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06 Jun, 2016

Eating Clean Doesn't Have to be Dirty

Recently there has been a backlash against the idea of healthy eating and those who encourage it, no doubt due to an overcrowded market with mixed messages. “Is fat our friend or foe!?” “Will I be committing a cardinal sin if I eat meat on a Monday!?”. So we've written up our top tips for staying grounded when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle

The other day my friend invited a group of us round to soak up the sunshine in her garden, and as I was feeling bloated and a little uncomfortable after a carb-heavy lunch I decided to stop off at Whole Foods on my way and pick up a Kombucha drink that I’d been meaning to try for a while. Call it market research. I didn’t think much of my actions but I was taken aback by the almost indignant reaction my friends had to my drink choice, the fact that it didn’t contain alcohol and was purportedly good for you. I wasn’t drinking it because I was counting calories. I simply felt bloated and wanted to give my body a bit of a break.

And it seems this reaction has snowballed into a larger backlash against the idea of healthy eating and those who encourage it, no doubt due to an overcrowded market with mixed messages. “Is fat our friend or foe!?” “Will I be committing a cardinal sin if I eat meat on a Monday!?”. Which is why at The Detox Kitchen we really try to take it back to basics. We don’t use hard to pronounce ingredients (except maybe quinoa “keen-wah”. We don’t promote an all or nothing approach. We focus on fulfilment – physically and mentally. To quote supermodel Gigi Hadid, “Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane."

Here are our top tips for staying grounded when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

  • Don’t turn to faddy diets to overcome weight issues. These will inevitably lead to poor energy and emotional struggles as well as leaving you lacking in key nutrients and developing a negative attitude towards food. Instead, focus on the long term.
  • Above all food should be delicious and a pleasure to eat. And if it isn’t then of course you won’t want to eat it as a part of your everyday. Really think about the food that you are preparing, use your senses, experiment with herbs and spices to create delicious flavours. Once you’ve mastered the art of seasoning you’ll soon realise how nasty those ready meals really are!
  • Get back to nature. Food should look like food so avoid anything processed. Now you’re cooking from scratch you’ll immediately be cutting out added salts, sugars, oils and preservatives used in a lot of processed and ready-made meals. This really is a big part of the battle won.
  • Social media ban. We can guarantee that for every perfect, filtered image you see on Instagram of a delicious plate of food or a headstand done on an idealic beach, there will be another ten that those people wouldn’t want you to see. Think of social media like a television show, it’s not all real and there’s a whole reel of bloopers that get cut out of the final thing!
  • I tend to dip in and out of our detox programmes, living by an 80/20 split: 80% of the time I eat food that is free of wheat, dairy and refined sugar, and for the other 20% I eat whatever I want. I don’t beat myself up for allowing myself a treat now and again; I’m just mindful of what I eat afterwards and make sure to give my body the nutrients it needs to work properly.
  • If you get to the point where you are only eating ‘healthy’ foods and wake up each morning craving a reunion with your old friend the Kit Kat, that is when it gets unhealthy. Don’t think about whether a food is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, just be mindful of getting that balance.

Words: Ellen Tewkesbury

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