5 Phases of Clean Eating … What phase are you in?
After opening Artisan’s Palate (my health food store) in 2013, as many of you know, I confused being a foodie with being a clean eater. So, when I opened my shop, I was more concerned with deceptive marketing terms such as “scratch made”, “farm to table”, “fresh”, “natural”, etc. I quickly learned these hollow descriptors were cheating me from understanding that clean eating is a journey. Throughout the years I’ve created many infographics, and blogs explaining these common traps to help you not make the same mistakes.
As I continued to gain more clarity and perspective, I was able to create my online course called Get Food Smart, Get Real. This is the place where you can learn how to start your journey without judgement and learn how to continue your journey with optimal success. The course does an excellent job in helping you through Phases 1 and 2.
I created the 5 Phases for Clean Eating so everyone can understand where they’re at and how to progress through the phases. Here are the 5 Phases:
Phase 1 – Mindset Shift
If your primary goal when you start is weight loss, then you’re not in the right Mindset to start your clean eating journey. You’re ready when your goal is wanting to achieve lasting longevity. With this mindset shift you realize that weight loss is a side effect of clean eating not the purpose of clean eating.
I know when someone is ready to start their journey when they come to me and explain that they’re fed up with feeling sick or dull. Generally, they have consulted with various doctors and practitioners to no avail so they’re ready to take the reins and get control of their health.
Committing to making positive changes every day will result in more energy, less disease, and lasting longevity.
Phase 2 – Switch
This phase is the ‘funnest’ phase because you’re finding all the best switches for the ‘fun’ foods and your pantry staples. You’re finding all the better versions of what you love to eat. This is not about deprivation. Trust me when I tell you that you can find the better (and tastier) versions of cookies, chips, ice cream, chocolate bars, cakes, and other snack items! Things like oil, coffee, sugar, salt, (and more) can be replaced with healthier versions without sacrificing flavor.
Phase 3 – Elimination
Many people think of changing eating habits as a diet with a beginning and an end. Clean eating for better health is a strategic choice. You purposefully start to choose foods with the intention of healing.
During this phase you are removing certain foods that you suspect might be contributing to your overall malaise. You are looking for nutrient-dense foods that love you, not hurt you. Your focus is on knowing the origin of the food item, and asking: Will this item help me or hurt me?
Phase 4 – Customization
Now you have discovered foods that love you back. You know where to focus and will never go back to industrial foods. You’ve moved through the clean eating pyramid and have taken your time.
There is no need for cheat foods because in Phase 2 and Phase 3 you discovered all your safe foods.
Phase 5 – Detox
You choose a method of detox when your body is ready. It may take years to reach this point. You are kind and gentle with your body, moving through the phases, and you know not to stress your body with anything extreme.
At this stage, the liver and other organs are prepared for a proper detox. There are many options available so using your discernment and knowledge will be paramount for your specific needs.
I’ll be taking a deeper dive into each phase in my upcoming blogs, so for now, these are the highlights of each phase and for you to determine where you’re at on your clean eating journey.
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