|“Clean Eating” has become a common buzz phrase that can mean a number of different things. Originally coined by Tosca Reno, “clean eating” referred to eating foods that are mostly unprocessed, whole and usually low in fat, with the primary goal being weight loss, and presumably, better health.|
While this type of clean eating represents a big improvement over the SAD (Standard American Diet), our Phase One version of eating clean is quite different. Our goal is different. Clean eating Phase One style is primarily about addressing existing or potential fungal overgrowth, repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria, avoiding foods and beverages that contain dangerous mycotoxins, and building a strong and healthy immune system.
When looking for “clean” recipes, remember that the Phase One diet doesn’t discriminate between grains that are refined and whole grains. For our purposes, a grain is a grain, and no grain is a good grain when you’re on Phase One. There are many other forbidden ingredients besides grains that you will likely find in many “clean” recipes, like corn, mushrooms and artificial sweeteners. Mostly, just remember that “clean” means different things to different people.
So what does it mean to us? It means eating whole, unprocessed foods that are natural and satisfying. Unlike the more mainstream version of clean, this would include fats, as in butter, olive and coconut oils, nuts, avocados and other things that are excluded (or at least, minimized) in most clean eating recipes. Contrary to common thought, including these foods will not cause weight gain as long as you listen to your body and only eat until satisfied. Because these foods are so nutrient dense, you may find yourself eating less than you did before, because you don’t get hungry again as quickly. In other words, you may find yourself eating more fat and losing weight! Again, this doesn’t mean eating a pound of macadamia nuts as a between-meal snack; clearly, eating in this way would pack on the pounds for sure! But reasonably sized servings of healthy fats are encouraged on the Phase One diet for their ability to stave off hunger, stabilize mood and fight fatigue, just to name a few of the benefits.
The more common clean eating recipes also will frequently call for reduced fat versions of things like cheese, dairy and salad dressings or mayonnaise. Most cow’s milk dairy is discouraged on Phase One. Also, remember that reduced fat usually equals processed, and our goal is to avoid processed food as much as possible.
This standard base for a salad that has become a favorite for lunch– my biggest meal of the day– might look all wrong to your everyday “clean eating” fan. But I promise it is both healthy and great tasting, containing heart healthy fats that will keep you from getting hungry for hours. And best of all, it is a truly “clean” Phase One meal!