Owning my retail health food shop (Artisan’s Palate) for the past 5 years has allowed me to observe all sorts of people and their conditions. I encourage an environment of openness and safety, which translates into my customers sharing many of their stories with me. This gives me a unique opportunity to observe and counsel. It’s also enabled me to determine the top three reasons people choose clean eating.
I’m of the opinion that everyone should be a clean eater. Clean eating is just choosing real food where you know where its source, over industrial food where the source is usually a factory. However, there’s a stigma associated with clean eating that I’ve noticed many people harbor. For instance, they have a pre-conceived notion that the food is flavorless (think 1980’s rice cakes). Or that it’s too expensive (read this blog). Or worse that they can never eat “FILL IN THE BLANK” again (meat, pasta, bread, ice cream, wine, etc.)! If you are clean eating, you know this is not true and just plain ridiculous. So, when someone finally does decide to eat clean, I’ve noticed they’ve picked from one of these top three reasons people choose clean eating:
A Health Diagnosis
They have a received a diagnosis from the doctor that was not in line with their life plans.This can be anything from diabetes, to auto-immune conditions, to cancer. Mind you, I’ve met a lot of people that have these diseases and continue to consume items that are not in line with clean eating (soda, sugar, processed food, industrial food (oil, meat, veggies etc.). They decide to solely take conventional medicine which generally leaves them in declining health and open to further disease. We’re always hopeful these people will be curious and start to look for answers from alternative sources. When they are open, they generally stumble on some ‘form’ of clean eating. They might think vegan, primal, paleo, keto is their answer. Those choices, generally speaking, can be a good first step. But they still don’t understand that they are buying the majority of their food from industrial sources. You need know what you’re buyingand ask one simple question; how did this food get to my plate? You control fork to mouth so only you can answer this question.
The second of the top three reasons people choose clean eating is awareness. You might be part of a mom’s group and hear a mom talk about a child’s food allergies, or your co-worker watched an interesting documentary on Netflix, perhaps your sibling is doing a 30-day challenge. There is a lot of information that is available in all sorts of formats from blogs, podcasts, and documentaries. Many of them are great resources where you can stay informed. Start with the blog on iamacleaneater.com and read the 10 Commandments for Clean Eating. Also watch a variety of Youtube videos here. If you stay curious, and ask questions, you will find answers.
The third reason people start to eat clean is the reason I started – fear! All the stories that my customers shared with me made me reflect on what I was doing in my daily life. I would see customers who appeared healthy and strong. Then they would tell me about their health struggles and how food has been their main weapon against their disease. At the beginning of my journey (2013) I was of the mindset where you have an illness, you see a doctor, take a prescription and go about your life. I never considered or really understood that food can play such an instrumental role in either your recovery or your decline. It was up to me to pick a path.
I started to get more curious about the sourcing of food, how the food was grown, and by who. To my dismay, eating at restaurants meant the food source was Sysco or US Foods, the two largest distributers of restaurant food products. Not exactly the shining examples of clean eating! This is the staple for industrial restaurant food (anything from a walk-up taco shop to a 5-star Prime steak restaurant). Restaurants source their food from Sysco or US Foods, then use deceptive marketing terms. For example, fresh, hand-crafted, artisan, home-made, farm-to-table, no antibiotics, grass-fed, or wild seafood, to lead you to believe you are getting some sort of bargain.
A bit better is the super market, and the ability to buy industrial organic produce and meat. It’s not great but it’s definitely better and 100% better quality than what you’re going to get at your favorite chain restaurant. This means you have to prepare it and cook at home, but if you are serious about clean eating then it should be part of your lifestyle.
Why You Should Eat Clean
Now you know the top three reasons people choose clean eating. Unfortunately, very few people say they are clean eating because they:
- Want to prevent disease.
- Want to be vital during each decade.
- Never want to use the excuse ‘getting old’.
- Never want to take prescription drugs.
- Want lasting longevity.
It is my dream that the above 5 reasons for clean eating will become part of everyone’s consciousness.
At I am a Clean Eater, we do not want to tell you what lifestyle eating plan you should be on. We only want to help support you wherever you are on your journey. The message is about understanding what’s at the end of your fork and making the best and most informed decisions for yourself!
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