Just eat real food… Eat cuts of meat where you can tell what part of the animal it is, eat fruits and vegetables that yes may involve the use of a knife. Throw away your soda, your “shelf stable” preservative laden foods, get rid of un-naturally coloured foods and make room in your cabinets. Get yourself a nice knife… like a really nice knife (you know you deserve it!). If you have a bit leftover lets go for that food processor and slow cooker too- things you will literally use nearly everyday. But what is real food?
There a lots of twitter hashtags, forum arguments and pedants who wish to argue the minute differences between it. Maybe you call yourself #paleo, #primal, #jerf, #banting, #lchf, #glutenfree, #eatclean, #fitfam, #caveman #eatlocal, #AIP, #GAPS and many many other variations… what those of us in the clean eating world need to agree on that whole foods are by far healthier than the pre-packaged process kinds. Now the paleo’s can hate on the primals because they are eating dairy, the AIP crowd just resents everyone but particularly their doctors who kept pushing meds instead of trying food, and honestly I just laugh at a lot of the #fitfam with their ridiculous “healthy snacks” they eat while preening and posing in the mirror instead of lifting big heavy fricken weights. But really wouldn’t it be just nicer if we could all just be friends?
So anyways… you decided to eat clean so where do you start? Well if you are generally a mess, overweight, not moving enough then possibly a 30 day challenge would be a great start. I would suggest 21DSD or Whole30 as far as food goes and at this point just start walking more. However if you are a “lucky” individually who has been blessed with a large amount of allergies and autoimmune diseases you may need to go with the Autoimmune Protocol, or specifically if you have MS the Wahls Protocol. If you cannot do the “all or nothing” mentalities then try 3 Step Paleo as an introduction. All of the books/programmes will be a great start to change your mind set around food and more importantly your relationships with food. And as much as it is going to suck… it is really worth giving up alcohol for the 21-90 day introduction. Now you may make some mistakes during this time but don’t let one mistake spiral you down into a deep dark hole…. In general if you are in a tight spot:
-Always avoid gluten
-Suck it up and eat a salad, and NO you don’t get that dressing or the croutons
-Instead of restaurant see if you can pop into a grocery store
-Just don’t eat… you won’t starve or pass out if you go without food for a few hours once (but lets not make a habit of it ok?)
-Alcohol will be hard to give up for some and if you’re a woman of childbearing age yes you will get THAT annoying question over and over, but try soda water with diced fruit or juice…
Part 2 to follow: What to do once you enter the grocery store….