There are a lot of buzzwords out there right now surrounding food, and, frankly, it’s confusing. I am not going to attempt to define all of that for you here, because 1) that’s not really my purpose, and 2) I don’t wanna. 😉
Here’s what I do want to tell you: paleo and primal ways of eating are incredibly strict. We’re not subscribing to either of those labels, because we haven’t chosen to be that restricted in our diet. On the other hand, we are a little more restricted than the term “clean eating” typically suggests. Most people who say they are eating clean mean they are eating whole foods. Hey, look, another buzzword! In simple terms, “whole” foods are as unrefined as possible, with no additives.
I’ve chosen the term “clean eating” as the clearest way to label how we’ll be eating. The foods you choose for your family should be up to you. Some foods are probably not good for anyone. Some foods are good for everyone. Other foods are person-to-person specific. For the most part, the fads have good qualities, but may be overly-restrictive (or sometimes under-restrictive) in an attempt to cover everyone.
Here is what we have decided works for us. (This could change over time, but probably not by much.)
- No artificial ingredients. That means most boxed, canned, and bottled foods are out.
- Gluten-free, but not grain-free. We are avoiding gluten in our daily lives. However, we are still eating rice, oats, and quinoa.
- Corn-free. Noah is allergic, so neither he nor I can eat corn. It’s highly genetically modified, so we decided Noah’s allergy is a good cue to pitch it entirely.
- Soy-free. Noah is allergic to soy, as well. Soy is another that is likely not good for us, anyway, so we pitched it, as well.
- Dairy-free, mostly. We’re still eating some cheese, but no other dairy. Noah and Aria are both sensitive to dairy, so we hardly eat it. I have learned their sensitivity may be due to an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut which can be fixed through diet and a good probiotic supplement. (This imbalance was apparently passed to them from me in gestation.) So, I’m curious to see if these changes will yield a difference in their sensitivity to dairy. We will remain largely dairy-free, regardless.
- Sugar-free, mostly. There are a few places we are still consuming sugar, such as in our homemade jams and the natural syrup we drink in our coffee. I am hoping we’ll cut even these eventually, but we are giving ourselves time to adjust to the idea.
This is not a diet. We are not tied to this way of eating. There’s no “I can’t eat that”. There’s “I’m choosing not to eat that right now”. If we want to get pizza every once in a while, we can (we’ll probably feel rotten later, but that’s what free will is all about, right?). 😉
We are not changing our eating patterns to lose weight. (Though, neither of us would mind if that were the result.) We are changing our diets because of Andy’s and the kids’ food sensitivities and because we’ve become increasingly convinced that the way our culture approaches food is unhealthy. Getting to where we are willing to make such drastic changes has been a long process of health issues, research, and baby steps.
Here’s the really great news: there is so much tasty food you can eat this way! This is not a matter of deprivation, not at all. Yes, we have to learn new patterns, but that’s a short-term problem.
If you’re thinking “I’d really like to do that, but I wouldn’t know where to start”, I feel you! And I would love to help. So, here’s what you can expect from me:
- Meal plans. Each week I’ll share with you what we plan to eat that week.
- Recipes. That’s the big deal, right? We all want to know there are actually foods out there we’ll enjoy eating. I’ll be posting recipes here, and I also pin to several specific boards on Pinterest.
- Tips and tricks for making clean eating a lifestyle.
If you have questions, leave them here as a comment, or shoot me an email. Maybe I can answer you quickly, or maybe I can cover your question in a post. If you don’t subscribe to the blog but you want to keep up with this series, now is a good time to subscribe. You can do that by email or RSS in the upper right side of this page.
Thursday I’ll answer the question of exactly what we do eat.