What is Clean Eating?

Let's talk about the clean eating diet, the Primal Kitchen way.

BY VICKI MARTINEZ



What is Clean Eating?

Let's talk about the clean eating diet, the Primal Kitchen way.

BY VICKI MARTINEZ

 

If you're looking for a diet that helps you keep nutrition at the forefront while meeting your health and wellness goals, Primal Kitchen’s take on the concept of clean eating is both refreshing and … well, makes a lot of sense!


 

healthy food

What is a Clean Eating Diet?

Clean eating. It's not about scrubbing veggies or re-washing a “washed and ready-to-eat” salad mix. And, according to the folks at Primal Kitchen, it's not about a rigid, restricted, rule-oriented diet regime. Lindsay Taylor, senior writer and educator for Primal Kitchen, says they believe that the concept of clean eating or a whole-foods-centered diet should be about eating foods that deliver as much as possible for you on the nutrition front, maximizing nutrient density.

Focus on foods that are as close as possible to what they’re like when they come from the earth—minimally changed from their natural plant or animal state. “Eat the foods that were available to your great-great-grandma,” says Taylor. At Primal Kitchen, they call it the Primal way of eating.

So, what does that look like?

healthy food

What is a Clean Eating Diet?

Clean eating. It's not about scrubbing veggies or re-washing a “washed and ready-to-eat” salad mix. And, according to the folks at Primal Kitchen, it's not about a rigid, restricted, rule-oriented diet regime. Lindsay Taylor, senior writer and educator for Primal Kitchen, says they believe that the concept of clean eating or a whole-foods-centered diet should be about eating foods that deliver as much as possible for you on the nutrition front, maximizing nutrient density.

Focus on foods that are as close as possible to what they’re like when they come from the earth—minimally changed from their natural plant or animal state. “Eat the foods that were available to your great-great-grandma,” says Taylor. At Primal Kitchen, they call it the Primal way of eating.

So, what does that look like?

 

A Clean Eating Food List

As Taylor says, clean or whole-food eating should consist of foods that maximize nutrient density. Your body needs calories for energy and vitamins, minerals and protein to keep you feeling your best. “It's about what makes up the centerpiece of your diet, what you prioritize,” she says.

Taylor’s “shopping list” starts in the produce section. The bulk of your diet should come from the food you find in the produce section, followed by items from the meat and seafood case. Add eggs as an additional source of clean protein and make sure to include good-for-you fats, like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.


 

 

If this clean eating food list seems a bit broad, a little unspecific, that's by design. Taylor explains that the goal at Primal isn't to create standards or develop “rules” for eating. “Our goal is to help people find a way of eating that brings the most enjoyment to their life while also feeling their best,” she says. And that looks different for everyone.

Yes, it's important that a diet contain the foods you need to maintain a healthy balance of nutrition. But as Taylor says, clean eating falls under a broad umbrella. “Give your body the best food possible based on your personal preferences, what you like, your budget, your time constraints and your cooking ability. It’s not just about the food,” she says.

“Clean eating is not an all-or-nothing proposition,” says Taylor. “Everything exists on a spectrum, on a sliding scale, and the overall goal should factor into our bigger purpose of feeling good and enjoying life.”


 
 

A Clean Eating Food List

As Taylor says, clean or whole-food eating should consist of foods that maximize nutrient density. Your body needs calories for energy and vitamins, minerals and protein to keep you feeling your best. “It's about what makes up the centerpiece of your diet, what you prioritize,” she says.

Taylor’s “shopping list” starts in the produce section. The bulk of your diet should come from the food you find in the produce section, followed by items from the meat and seafood case. Add eggs as an additional source of clean protein and make sure to include good-for-you fats, like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.

 

 

If this clean eating food list seems a bit broad, a little unspecific, that's by design. Taylor explains that the goal at Primal isn't to create standards or develop “rules” for eating. “Our goal is to help people find a way of eating that brings the most enjoyment to their life while also feeling their best,” she says. And that looks different for everyone.

Yes, it's important that a diet contain the foods you need to maintain a healthy balance of nutrition. But as Taylor says, clean eating falls under a broad umbrella. “Give your body the best food possible based on your personal preferences, what you like, your budget, your time constraints and your cooking ability. It’s not just about the food,” she says.

“Clean eating is not an all-or-nothing proposition,” says Taylor. “Everything exists on a spectrum, on a sliding scale, and the overall goal should factor into our bigger purpose of feeling good and enjoying life.”

 

Clean Eating the Primal Way

If you've ever told yourself, you're not going to eat BLANK—insert the last food you tried giving up—anymore, what's the first thing you crave when you get a hunger pang? Like most of us, it's probably the food on your “don't eat” list.

“We tend to focus on what foods we need to cut,” says Taylor. “Focusing on what you can't eat all day is eventually going to make you unhappy.” Starting out, some restrictions may be necessary, but it’s all too easy to reach a point where they do more harm than good. “Because you’re over-restricting, you’re stressing out about ‘is my diet clean enough,’ you’re stressing about the ‘rules’ and are you following them correctly or do you understand them,” she explains. “These behaviors are helpful until they cross a tipping point and become unhelpful,” she says. And ultimately, unhealthy.

healthy food

 

Instead, Primal Kitchen encourages a focus on the foods that are going to be delicious and make you feel great. Focus on how you structure your next meal rather than on what you can't have.

In fact, Taylor says the right type of focus delivers special rewards: “If most of the food you eat delivers the nutrients you need … and then you have a cookie... it's okay!”

 

healthy food

Clean Eating the Primal Way

If you've ever told yourself, you're not going to eat BLANK—insert the last food you tried giving up—anymore, what's the first thing you crave when you get a hunger pang? Like most of us, it's probably the food on your “don't eat” list.

“We tend to focus on what foods we need to cut,” says Taylor. “Focusing on what you can't eat all day is eventually going to make you unhappy.” Starting out, some restrictions may be necessary, but it’s all too easy to reach a point where they do more harm than good. “Because you’re over-restricting, you’re stressing out about ‘is my diet clean enough,’ you’re stressing about the ‘rules’ and are you following them correctly or do you understand them,” she explains. “These behaviors are helpful until they cross a tipping point and become unhelpful,” she says. And ultimately, unhealthy.

 

Instead, Primal Kitchen encourages a focus on the foods that are going to be delicious and make you feel great. Focus on how you structure your next meal rather than on what you can't have.

In fact, Taylor says the right type of focus delivers special rewards: “If most of the food you eat delivers the nutrients you need … and then you have a cookie... it's okay!”

 
 



RECOMMENDED RECIPES


 
 



Sponsored by:primal kitchen logo