If you follow us on Instagram, you know we’re not about the clean eating trend. You could put it stronger than that, we think it’s BS. More and more people are becoming obsessed about having a ‘pure’ diet by only eating what is deemed ‘clean’, and in doing so cutting foods out of their everyday life which are actually perfectly healthy and wholesome.
If we told you that Ella’s anorexia first started as clean eating before it was even a used term, would you still think it’s a good way to live? Her illness was actually orthorexia- when you only eat foods considered healthy because otherwise it will harm your body. This then became so restrictive and to the point that any carb or fat was feared, anything slightly processed was off limits, and then anorexia took over. To us, orthorexia has a few too many commonalities with clean eating.
Even now, Ella has her mental struggles when eating something which is culturally deemed as ‘unhealthy’ or even if it is just something pre-made and packaged. She understands that it is OK to eat these foods in moderation on a daily basis and that they won’t harm her body, but sometimes her mind still tells her she has done something awful. This is partly to do with the prominence of the #cleaneating trend, because everywhere we look we’re told that we should only be eating raw, natural and unrefined foods. Social media associates #cleaneating with not only being healthy, but also looking good- all these skinny insta girls with perfect radiant skin who post pictures of their meals only leads to the pressure to not only live their lifestyle, but look like them too.
So if eating a sandwich with white bread is ‘bad’ because it’s not gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, additive free blah blah blah… does that make it ‘dirty’ food? If someone has a bowl of cereal for breakfast, not the sugar free version, with bog standard milk instead of something squeezed out of a plant which tastes a bit gross, does that make them a ‘dirty’ person? (no sexual innuendo intended!). If you look on Instagram, apparently so.
If you’re trying to watch your weight, but you still want to eat your favourite meals, not some vegetable impersonating spaghetti, something to think about is the idea of using IIFYM (if it fits your macros). People can still eat whatever they want, whilst staying within their recommended calorific intake and still having a healthy (and enjoyable) lifestyle. Including a biscuit or two into your daily diet will not make you fat, obese or unhealthy.
We don’t need to be going to ridiculous extremes and only having boring diets of carrot sticks and courgetti to be healthy. In fact, by cutting out foods many foods like milk, pasta or bread it could be deemed as unhealthy. It certainly isn’t a balanced diet which is important for long term heath- both mental and physical health. It’s a fact that if you try and restrict yourself of foods you love you’re more likely to end up binging on them and struggle with weight gain after.
What we should be doing is enjoying all the foods we love, little and often. Watching our portion sizes when eating the indulgent foods and ensuring we get lots of the green leafy stuff too. And not just lots of fruit and veggies, but breads, cereals, milk and cheese are ok daily too. Who doesn’t love a biscuit with their tea? If you’re trying to loose weight for health reasons, using IIFYM could really help you! It could also be for you if you want to learn to lead a healthy balanced lifestyle which can include treat foods too. Or, you could do it the good old fashioned way before mobile phones with apps were even invented and you couldn’t track your food, and just eat what your body wants and needs. You’ll soon learn by how your trousers fit and how you feel in yourself whether how and what you’re eating is the best way for YOU. Everyone is different, remember that! We both eat in totally different ways; number of meals and snacks a day, time of day we eat, what we eat! (Although we are both totally obsessed with omelettes!).
The point is this- do what YOU want. We won’t lie, it peeves us when we see people on all sorts of social media commenting on others’ photos saying “What’s your diet? What are your macros?”… It does’t matter what that person does! You are different and unique and would need your own personalised diet.
So please don’t fall victim of yet another diet/ trend which has come into fashion, but could ultimately make you very unhappy. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with trying to get more natural, unprocessed foods into your diet- that’s fab! But there’s nothing dirty about good old eggs on toast or pesto pasta! (how else would students survive?!)
Happy munching xxx