Is “Eating Clean” a Dirty Word(s)?

sshhh. dont say it! the x-word is the un-word of the day. and tomorrow!

As some of you may recall from my June 17 post “What I Hadn’t Counted on After Surgery,” I am working on taking off the weight that I put on after my foot surgery. I had even turned to a subscription weight-loss app to help me; the jury is still out on that.

I have been counting calories using the app and generally feel like I am depriving myself of a lot of stuff I really like…(mmmm, pastry). Not seeing the results I would like yet, but I am being patient. I am also trying to follow the advice that I give to others about what they eat: a lot less processed foods, more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.

In my mind, I am trying to remind myself to “eat clean.” I first heard this term from a personal trainer and wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. Turns out, there is no one definition of what eating clean means. To me, it means trying to eat the right stuff–cutting out junk foods, fatty foods and overly-processed foods.

Turns out that the term “eat clean” has some pretty serious connotations for a lot of people. There are those who argue that this kind of terminology makes moral judgments. I think this is a bit far-fetched. A donut is a donut; it does not have moral implications. It has no moral force for me, but for others it does. Can eating a brownie make a person feel somehow “less than?” I guess so.

A recent article by Samantha Cassety (who else?) was published on http://www.nbcnews.com today, exploring this issue: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/better-way-think-about-clean-eating-ncna1020996 . She gives what I consider to be sane advice about approaching “clean eating.” Cassety recognizes the complexity of the concept for many, but says it need not lead to negative results. Each of us can create our own definition of what eating clean means–one that is helpful to us rather than intimidating or shaming.

Beyond the journey that I am on now to lose the weight that accumulated after my surgery, I know that I want to continue to eat in healthy ways after I hit my goal. It is not about being “clean” as a opposed to being “dirty,” but rather about remembering that I am what I eat. While I may not see this directly as a moral issue, I do see it as a way to help me live a longer and healthier life.

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