Monday, July 6, 2015

Am I Eating Clean and Local, But Just Not Making A Big Deal About It?

As I sat down to dinner at my parents' house, I realized something. Were I a person who took pictures of her food, I would have taken a pic of my mom's lovely meal. It could have been hashtagged something crazy, because on my plate was something Instagram dreams were made of.

Homegrown asparagus from my sweet Aunt Nancy's garden (she's 80), Webel beef or pork ( I can't remember...I ate it, didn't document it!), potatoes from a local grower, bib lettuce from Arthur, Illinois (thank you Amish folks who market to Hy Vee), and Illinois peaches.

Now, here's my deal. I ate it. It was delicious. The end.

Don't get me wrong. I am an advocate for local farmers. I am a person who likes to consider herself quite healthy. I am the food nazi when it comes to my kids and excess and treats and all that stuff.

However, am I the only one who feels like we're all becoming a little nutty about this catch phrase driven time in our nutritional lives? I feel like that meal, one that had limited added sugar and salt and was fresh was pretty darn clean, and couldn't get any more local than when my kid asked which animal we were eating, by name (that's a little ewww). While I have not done very much research on clean eating, I can't help but think that locally raised meat and produce couldn't NOT be on the clean eating list.

Clean eating, local eating, eat, eat, eat, food, food, food is EVERYWHERE. Do you wonder why we're a fat nation? All we see, hear and talk about is food. Regardless of whether it's bad or good for you, food is everywhere.

And there's a war going on of words about food.

I opened my Runner's World last week, and this is what I saw:

Now. While there's nothing technically offensive in the language of this ad for, it's the tone I don't like. It's the extremist attitude towards food. It's the "do you give a damn about it?" attitude. I don't like that. I like food because it keeps me going, but do I need to make a stand about what I eat? 

Maybe it's because I am not a foodie. I do like to cook and bake and enjoy a good meal, but I just don't get it. Why so extreme? Why can't I enjoy a meal like I did at my mom and dad's without proclaiming that I am a clean eater, and shun all those who enjoy a Wheat Thin that came from a box and not a recipe on Pinterest? Why can't I enjoy a Wheat Thin or an Oreo once in a while without extreme amounts of guilt and shame. 

Again, I make my own granola; we eat our own beef, but there are days that I want my kids to just eat quick and have a dang corn dog! I know their nutritional needs were not met by this corn dog, but does that make me a bad mom? 

Probably not, because a kid cannot live on corn dogs alone. Sorry Bible, I couldn't help it. 

It probably makes me not a true clean eater, but I guess I would rather be known as a balanced eater. 

My point of today's rant is that I would like to know more about clean eating, because I really do feel like for the most part, we're pretty good at keeping food "real," I just don't make a big deal about it. For those of you who are more clean eaters, enlighten me. I would love to know what makes a clean eater. I know it doesn't include corn dogs, that's for sure.

Regardless, happy eating. Just don't expect me to take a picture or a stand on my food!


  1. Love, love this post + so tired of having to have a label for everything.

    I think there are actually a lot of definitions of "clean," but it sounds like you're definitely on the right track with whole and unprocessed foods (which seems to be the most typical in my experience). I just dropped you a few suggestions of resources on your Facebook page, too! :)

    xo // kate j

  2. This is wonderful!

  3. I completely agree with you! At our house we eat our own beef, veggies out of a garden, jams that I've put up, etc. but I don't seem to understand why I have to holler to everyone about it. Thanks for the words that reaffirm that I don't have to :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista