Nutrition

Why You Won’t See Me Eat Raw or Clean


Why You Won’t See Me Eat Raw or Clean

Diets are a funny thing, some make lofty claims while others initially appear to be humble choices. The raw food and clean eating diets are two of the more humble options in my opinion. They are however, missing a  few points in their execution.

The raw food diet

The raw food diet goes off of removing illnesses and related problems that come from your diet by consuming just raw food. Meaning fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, sprouted beans, and seeds. The principal is the closer to a “natural” state the food is in, the less processing it is gone through and healthier it is for you. The  diet points out that foods that have been charbroiled can possibly cause cancer in the future as one of the driving forces to eliminating the cooking process .One of the problems I have with the raw food diet is there are certain nutrients in food like  tomatoes that are only released when it has been cooked to a degree. When cooking tomatoes, you increase the availability of the antioxidant lycopene, same with carrots, cooking helps beta carotene become more available for your body.

Cooking is good!
Cooking is good!

Yes some nutrients are lost while the food is cooked but the breakdown is very insignificant due to the fact that plants in general are very nutrient rich so the loss that you get from cooking is marginal. Definitely not enough to right off the cooking process altogether. By not cooking foods you also keep the calorie count low. I know, you may be thinking, “but lower calories means I lose weight!” Well, not exactly, if you limit your caloric intake too drastically, your body goes into starvation mode and it clings to EVERY SINGLE CALORIE and nutrient it can because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get its next good meal. Not something you are looking for if you want to lose weight!

Don't eliminate foods, you eliminate satisfaction and nutrients. Source.
Don’t eliminate foods, you eliminate satisfaction and nutrients. Source.

The bigger problems with this is that it greatly restricts your diet  by eliminating cooked foods. You eliminate several different food groups and the nutrients that you would get from them. There are animal proteins that you can only get from animals–shocking I know! Even if you get the animal protein supplement it still gets those proteins through animals. Not only that but our bodies can on absorb so much raw food nutrients. Cooking helps your body absorb the maximal amount of nutrients that it can. Yes the diet is high in fiber which for the most part is very good and low in sodium, fats, and sugars, but it’s just too restrictive for a long term means of nourishment. You end up depriving your body of much needed nutrients, and it’s ability to fight infections which is never good.

Clean Eating

This is another one that looks good on paper but can backfire very quickly. Its referred to as clean eating which hasn’t really be defined. For the most part, you eat whole, natural foods such as vegetables, nonfat dairy products, lean proteins, complex carbs, and fruits. So no processed foods fast food or pre-packaged foods or at very little if you do eat some. It’s also common for the dieters to switch foods that are high in saturated fat like beef to lower saturated fat options like turkey meat or chicken which is good!

All in all it’s not the worst diet in the world however the mindset that seems to follow it is less than ideal. When you think about it, all foods are processed to some extent it just depends on how process something is. A bowl of frosted flakes (trust me, not knockin’ because I love em’)  is significantly more processed than an apple that you cut up.

Clean & Dirty

The main thing that bothers me the most about the clean eating diet is the mindset that I have noticed that goes along with it. You’re either eating clean or you’re eating dirty. Little room for error there. From watching other clean eaters and their “Only eat clean” mantras I feel like I just reverted to high school and am battling with the cool kids. Clean eating is now American Eagle and dirty eating is thrift stores or JC Penneys. God forbid your parents didn’t take you to Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle in the mall but instead took you to JC Penneys or thrift stores for clothes shopping. I have literally had people look down at me because I added a bag of cereal to my cart with my produce. They even told me that it was “unclean”! I had to fight my fist-meet-face reflex but I was able to walk away after taking a very deep breath.

Food is Not Dirty

The second we start judging food by how ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ it is, is the second I really start questioning everybody’s standards for nutrition and wellbeing. Honestly the only way I would consider a food dirty is if I was eating it outside, dropped it, and it got covered in dirt and therefore became dirty then. Seriously. People can end up feeling so guilty for breaking the rules with clean eating, to the point where they themselves have become “unclean, dirty, or unwholesome”. It saddens me that people can get so wrapped up in a diet that they lose sight of what is really important, that there is more to life than following a diet.

 

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15 thoughts on “Why You Won’t See Me Eat Raw or Clean”

  1. Well said. I don’t let other people’s opinions make me feel guilty. I used the clean eating guideline to “clean up” (sorry haha) how I ate and try to stick to it 80/20 because in reality, I know 100% clean will not work. I read those blogs where the writer is all “Paleo” “Whole30” “the next dad diet” is the best way to go. Eventually they try a new diet and ditch the old way. Good for them- now hand me a buffalo wing.
    What am I against? People who say they eat clean but faithfully take products that promote weight loss. Seriously how does anyone afford that stuff monthly? Some day they are “Natural” but hellllloooo it’s processes powder or pills and some Crystalized! How is that natural? LOL

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    1. I love your 80 20 rule for it. I think I would help it be more successful. And yes it is just a matter of time before some new diet trend that supposed to fix everything pops up. The diet products are crazy expensive, I don’t know how they afford it either! Especially if they’re talking about how the ONLY thing they did was clean eating, they “didn’t do anything else” but were actually taking weight loss pills/supplement/powder/shake whatever.
      I briefly considered something like slimquick but the possible side effects just scare me too much. Especially when you get think about the addiction that can pop up when you’re taking weight loss supplements like that. Have you seen the prices of Shakeology? I nearly had a heart attack! Then you also have the detoxing juices out there which also have some steep prices. I thought about doing a post about detox diets and their specified juices but I am not sure yet. So glad you liked it! Thanks for reading!

