[WSGE Interview] For Your Health And Well Being: Clean Eating for the Summer with Rhya Pachin
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed on WSGE 91.7 FM Your Independent Music Source Radio! In the interview conducted by Regan Brown, we discussed For Your Health And Well Being: Clean Eating for the Summer
So, here comes the share of the fabulous questions Regan asked me, & my responses! Be sure to screenshot & share + tag me on Instagram if you listen to the recording, here:
Interview with Regan Brown recording: https://soundcloud.com/wsgeradio/for-your-health-and-well-being-clean-eating-for-the-summer
Please explain clean eating and what foods are considered clean?
So clean eating is definitely a buzzword that I think more of us have heard over the past few years. Typically, it refers to just the amount of processing involved with the food.
Eating clean typically means eating whole foods, real food that is minimally processed. So, an example would be a whole piece of fruit or vegetable, whole grains that are just cooked very simply, without a bunch of additional ingredients.
An example of something that maybe people would classify as healthy, but not necessarily a clean product would be like a granola bar, where it's coming from potentially original whole ingredients, but it's undergone a lot of processing to become a food product with additional oils and sugars and other potential ingredients. So, clean would be more focused on those minimally processed foods.
How is this type of diet (clean eating) beneficial to one's health?
Typically, when you're eating more whole food, real food and unprocessed food, or minimally processed food, we are encountering much fewer chemicals, additives, added sugar, potentially inflammatory oils, which are no longer in their natural state. So, in essence, without these extra additives and ingredients, it's typically reducing the amount of inflammation that our body's going to experience as a whole. And ultimately inflammation is really the root of all disease, is basically what we're finding out.
I would also add to that, that eating organic, in areas where you can afford it, and also eating locally, where you can, is one more way that we could add that into the kind of clean eating category that also benefits not only our own personal health, but also benefits our environment, quite substantially. And there's a lot of new research on that, that sustainable agriculture is extremely important, as the number of people in our planet grows.
What is the best way to deal with [craving some not so clean items] while switching to clean eating?
So, the first thing is, don't have things in your house, especially if you have kids, and your kids eat different food than you. I have a lot of clients tell me like, "Well, I'm going to get into my kids' snacks." Well, don't buy those snacks. Make your kids eat the same way that you eat, is one simple, potentially obvious, but very simple way of keeping each other accountable, and doing it together and making it a family effort.
Some of that can also be something that you have to get over with time. You know, the first few days, especially, like maybe three or four days, it could be difficult to cut. For example, added sugar or excess caffeine. Your body has to kind of find a new balance. So, sometimes it's just distractions, I think, during that time.
Drinking plenty of water, maybe taking a multivitamin mineral, just to kind of bridge the gaps. Maybe you still have a day or two a week where you have those more of those processed foods just to kind of allow yourself to have that, to avoid unhealthy mental or eating behaviors later.
You mentioned buzzword, and another buzzword I hear associated with clean eating is, cleanse. Tell us a little more about cleansing and is this something we should incorporate into clean eating?
So, with something called a cleanse, they come in a lot of different forms. I think, in some situations, they can be helpful. It just depends on the ingredients, the quality of the ingredients, and the format that it's delivered in, and who is guiding you in that process. It can kind of go either way. But in general, I would say, yeah, some sort of detoxification support program or a cleanse program is typically short term to just give your body a short break. (like this one)
Whereas, clean eating, potentially, can be something that you do long-term. I think you can take it to a not so great place when it rules your life, when you feel like you can't go out and eat something, when you can't socialize with your friends, where you can't be part of a social event because of restrictions or the restrictions you're placing on yourself in terms of how you eat.
So, I think you have to give yourself some grace and allow for opportunities to eat a variety of foods. I do think that, in general, eating minimally processed food more of the time is absolutely going to set all of us up for fewer problems down the road and be the number one best way we can prevent chronic disease.
Where's a good place to find recipes for clean eating?
We don't always need a fancy recipe to create a meal. I tend to kind of stray away from making people feel like they have to have a recipe.
Formula for a clean eating meal
Basically, all you need is a protein of some sort, a vegetable or two, and then maybe some sort of starch. And that could either be a vegetable, as well, like a potato, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, carrots, or it could be maybe a whole grain, like quinoa or brown rice, or maybe, on occasion, like a whole grain pasta, or something like that. And that's all you need. And then, if you want to get fancy with a sauce. Great. But a lot of kids, if you're serving kids, they don't love complicated food. They don't always like stuff mixed together. They don't always like sauces. So, sometimes just really simple food. It can be a blessing.
However, if you really want a recipe, you can, thanks to Google, you can Google, like 'clean [whatever you're looking for]'. Let's say you want to make macaroni and cheese. You could Google, like 'real food macaroni and cheese', or 'clean macaroni and cheese'. For dessert keywords, I'll use paleo, just because it'll be more whole food ingredients. And the sugar options, it's going to be more like maple syrup, coconut sugar. Those things are still contained sugar, but they at least have potentially a little bit more nutrient value. And you also will have gluten-free and potentially vegan options, if you use those keywords.
What are the best ways to save time while preparing healthy foods?
It's definitely a real problem. Part of it is mindset. You have to kind of make time for it.
Here's some general tips: I cook, probably, three to four days a week, and then definitely incorporate leftovers into lunches and the following days' dinner. Don't feel like you have to cook three meals, seven days a week. Cook in batches. So, whenever you're making a simple protein, like a meat, or even like beans, things like that, or a grain, a whole grain, make double, at least. And then you'll always have leftovers for lunch and maybe and/or another dinner.
Buy frozen vegetables is one of my life-saving tips. What I do is send my kids to the freezer every night, and it's like, "Pick out whatever vegetable you want." It involves them in the process, which is always going to be a better turnout for getting them to eat those things, if they're involved in it.
Frozen can actually be as fresh, if not fresher, than fresh vegetables, because when it's picked out in the field, it has to be frozen within 30 minutes of picking. So, those are my top two best tips is, batch cook and buy frozen.
Do you recommend listeners recruit the help of a nutritionist to work with them while they're trying to clean up their diet?
I think it depends on your goals. Anyone can eat less processed food. If you feel kind of lost in the woods, and there's just so much information, and you don't know where to start beyond that, or if you have like a clinical condition or a medical issue, that's where a licensed provider can, I think, really be helpful. Some people come see me because they just need to get back on track. Most come see me because they need a little bit of hand holding for a certain period of time to address something that's kind of a deeper issue.
If people are interested in learning more about you and the services you offer, how can they do that?
My website is a great place to start, carolinafunctionalnutrition.com. And please follow me on social media. There's lots of good free information there. My Instagram is @carolinafunctionalnutrition.