This is not just washing your hands
Eating Clean EdgyPLate

Well, yes, we do advise that you wash your hands before preparing dinner and after chopping/dicing/whatever-ing your food prior to your meal. Wash up again after you’re finished prepping. Then, for good measure, wash again before you eat. That’s cleanliness in eating.

But “clean eating?” Well, that’s a cat of a different stripe. That, darlin’, is one of the latest “eat more, weigh less” trends to make the cyber rounds. Does Gwyneth do it? Oh, probably. When she’s not pulling coconut oil, that is.

Developed by Tosca Reno, who wrote the “The Eat-Clean Diet” series, this regimen – she says – will allow you to lose about three pounds a week. According to the piece at http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-clean-diet-review, you’ll lose that weight and “you will see dramatic changes in the way you look and feel…”

Okey-dokey. We’re solidly behind that. And it makes sense because it’s eating the way we rather instinctively know we should – unprocessed, whole foods. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, no artificial ingredients or preservatives or what Reno calls “chemically charged foods” like sugars, saturated fats and trans fat. Coupled with exercise, the diet would of course bring about weight loss. But look at what it means. It means that while tomatoes are good, ketchup is bad, for starters.

She says in the webmd piece, “We live in a chemical soup experiment. Processed foods have undermined our health, especially sugars, which are deadly anti-foods that have no place in our body.” The plans range from 1,200 to 1,800 calories spread out among five or six small meals throughout the day. The idea is to “fire up the metabolism.” It’s also meant to instill portion control, which helps us avoid counting calories. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?

“The Eat-Clean Diet” book comes with lots of photos and recipes, nutritional info, sample meal plans – even grocery lists. Oh, and there’s motivation to get off your butt and start exercising. “Reno places the emphasis for weight loss and good health on 80% food, 10% training, and 10% genes.” So we’re to eat a diet heavy on the plants, engage in some meaningful exercise, don’t pig out. Riiiiiight.

Reno builds on that premise by advising against all saturated fats. “Foods allowed include a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nonfat dairy, and healthy fats — preferably organic and eaten in proper portions every few hours.

  1. We know it’s based on whole v. processed. Farm v. lab. We are truly devout when it comes to organic, but sometimes we just have to go off the rails and eat a cookie, ya know? Or a half-pat of butter in our morning coffee. Yes! Cultured is best, from grass-fed cows.

But here’s another look at Clean Eating, deconstructing, as it were, and getting down to the nitty gritty. Find it at http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html. Here’s our Cliffs Notes version:

The principles of Eating Clean are rather basic. You choose the right foods, avoiding crap and processed stuff.

Eat whole foods that haven’t been GMOed up the wazoo or stewed in preservatives. Whole, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed beef (which, if it’s a she, produces grass-fed butter that, if cultured, is AWESOME in your coffee. Just sayin’), free-range meat and poultry, low-fat dairy, unsalted nuts and seeds.

Read labels. That’s the only way to avoid the aforementioned crap that has been over-processed like blonde/pink/blue hair. That’s not to say you can’t partake of pasta or cheese, both of which fall into the processed category, but if you can’t pronounce more than one ingredient on a label, think twice about putting that stuff in your body.

Cut out refined sugar. Period. End of discussion. Yes, that means cookies that contain the verboten sweetener. Sorry, Sweet Pea, but that’s what the plan says. You can use other sweeteners, but read up on what’s what before you go dumping a bunch of agave in your muesli.

Like Chicago voting, do it early and do it often. Five or six small meals a day is supposed to kick-start your metabolism, thereby reducing the likelihood you’ll cave to Thin Mints.

Learn to cook. Really cook. From scratch, rather than from a microwaveable tray or a box full of packets. Mima taught us Ropas Viejas, and we could eat it six times a day easy. Cooking is fun, when you get the hang of it, and once you learn a few tricks of the trade, you’ll discover what you make on your own is infinitely better than the metallic-tasting stuff from a box.

Eat protein with carbs. Some plans tell you to do just the opposite, but we think this makes good sense. You’re eating small, often and clean. Pretty soon you’re going to be lean and mean and clean.




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