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  2. Hello! Fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador stopping by, I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR FOOD MENTALITY/MINDSET and your little images “clean and dirty shouldn’t describe food!” SO true! I am NOT fan of any of those “diets” or terms, and I am not a fan of “paleo” or “atkins’ and whatever lame trend is out there. As someone who has Celiac, lactose intolerance, and Severe IBS, I have to eliminate MANY foods for health reasons, which is frustrating but also concerning because I lose out on nutrients that I have to make up for elsewhere, so it BLOWS my mind when people choose to eliminate SO many foods for “diet” reasons. I cannot wrap my head around it, eat wholesome food, but eat some chocolate too! Thanks for being so wise 🙂

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    1. Your post made me truly laugh out loud. Because I feel the same way about the new diets that pop up. I look at the paleo with curiosity only because I haven’t really studied it. I know it’s ridiculous the way they are eliminating foods left and right. Diets should not focus on elimination (especially of food groups) unless of course your doctor tells you to. I haven’t thought about the people that are forced to eliminate foods due to diseases and how they may feel about these diets. I think I would be offended personally. Thank you for reading, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. Great post. The “raw foods” movement baffles me too. I’m not sure why people think we were healthier back in the days before we used fire to cook foods and figured out how to bake bread. Maybe they didn’t have the same diseases we have now, but surely cooking and baking were progress that helped extend our life expectancy?! And, you know how I feel about “clean” eating> 🙂

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    1. No kidding, I’ve tried to understand the raw foods movement and nope, still don’t get it. Cooking foods really has helped us. It helps our body absorb nutrients in a way consuming nothing but raw food can’t. Your post about clean eating was fantastic! I really did love it. ☺

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  4. I could not love this post more and have been wanting to say the same thing for a while- I don’t count calories, I don’t count macros and if I want a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate, I eat it. I just choose to live a healthy lifestyle but that doesn’t mean I don’t nibble on a fry if I have the craving. I also hate the term “cheat meal”. I think everyone should eat to their individual needs. Just because I eat gluten free or dairy free doesn’t mean that’s right for you. I could go on really, but I just wanted to say thank you for putting this out there!

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    1. Annmarie, I agree completely. I’m not going to beat myself up if I have a cookie or a little bit of ice cream. I counted calories for a little bit to see what it was all about. It was nice to get a general idea how many I consume on a day to day basis. While I do so have Myfitnesspal, I hardly use it anymore. I find that I get obsessed with the calorie counting and that’s not good. I’m actually trying to figure out why I still have it right now….

      I also agree that you should eat to your individual needs. I think people would be much better off if they could meet with their doctor and possibly a dietician to find out what their body needs. I think they would have much more success that way instead of trying all these diets.

      I am so glad that you liked this article, I was really nervous about putting it out there!

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    1. I know right? I remember when I first heard about the clean eating diet and how confused I was because they refer to food as clean and dirty essentially. I think balance goes a lot farther than trying out specific diets unless of course your doctor recommends that you do so.

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  5. Great post and clear. I have said “clean eating” many times, and I have done Paleo also. I find that I catch myself “cheating”? I guess if I throw down that handful of potato chips when I am craving a quick salty something. We are always “dieting” I guess and I hate that word. What ever happened to us just eating healthy {while enjoying some of the fun foods} and still be smart at the same time? The Paleo thing had me giving up many food choices that I used to eat {although, I can honestly say that once I got through the first few weeks, I did not really miss them}. Food is such a touchy subject…I know for sure, this “wine country” chick LOVES her wine, good cheese and chocolate 🙂

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  6. I find that I follow a mostly paleo lifestyle, but agree I do splurge and admit it is sometimes judged as unclean but we are making our own choices and like you say we need to live a little! Still, I know that leading up to a race I am more strict with my eating because I strive for performance and to give my body the best nutrition possible to carry me through to the finish line. 80/20 rule is golden! xo Jenn

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    1. I’ve never really studied the Paleo diet. I must say I am rather embarrassed by how little I know about it. What exactly is it? I totally understand cracking down on your diet if you’re training for something that makes complete sense! I don’t understand people that are just doing it just to say that they are, like as a bragging right. Seriously what good is it to a eat a meal if you’re not going to enjoy it?

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