While clean eating is often categorized as a "diet" program, I think it is better defined as an eating lifestyle. Using the word "diet" implies that weight loss is the desired goal, and that just isn't necessarily true. Clean eating, generally, means choosing whole foods over processed. It means whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Savory, good foods that haven't been saturated with unhealthy chemicals and preservatives. Many people who follow clean eating guidelines like to have several small meals a day instead of three larger meals, although that's just one of many options for living a clean eating lifestyle.
So why do we need clean eating? If my post about high fructose corn syrup wasn't enough to get you reading your food labels, let me share this gem from Yahoo this morning. (Warning: if you are currently eating a fast food burger, or would really like to enjoy one in the near future, just do yourself a favor and skip this. I'm pretty sure this segment has put me off of fast food forever).
Although it was labeled a weight loss article, The Truth About Weight Gain is more like a food horror show. The most appalling part about it was the truth about fast food burgers.
Are you ready? Take a deep breath and steel your stomach. Straight from the article:
Most fast-food hamburger patties begin their voyage to your buns in the hands of a company called Beef Products. The company specializes in taking slaughterhouse trimmings—heads and hooves and the like—that are traditionally used only in pet food and cooking oil, and turning them into patties. The challenge is getting this byproduct meat clean enough for human consumption, as both E. coli and salmonella like to concentrate themselves in the fatty deposits.
The company has developed a process for killing beef-based pathogens by forcing the ground meat through pipes and exposing it to ammonia gas—the same chemical you might use to clean your bathroom. Not only has the USDA approved the process, but it's also allowed those who sell the beef to keep it hidden from their customers. At Beef Products’ behest, ammonia gas has been deemed a “processing agent” that need not be identified on nutrition labels. Never mind that if ammonia gets on your skin, it can cause severe burning, and if it gets in your eyes, it can blind you. Add to the gross-out factor the fact that after moving through this lengthy industrial process, a single beef patty can consist of cobbled-together pieces from different cows from all over the world—a practice that only increases the odds of contamination.
Remember my resolution about no fast food in 2011? Pretty sure that will be a breeze after reading that. Ladies and gentlemen, this has to be why, as a nation, we are so damn unhealthy, doesn't it?
Back to clean eating. Reading things like that just affirms to me my resolution to eat more whole foods, to scour our labels and to know where our food comes from. I owe that much to my family. Eating locally, shopping at farmers markets, gardening - all of these are basic steps towards clean eating. Healthy eating.
And now, my coupon for you. For a limited time, Tanga is offering Clean Eating magazine at a huge discount - a one year subscription for just $5.99, no strings attached. Just use the coupon code "EAT" at the checkout. (It initially shows up as a discounted price of $24.99 - entering the coupon code will reduce the price by $19.00).
Click here to go directly to the deal, while it lasts. As of this writing, Clean Eating is already in the "second chance" section of the website, so it won't be long before the deal is no longer available.