thinking is, if you know what you are doing you know how to fix it. Also, if you are more aware you have a higher chance of being healthier and a much lower chance of putting on weight that has no business being there in the first place.

Some of these can be applied to any diet, but we wanted to make rules so we can be held accountable and not get off track. What are some of YOUR health rules?

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