Cutting Out “Clean”

Unless you have been playing Patrick for the last half-decade and been sleeping under a rock, you’ve heard the term “clean eating”. It is literally everywhere, basically taking to be its own new diet or lifestyle trend. But I have a problem with the utilization of the term clean, and what comes to mind when I hear it.

Surely I’m not the only one. 

What comes to mind when you hear the word dirty or clean?

My mindset tends to veer toward something like you see here when I think of something as “dirty”. I think filth, gross, disgusting, messy. Whereas I may picture a balding man decked out in all white when I think of something “clean”.
Now, I don’t know about you all, but I have never eaten something that was what I considered dirty. Last time I checked, all of my food was clean. I’ve never even stopped at a drive thru for an order of “filthy fries” or a “stained salad”. So if we aren’t eating food that isn’t covered in dirt, aren’t we already eating clean? I would say, technically, yes. 

So, lets back up a minute and catch those up who may not be aware of what the “clean eating” craze is all about. What is “clean eating”? The idea basically began as a way to bring awareness to our ungodly eating habits. The basis was to eat more whole and natural foods that weren’t sent through the wringer and processed to pulp before landing on your plate. Think farmer’s market type foods. So, the the thought process behind this movement is great: Eat more whole foods in their most natural state without the additional chemicals and processing involved. But now,  it seems as though that mindset has been pushed aside and given a new crisp polish to the meaning. 
The idea has been altered to people eating less or spending ridiculous amounts of time and energy attempting to whip up the latest recipe they found on a Clean Eating board on Pinterest. They are neglecting to realize that the craze pays no attention to in depth education regarding nutrition or the ingredient base of the foods. It is another way to add a tag on a recipe, or a label on a package and make more money. It feels as though it is another way to add an additional stressor to our already-stressed lives. It can lead someone to feel as though they are doing something wrong, or partaking in something unhygenic. That we are being lazy because we aren’t taking the extra steps that those who are “clean eating” are taking. We’re back to keeping up with the Jones’, folks! Heck, it isn’t like we don’t already have enough to worry about.
So why don’t we just drop the term altogether? Instead claim the original idea to be what it is, and has been for…well…forever: Healthy Eating. A lifestyle of eating nutritious, and minimally altered, foods.

“Don’t eat anything your Great-Great Grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” -Michael Pollan

Don’t make it out to be more than what it really is. What we already know, but may need a little help in practicing. So I’m including a few ways you can practice Healthy Eating.


  • Stock up on fresh fruits & veggies.
  • If possible, try to choose organic. If not, look for foods that are lacking of those additional chemicals.
  • Think unrefined instead of the extra-processed goods.
  • Limit fat, salt, sugar.
  • Know that not all packaged foods are bad. Pay attention to labels/ingredients.
  • Don’t drink all of your calories.
  • Don’t Overthink It!

How do you feel about “eating clean”?


Copyright © 2017 Shawna: Whole, Hearty, Happy – All rights reserved

15 thoughts on “Cutting Out “Clean”

  1. Omg, I chose to focus on my eating habits in June and this post is so apt! I loved the quote, don’t eat anything your great grandma won’t recognize as food – but sadly I can’t completely follow that, coz I LOVE avocados, and my great grandma prob had no idea what those are hahah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Shawna! If it’s ok, I’d love to add a few side notes for your readers.
    Think about that one food you crave. My guess is that one food is the one causing the most damage to your body. Eating clean also means removing foods that don’t serve you, like preservatives, pesticides, dairy, corn, gluten, etc. and replacing them with whole foods. Basically, All food is either alkaline or acidic forming. If your body is more acidic, you are more prone to disease, illness, bacteria and viruses. Eating whole foods gets your body back to an alkaline state. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s