How Clean are Your Foods?

Happy Earth Day!

Without initially realizing the timeliness of my viewing (although I’m sure the network was fully aware), I finally watched Food Inc last night. Less than 15 minutes into the movie, I was moved to tears by a specific scene, and everything changed. I knew that was a tipping point.


Taking a step back: last Saturday I attended the DCMADA Annual Meeting, listening to great speakers (all RDs) discuss everything from Childhood Obesity to Eating Clean to Social Media.  While I don’t know that I learned a lot from the “Eating Clean” presentation that I didn’t already know; it was a refresher.

Over the last year, I’ve changed a lot about my diet. I’ve always tried to eat “healthy”, but there have been many steps towards doing so – not all of which I’d be proud to put out here. As of late, I’ve realized how many options I’m lucky enough to have – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Local Farmers Markets, CSA …. just to name a few – and I’m learning how to use these resources to be a smarter shopper.

What is Eating Clean?

I’ve created an acronym to bring you the basics….

Choose fresh, and start with Fresh foods first (when meal planning)

Look locally (if nothing else, to see what’s available)

Eat mindfully*

Avoid processed foods

Naturally balance your diet*

*A cleaner diet, with mostly fresh and unprocessed food choices, will be naturally balanced with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats found in nuts, fruits, vegetables, etc. Eat mindfully; be aware of your body’s needs and enjoy your food.

Are you interested in CLEAN eating?

Do you do anything, now, that helps you eat cleaner?

It’s a process; your diet likely won’t take a complete 180* turn overnight into the perfect model.  As someone who works with low-income families on a regular basis, I also fully understand that this, unfortunately, is not always the cheapest way to eat. It’s different for everyone; finding a balance that works for you and your budget is important too.  I’m simply putting the information out there for those who are interested. 🙂 But, to happily be cliché, even small changes make a big difference.

I am certainly not the perfect Clean/Green shopper;  I am learning, adjusting, and loving the process.


Have you seen Food Inc? What were your thoughts? If there’s interest, I’ll go into more detail about my reactions to what I saw. With my education background (Nutrition), I “knew” something of the goings-on behind the scenes of large food companies, but I guess this brought it right in my face.

It’s definitely worth your time; if nothing else, it’s educational. I realize that not everyone will be shocked; not everyone will swear off meat (nor should you have to), and not everyone will make any changes because of what they watched. But, in my opinion, everyone deserves to know where their energy and fuel is coming from.



Filed under about me, food, groceries, in the News, Nutrition

16 responses to “How Clean are Your Foods?

  1. I haven’t watched Food Inc. yet (but I want to! thanks for bringing this up). Clean Eating is something I think of often and I have tried to make small changes to my diet. You’re right that it’s a long process, but every little bit counts. I just need to let go of my dependence on convenience foods…

  2. I have not seen Food Inc, now I have to go check the listings to see if it’s on again.

    I do try to eat a well-balanced diet and include as much “clean” food as I can and avoid processed junk. Once you get into the habit, if you eat the processed stuff you can really notice the difference.

  3. Elizabeth

    I definitely don’t do *all* of those, but I try to do what I can.

    And I haven’t seen Food Inc yet, either, but I’ve heard from other people, too, that it elicits some very strong reactions.

  4. I was mortified when I saw the difference in chicken breast sizes in Food, Inc. I was bothered by so many hormones being put into our foods, but to see if placed in front of me so visually was kind of shocking.

    I would love to hear your thoughts in regard to the film. I’ve heard lots of people who are into healthy lifestyles, but it would be interesting to hear it from an RD perspective.

  5. Very well said! I would love to hear your take on the clean food movement as a dietician, and as someone who lives on the East Coast (hey, America is a very diverse place!). I’ve been a vegetarian for 14 years, which is 1/2 my lifetime, and all these clean food movies, books and articles only serve to reinforce my way of living. I find the benefits of this lifestyle far far outweigh any inconveniences I encounter. Like you said, vegetarianism might not be for everyone, but eating *less* meat is certainly an inevitability.

  6. J

    I have tried to make small changes in my diet to eat more fresh foods. I have cut out candy which seems to be going well so far but haven’t really noticed the difference except that I don’t feel guilty for eating a ton of sweets!

  7. I need to watch food inc…. i really need to focus on better eating and giving up crap… oye… i have too many food issues LOL

  8. I’m with you on this, we could all do better to eat well as well as living well. I live a great active life but I know to keep fit as a runner I have to eat the part too. I often fill my basket with produce and head to the cashier and watch what people around me are buying. Just the other day, I was piling my salads, avocados, apples on the belt thingy and the woman in front of me was buying two big bags of Doritos. That dismayed me. She was in her late 20s, looked fitish, and I was shocked. (Of course, I was wearing my Boston marathon jacket so I felt a duty to set an example 🙂 ). Oh well, thanks for posting on healthy eating, much needed void being filled.

  9. Food Inc is a good eye opener for sure. I know it reopened my eyes to the idea of organic meat (and eggs) only. And Organic milk…i’ve already been on that train for a while and won’t turn back. Eating clean can be tough, but most of the time you can still come away with delicious meals. Tonight’s dinner was chicken nachos w/ red and green peppers, onions, avocado and a few spoonfuls of refried beans. The chips are probably the only part I’d say don’t feel super nutritious for their bang for the buck.

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  11. I’m hoping to get a chance to watch it this weekend. I’m sure it’ll be very imformative/intriguing/appalling.

  12. LOVE the rules! I hope you’ve read Michael Pollan’s books, along with Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” If you haven’t, I’m jealous that you get to experience these clean-eating manifestos for the first time!

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  15. So, I just found your blog this morning.. loving it! We live in nova and I’m only recently into running. And, am in the process of turning all our food over to fresh stuff, no more processed crap. My biggest problem is actually what to do on runs.. for refueling. It’s hard to find anything that isn’t processed? I’ve been making all my own regular food, hummus, etc, but the running stuff.. just haven’t figured out what to do yet!

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