I always tell people that I eat clean... in fact I will tell people I challenge them to find someone who eaters cleaner than I do! But what exactly does eating clean really mean?
The meaning depends on each individual and it's open to so many interpretations. Some people would think if they avoid sugar, that's clean eating. Another person might think that if they buy only organically grown food that it could be considered clean. And someone else might buy "cage free" eggs or grass fed beef (don't even get me started on these foods!).
I'll give you my definition and why I never seem to cheat on my clean eating.
To me, clean eating involves consuming lots of fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and no animal products. I also think it means avoiding any added oils in food... basically eating the food the way mother nature intended it.
Everyday, I eat huge salads, nuts seeds, grains like quinoa and oats, bananas, berries, steamed veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. The real reason I don't cheat on my healthy eating is because I became an ethical vegan when I went plant based. This added a whole other level to my healthy eating. In the past, I would maybe have a cookie or cupcake once in a while. Now, if someone offers me some food at work, my first thought is I bet there's eggs in it or I bet there's butter. Co-workers will think I'm just trying to avoid the sugar but that's not the case. Trying to avoid animal products keeps me from having those extra foods that so many others don't mind snacking on in moderation.
And oh how I hate that phrase "everything in moderation"! I agree with Dr. Michael Greger. He said in one of his videos that moderation doesn't work. You wouldn't want moderate diabetes or moderate heart disease would you? I know I wouldn't!
I would "cheat" on my eating plan once in a while if I knew the ingredients. I'm OK with occasionally having something with sugar or a little oil even though I never seem to cheat. But what I'm not OK with is cheating on consuming animal products. And why would I, when I feel so healthy without it?