Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to eat healthier and what is clean eating, so it seems like it might be time to blog about it.
In my opinion “Eating Clean” is the simplest and most effective change you can make to your diet.
Now when I say diet I don’t mean that tedious way of eating and tracking that requires you to give up delicious tasting food, to replace your meals with bland dishes, and that you can only stick with for a short period of time before throwing in the towel, bingeing on junk food, and putting on more weight than you were able to loose in the first place.
We’ve all been there, right? The problem with those diets is that they can’t be maintained over a lifetime.
When I say diet, what I mean is simply “the food that you eat.” For example, I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I’m not eating this way until I achieve something, rather, this is a part of my lifestyle. Think of it this way – I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet in the same way that my friend Jeremy is Kosher.
See the difference?
It’s limiting and discouraging to think “I’m on the _____ diet” and frankly, it is ineffective over the long-term.
But, if you change your lifestyle then you will be able to change your life!
So let’s get back to what it means to “Eat Clean.” For me, it’s very simple
EAT REAL FOOD!
For those of you who need more guidance than that, I am happy to oblige 🙂
Eat foods that are as close to their original source as possible.
Choose an apple over apple juice.
Because an apple is full of fiber, loaded with vitamin C, contains antioxidants and cancer-fighting polyphenols.
Take a look at a bottle of apple juice; you’ll probably see vitamin C in the ingredient list.
Now ask yourself, if apples are loaded with vitamin C why does it need to be added to the juice? Because apple juice is a manufactured product – the process for extracting juice from the apple and making it suitable to sit on a shelf in the grocery store for months leaves the juice void of all of the great things that the apple had to offer in the first place – so the manufacturer needs to add it back in.
In this photo you can really see what manufacturing does.
The freshly squeezed apple juice if dark and opaque whereas the supermarket apple juice is light and clear.
So what’s really going on here?
Well as we discussed earlier, the supermarket AJ is manufactured. The goal is to produce a clear, golden, shelf-stable liquid. In order to achieve this result the juice is “extracted” from the apple which leaves behind the skins, seeds, stems, and pulp. Of course we don’t want to eat or drink stems and seeds but the juicing process also “extracts” the nutrients contained in the skins and the fiber contained in the pulp. In order to create a shelf-stable liquid (meaning it won’t go bad quickly) it must be pasteurized which ensures that any remaining nutrients are boiled out.
You didn’t actually think the 100 % All Natural Apple Juice was nutritious all on it’s own, did you? 😉
If you think I am crazy, please watch this video and see for yourself. You won’t hear them mention anything about adding in vitamin C, but if you check out Mott’s website you’ll see that they admit to adding it in because their process stripped it out.
Once the juice has been bottled, all you are really left with is apple flavored sugar (glucose) water with vitamin C added back in.
In contrast, the fresh AJ is made up of the entire apple. Can you believe it? It actually is as nutritious as nature intended… without the help of food scientists.
This is just one illustration of why it’s important to eat food close to the source.
- An apple is an apple is an apple, there are different varieties and methods of growing, but at the end of the day it will always be an apple
- Apple juice on the other hand can be anything
- It can be fibrous and nutritious
- It can be stripped of all its naturally occurring nutrients and loaded with ascorbic acid (vitamin C supplement)
- It could even be a beverage that is loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and sugar
Rather than overwhelming you with a lot of rules and explanations about clean eating I have decided to end here. I will cover additional information in future posts and encourage you to take this first step to improve your diet until you hear from me again.
If you are interested in debating the topic of apple juice with your friends, might I suggest that you consider reading up on the topics of arsenic in apple juice (or organic versus conventional produce), the dangers of drinking unpasteurized apple juice, or why you should stop drinking juices and smoothies.
Who would have thought that apple juice could be such a heavy object?
A word of caution: Be wary of what you read. Do your own reasearch and be sure to examine all sides of a topic. There is a lot of information out there that is inaccurate, incomplete, and/or promotes others’ agendas. Don’t forget to apply this advice to what you see on TV or the internet and even what I share with you. It is really important for you to educate yourself so that you can make thoughtful and healthful decisions for you and your family.
~ Happy & Healthy Eating