Eating clean is a term used quite frequently now. To each individual it means something different. I spent many years in the Food & Beverage industry and learned a great deal about various cuisines, styles of cooking, and types of service. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to run a small cafe 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 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.
Now, a bodybuilder particulary during a prep phase for a show, 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. That type of diet is difficult to maintain and should only be done in moderation and supervised by a professional.
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 today.
- 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’ for some things. Like chunk white albacore tuna in the can, black olives, and pasta.
As one begins to appreciate food in a more natural way the palate becomes more and more discerning.
Another excellent tip to help get started is to go through your fridge. Literally.
- Throw out anything expired, wilted, and passed it’s prime. Make it a point to read ALL of the labels.
If you cannot pronounce it you probably should not be eating it.