In order to be successful at eating a clean diet, one must be prepared for obstacles, failure and renewed attempts to get back on the wagon.
By clean I don’t mean vegetarian, raw, gluten free, paleo or any other diet focused on the restriction of food groups or components of found-in-nature edibles. I simply mean eating meals made from ingredients that exist on their own, like fresh produce, real meat, unprocessed grain, nuts and seeds, untainted seafood, beans and legumes and yes, even dairy, and not including a great deal of refined salts, fats, sugars, hormones or preservatives. I mean cooking and eating at home, and not relying too heavily on boxed, bagged or canned ingredients. I mean what people did back before the industrial revolution.
Anyway, it’s hard. I fail miserably more often than I’d like to admit. In addition to this list of shortcomings, I enjoy going out to eat with my parents, who are very generous in taking me out. The thing is, most family restaurants don’t make it easy to eat cleanly. This means obstacles, inevitable failure and an eventual round of “try again.”
For example, last week, we went out twice while my husband was working over time. Obstacles. While I did order smelt and sweet potatoes, they were deep fried. Macaroni was eaten covered in thick cheese sauce and mayonnaise. Canned tuna and sugary applesauce were rounded off with chocolate pudding and syrupy fruit cocktail. It was delicious, and my gut paid for the fun over the following weekend. Failure, coupled with a bonus consequence. Lucky me.
Last night, I made that renewed attempt. Carrot puree soup, bulger with lentils and veggies and hummus were on the menu, and I made it all myself. It certainly wasn’t the most sumptuous meal, but it tasted good and filled us up. Tonight we’re having salmon and maybe quinoa with grapes. Baby steps.
As I’ve been telling my dear mother (who is on a quest to lower a few numbers): It’s never too late to change your diet or improve your health. Baby steps.