Rather than complaining about clean eating being the next big dietary fad, let’s celebrate the fact that finally people are being told to look at the big picture and work toward whole-body wellness. It’s refreshing.
There was a time when diets were popular, when people – mostly women – were quick to sign up for stringent, highly prescriptive regimes designed to “maximize self-loathing and minimize calories, and lose weight” (Guardian). I have childhood memories of women my mother’s age discussing their various dieting methods and comparing outcomes; their tones of voice mixed despair with self-deprecating humor. To my child’s ears, nobody seemed to be that happy.
As I grew older, I began questioning the concept of diets more closely. They didn’t make sense – an extreme aberration from one’s normal habits for fast results that, logically, would not stick around unless those daily habits were changed. I also witnessed the guilty agony of close friends who felt they had to stick to various ‘cleanses,’ ‘fixes,’ ‘detoxes,’ and whatever other pseudonyms their particular version of a diet happened to use, despite craving something different – often a food item that didn’t seem all that bad to me. Foods fell into strange categories of ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ and the latter always had the longest list.
This is why I’ve been relieved to witness the rising popularity of ‘clean eating.’ Slowly but surely, focus is moving away from brief, intense acts of dieting toward whole lifestyle shifts, paired with concepts like ‘wellness’ and ‘mindfulness’, in order to get better…