Becoming More Free & Radical About Clean Eating
Most of us have probably realised by now that there are certain expectations placed over us to eat in a certain way or according to a certain ideal.
Usually, this boils down to faddy messages such as eating clean, whereby individuals are either explicitly or implicitly encouraged to cut out more and more food groups from their diet - meanwhile there is an encouragement to force more expensive food items back in …
In other words, we are sent the message to feel less free and autonomous about making our own intuitive food choices, while the misinformed messages we are sent from media and other social sources of information become even more radical about what we ‘should’ and ‘should not’ eat.
As i’ve talked about lots before in relation to the Nourishing Routes philosophy, I am not against any aim or evidence based claim to eat an overall more healthy diet. In fact, Nourishing Routes actively promotes nourishment, balance and, crucially, enjoyment and social connection with food too.
But , as with any strict regime that advocates good and bad foods, there is often a lack of joy and balance in the concept of clean eating. Instead, there is multiple rules, ideologies and radical viewpoints of what is deemed ‘correct’ to be consuming, with little consideration of each individuals’ unique circumstances and cultural background. To me, this is not very liberating or healthy at all, especially when there is a whole host of benefits to wellbeing by becoming more flexible and intuitive around food choices that feel as diverse as possible.
So what can we do? What action can we take for our food choices to feel more free, while becoming more radical about cutting concepts like clean eating out of our lives?
1) Firstly, it is important to recognise when you come into contact with messages that tell you what you ‘should’ and ‘should’ not be eating. This includes articles, blogs and social media articles that proclaim the latest superfood, dieting trend, or food group to be excluded from the diet. It also includes headlines that demonise specific types of foods and their apparent detriments to health (especially as most of these messages aren’t supported by sufficient evidence!)
2) We can actively choose not to buy or promote products that seem to promote a specific way of eating. This might include superfood powders that (unless they actually taste amazingly good in the recipes you make regularly) have any supported health benefits.
By doing this, it sends a message that our society are no longer on board with radicalising fads about the food we eat. Similarly, we can choose not to share promotional posts on our social media pages about specific ways of eating (e.g. paleo, plant-based etc).