We’re Jessica Beacom and Stacie Hassing, the registered dietitian nutritionists behind The Real Food Dietitians website and blog. We create gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes that are designed to be big on taste and short on ingredients, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love.
Over the next eight weeks we’ll be taking you on a clean-eating journey to help you clear up your diet and find a way of eating that allows you to feel better than ever. You’ll learn how to clean out and restock your pantry, meal plan and bulk cook, make simple and delicious meals and snacks, eat out healthfully, and so much more.
To kick things off, we’re talking about the term ‘clean eating’ to help you cut through the confusion. Because, really, what does it actually mean?
What is ‘Clean Eating,’ Really?
The term ‘clean eating’ is everywhere you look—from cookbooks to websites to magazines at the grocery store checkout. So this clean eating thing is obviously a big deal right now, but have you ever wondered what ‘clean eating’ really means? If you have, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Clean eating, as it’s evolved over the past few years, has come to mean different things to different people. For example, for those moving from the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is usually high in processed, refined sugars and flour, the term ‘clean eating’ may mean switching to whole grains, ditching the soda pop, and swapping white sugar for honey or other natural sweeteners.
‘Clean eating’ can also refer to a vegetarian diet (a diet without meat that may or may not include dairy, eggs and/or fish), a vegan diet (which contains no animal products) or a diet that’s free of dairy or gluten. And for some, it goes even further and refers to a diet that contains no grains, dairy, soy or refined sugars much like the ‘Paleo’ or ‘ancestral health’ diet.
It’s no wonder it’s clean eating is confusing at first glance!
As you can see, there isn’t a hard and fast definition of ‘clean eating,’ which can be good or bad for different people—it all depends on whether or not you’re the type who likes a set of rules to guide their choices.
For us, as registered dietitian nutritionists with a passion for real, whole foods, the term ‘clean eating’ signifies a diet that’s based on fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy and minimally-processed foods with short ingredient lists. It’s also a way of eating that’s tailored to our individual nutrition and health needs.
In other words, you find your ‘clean eating’ by crafting an eating style based on the foods that make you feel your best.
That may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you’ve ever found yourself confused by the latest studies, reports, or headlines out there about nutrition. But the good news is that we’re here to help.
Over the next eight weeks we’ll walk you through our process for eliminating the junk and finding the clean-eating style that best suits YOU.