Since my blog is about food and fitness, it might be time to tackle the subject of clean eating. Clean eating, at least for me, is eating real food. I can’t believe we even have to use the term real food, but in today’s food culture, we do. This means eating foods which haven’t been processed or altered in any way. It means eating less prepackaged foods. It means buying organic food, so what you’re eating isn’t laced with pesticides, chemicals, hormones and antibiotics. Sounds delicious, right…..not really. It means buying food, whose ingredients you can pronounce and identify, without a dictionary or the benefit of google. It means buying fresh flavorful food where the health value hasn’t been completely overridden with fat and sugar.
The reason I eat clean is to feel good, and let me tell you, it works. I’ve never felt better in my entire life, and I have always been active. I’ve never been in better shape either, even though I was a serious athlete in my youth. My weight is also the lowest it’s been since high school. In the past, when I exercised but still ate dirty (yeah, I said it), I lost weight but always plateaued. A little over a year ago, I switched to clean eating and eliminated meat from my diet; the weight just fell off, while my energy level soared. Yep, I’m a vegetarian, but have no fear; the Hubby is still a carnivore, although he eats meat less frequently and it’s always organic. Not only do I feel great, but my health has never been better. My blood pressure, while never excessive, has dropped, and my cholesterol, once borderline, is now great. The Hubby, who once suffered from daily often debilitating headaches, has no complaints now.
News flash time: what we put into our bodies on a daily basis impacts how we feel all the time. Food is fuel for our bodies; the better the fuel, the better we perform. We wouldn’t put bad gas in a car and expect it to run correctly, so our bodies should be no different. If the Hubby and I stop eating clean for a few days (foolishly we’ve tried this), it’s never without consequences. The Hubby’s headaches return and I feel tired, achy, have little energy and get sad. As soon as we switch back to clean eating, these same issues disappear.
As a society, we’ve come to accept feeling tired, run down, sluggish, sad, and irritable is par for the course. And with two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, at least 66% of people have accepted this as the norm. Although never obese, but certainly overweight at times, I have experienced life both ways, and I choose healthy, happy and fit. Sure beats sickly, sad and overweight any day.