What is Clean Eating?

There isn’t one standard definition of clean eating, but one that I like is:

Clean eating includes real, whole foods most of the time, choosing organic and sustainable options whenever possible. Clean eating also means selecting foods that meet one’s individual needs.

So, by that definition, clean eating does not limit one to a particular diet, such as vegan, plant-based, or paleo. Like many women, I have tried quite a few different diets with varying success, but usually end up rebelling against an overly restrictive approach (you can read more about my journey here).

It’s taken me a long time to realize that my health flourishes when I am less concerned about someone else’s definition of a healthy or optimal diet, and more about what works for my needs right now.

That said, all of the recipes I create on my website and in my e-book are gluten-free and dairy-free, mostly because those are common food intolerances. Gluten comes from wheat, but there are other grains and food products that contain gluten. My recipes do not have gluten.

And, just for definition’s sake, dairy includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and any other product made with or from the milk of an animal. None of my recipes include dairy, either.

Many people can feel better after just a few weeks of eliminating gluten and dairy, and then can add those foods back in later, depending on how they feel. For instance, I do not consume gluten because of my history of autoimmune thyroid disease, and the monitoring of autoimmune blood markers through my healthcare practitioner. I occasionally test my tolerance to dairy products, but find that I experience sinus issues and acne if I eat too much.

The bottom line is that it’s up to you to decide what clean eating means. Maybe you feel best eating plant-based, or perhaps you need animal protein to maintain your energy. Feel free to experiment with your food choices and, above all, enjoy your food!