Clean your Plate
Eating clean is a term used quite frequently now more than ever. That’s a good thing. If it’s mechanically separated or I can’t pronounce it – chances are I won’t knowingly eat it. To each individual though, it means something different. It does take a village.
I spent many years in the Food & Beverage industry and learned a great deal about various cuisines, styles of cooking, as well as various types of service. It wasn’t until a few years back, when I had the opportunity to run a small cafe of my own did I really begin to fully grasp what eating clean was really all about.
I called it “my little sandwhich counter”, but it was more than that. Space was at an absolute premium and my goal, besides offering the freshest items I could, was to streamline the operation. I learned everything really, by default.
I made all my salad dressings from scratch. I even had a customer insist she could sell my Balsamic. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I think Paul Newman cornered that market anyway.
Because space little to there, and I was the main guy doing everything, I kept dishes and their preperation simple and uncomplicated. Fresh.
Now, a bodybuilder particulary during a prep phase for a show, probably the most grueling and restricted part of competition training, may tell you that boiled chicken and steamed asparagus is eating clean.
I learned all about that, carb-loading, and sodium manipulation when I experimented myself for a photo shoot. That type of diet is tough to maintain, and should only be done in moderation and supervised by a professional who really knows what their doing.
For the every day person we need not go to such extreme to consider ourselves eating clean. We simply need to start paying attention to the amount of processed foods we consume on a daily basis. Eliminating as many additives and preservatives is an excellent start.
Around the time I was operating the cafe I read somewhere, some excellent advice I try to adhere to to this day:
- When at the supermarket, try to only shop the outer parameters of the store. Produce, meats, dairy…..foods at their freshest.
I venture into the inside aisles’ from time to time for some things. Like chunk white albacore tuna in the can, black olives, and pasta.
As one begins to appreciate foods in their more natural states, the palate becomes more and more discerning. Another tip to help get started: