On Clean Eating and Accepting Change

collardsWhen I started this blog 6 years ago, my idea of clean eats did not mean eating animal protein at every meal every day. Clean eats certainly didn’t mean eating collards for breakfast.

Veggies for breakfast? Unless it’s part of an omelet, then veggies were not an appropriate breakfast food.  Home fries and hash browns don’t count as veggies.  And you can only have omelets on the weekends because they are a treat.  You shouldn’t eat eggs more than once a week, twice at most, right?

I had a lot of restrictions and misconceptions about food and I didn’t even know it.  Not until I did a clean eats challenge did it even occur to me that my thinking about food and eating were skewed.

Earlier this year I did a clean eats challenge for 30 days.  I made up my own guidelines, a little from Whole 30 and a little from Unprocessed Month.  The results were interesting.

Basically I went Paleo-ish for 30 days.  I hate putting a label on diets and ways of eating but our society does that.  So if I have to label it, then it was Paleo with an ish attached to it.  I fully admit that I was curious about the lifestyle and how I would feel with that style of eating.

When I first stumbled across the Paleo lifestyle and Paleo blogs, I had some conflicting views.  The foundation was sound but I was seeing things like pancakes made with 10 eggs and 3 tablespoons of coconut flour.

That made no sense to me.  That’s basically just some eggs, so why not eat the eggs and skip the “pancake” part.  This is what threw me off and made me scoff at the whole concept.

But I came back to the Paleo blogs as a reference for starting my recent clean eats challenge, because what those bloggers were eating fit my fundamental beliefs:  Eat real food.

That makes it super simplistic but at the core that is what the diet comes down to.

Going Paleo-ish for a while made me realize how much distress my body was in and how much it was craving whole nutrient foods. Suddenly I was eating eggs like it was my job and having soup for breakfast.

 

Potato, sausage, and kale soup.

Finally my body felt at peace and nourished.  I was feeling way more satisfied than I had ever felt before.  More deeply satisfied than when I was “healthy” and eating bowls of oatmeal everyday for breakfast.

As soon as the challenge stopped, I slipped back to old habits and I immediately felt like crap.

I could tell my body was craving more nourishment and was not pleased when that nourishment went away.

If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be adopting a Paleo-like lifestyle (besides lifting heavy things, I’d rather run or punch something), I would have laughed at you and walked away thinking you were full of the crazy.

The thing is our bodies are constantly changing as we mature and with those changes our  bodies’ needs also change.  We have to be aware of what our bodies want so that we can provide it those things. Sometimes those needs conflict with our philosophies about food and food sources.  Sometimes those needs conflict with everything we’ve been told by “health professionals”.

We have to come to terms with that in some way because denying our body what it needs can lead to problems down the road. My definition of clean eats has certainly changed over the years and is vastly different from when I started this blog.

My idea of what meals should consist of is the polar opposite of how I used to think.

It wasn’t until I did that challenge that I realized how crappy I  was treating myself.   How much my body was lacking proper nourishment.

Now I’m on the path to recovery and healing my body and it feels good.  I’m back in the kitchen and making awesome meals.  I’m inspired again to create, nourish, and nurture.  That’s what started this blog and I’m so happy to be back in that space again.

I wouldn’t be on this road to healing if I wasn’t willing to accept change and toss aside old beliefs and habits.

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this change and thoughts and reflections on it.  Perhaps you’re starting a new chapter in your life as well.  If so, feel free to share!  I’m all about support and we can do this together.

2 thoughts on “On Clean Eating and Accepting Change

  1. Great, awesome post. I feel in many ways like you do about clean eating. In particular, I really resonated with this: “The thing is our bodies are constantly changing as we mature and with those changes our bodies’ needs also change. We have to be aware of what our bodies want so that we can provide it those things.”

    Killer stuff, Andrea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Rose! This was one of those posts that I was a little nervous to put out there. Not sure why, maybe it’s because everyone has very strong opinions about food and diet. But I realized that if I’m going to share my journey then that means all of it and so I hit publish. :)

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