I get this question so frequently, most often when I hash tag a picture on Instagram @ellenoelfitness #eatclean and someone will ask, "Is that really clean? It has blah blah in it" or "What do you mean when you say clean eating?".
Clean eating means something different to every single diet conscience person you ask that question. Eat Clean/ Clean Eating is definitely the buzz word or phrase of the moment and there are variations of clean eating, just like there are variations of cleaning your house, that means something different to each and every one of us. Some of us are clean freaks mopping daily, military style precision in making the bed, closet organized by color and season, dusting the ceiling fans daily, etc. (Paleo) Some people may only do floors once or twice a week, and be OK with a little extra dust on the fan, and not worry about laundry but once a week as well. Then there are those who do the rush job before having guests over- like crash dieting before an event- so that everything looks nice and neat on the outside but there's peanut butter M&M's hiding under the bed.
I try to "eat clean" each and every day. When I say eat clean, I mean that I try to consume minimally processed foods, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. I eat six small meals a day, this way I'm never hungry. I DO eat foods that have been processed. I DO eat frozen foods. While I want to follow a clean diet, I have to be economical about my eating habits and time constraints I have time to grocery shop once a week. In addition to writing this blog, I work a full time job, work out 10-12 hours per week, my husband would like my attention a few hours a day, and have an active social life. I need for meal prep to be snappy. I also have to make time to keep my house clean and laundry done blah blah mundane stuff we all have to deal with. I do not have time to visit the grocery store three times a week, and nothing irks me more than watching food go bad in the refrigerator aka rotting money.
I buy lots of frozen foods, ie frozen vegetables and fruits. I've discovered this is the easiest and least time consuming way for me to do food prep. I use frozen fruit for smoothies, breakfast, and snacks with my peanut butter powder. Presently, my favorite frozen/pre-chopped fruit comes from Sam's Wholesale. I've been purchasing an 11 pound bag of chopped peaches, strawberries, and pineapple that lasts me a little more than two weeks. For awhile I was making smoothies from scratch, buying and chopping fruit twice a week and it was taxing. I had little "me" time. Then I discovered pre-chopped frozen fruit and I never looked back. It has ZERO added sugar. It is simply frozen fruit. Dole just did the work for me.
Another favorite product is Danoon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt. YES it is processed, but I still consider this a clean food.
Long story short- YOU determine what clean eating means to you. Eat often, drink lots of water and avoid processed food. Do the best with what you have and learn as you go. We are so very different and one method may not work as well for the next.
In other news, my mufasa hair made it's triumphant return this morning, all of my work pants are now to big. This is so crazy to me. I worked so hard to get back into all these cloths and now it's time to say bye bye. Can we go thrift shopping? What What What What In my next life I'm going to be a super famous rapper. Just watch.