Is Clean Eating Just a Fad?

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Nutrition

Is Clean Eating Just a Fad?

Is all this healthy clean eating just a flash in the pan, or here to stay? It all depends on how you approach it.

I’ve seen plenty of articles in my news feed lately that insist this clean eating is a fad, akin to those bell bottoms, unitards, piles of Pogs, and everything Brittany Spears ever wore in the early 00’s that you have piled in the back of your closets. They claim that “clean eating” isn’t something we really enjoy doing, that we’ve been peer-pressured into it for now, but pretty soon we’ll wake up one day and decide to ditch the green tea, the grass-fed beef, the organic veggies, and just chow down on a box of brightly colored, frosted breakfast cereal.

These writers usually hate green tea, by the way. Which is absolutely fine. I hate green tea too! I’ve tried it hot, cold, and with enough honey to fuel an entire beehive – but unless it’s been fermented into Jun Tea, I just don’t like it. I also don’t like Kefir. Or raw kale. Or home-made yogurt (it’s a texture thing).

But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy clean eating! I just don’t drink green tea, or eat Kefir or raw kale. And I save the yogurt for the kids. Because for clean eating to be healthy, it has to work for you. Both in terms of what your body needs, and in what your tastebuds enjoy! Some of us do wonderful on a vegetarian diet, while others need a more omniverous approach. Some of us love Kefir (I’ve heard blending in some fresh fruit makes it a delicious treat!), and others have bodies which don’t tolerate dairy in any form. Some people can enjoy a whole wheat, wild ferment sourdough roll with their lunch while others of us need to be gluten-free. Some of us like green tea. And some of us would be happiest never drinking another cup of the stuff.

Braised Greens with Craisins

If you try to force yourself to live on foods you don’t like or that don’t work for your body, then yes – clean eating will be a fad for you. Just like any other diet, you’ll be constantly looking forward to when you can stop and get back to your “real” way of eating.

BUT – if, instead, you look at how “clean eating” can work FOR you, allow you to eat foods you enjoy and that your body thrives on, then it isn’t a diet. It isn’t a fad. It’s simply how you live. It’s finding fresh, local food that you enjoy, regardless of if that’s a carrot or kohlrabi, and preparing it in a way which you enjoy and your body can utilize. It’s finding the right balance of eating sustainably, so that clean eating is sustainable for YOU. All the articles out there are guide posts. Tips to try, ways to introduce yourself to new foods, and recipes to explore if they should become a more permanent part of your diet.

Clean eating, eating healthy, whatever you want to label it isn’t about eating kale. Or drinking green tea. Or Kombucha (even as much as I love it!). It’s about eating what is right for you and your body.

Meg is the practice manager at Old Dominion Osteopathic Medicine, a mom of 2.5kids, and an ardent lover of all foods local, natural, and un-messed-with.