I wanted to set my cupcake on the counter and see an entire chunk on my fatty midsection simply fall to the floor. As if resisting the cupcake had some magical power to biologically take me back fifteen years to a skinnier place. I wasn’t really invested in the idea of working for it. After all, I didn’t have to do anything to get fat, why should I have to work twice as hard to get un-fat?
If you don’t know what clean eating is, it goes far beyond just washing your vegetables and making sure your chicken isn’t still dirty from the processing plant it came from. The entire idea behind clean eating is to be mindful of the journey your food took from the farm to your GI tract. It includes foods that are:
Unprocessed. Your chicken comes straight from the farm. Still clucking and with another chicken’s poo on its beak.
Minimally processed. Your chicken still comes straight from the farm, but may have been slightly—but naturally—altered. For example, if it had to be frozen for the shipping process, someone made sure it had a sweater on.
Handled in a way that keeps it as natural as possible. Your chicken comes straight from the farm with its original feathers still intact hand delivered by the farmer who has chicken poo on his boot.
Paleo. Your chicken is so natural it hasn’t even evolved yet.
Clean eating is a challenge because it’s impossible to find any donuts that aren’t full of preservatives, sugar and saturated fat. If you’ve ever set foot inside a Krispy Kreme donut shop, I don’t have to tell you what’s in that boiling vat of hot greasy goodness. We all know that donuts that haven’t been blessed by a trans fat fairy are simply called dinner rolls.
Sadly, a huge part of clean eating is detox. This means, no donuts bathed in a luxurious warm grease bath. No sugar of any kind. Detox means you inhale anything in your house that has the potential to be yummy. When you’ve successfully added about five pounds to your midsection and decreased the lifespan of your arteries, you’ve successfully completed detox.
The word detox makes me want to eat pie, because when pairing it with the word sugar, it just feels wrong. And if detoxing from sugar is right, well, then I want to be wrong.
But, that didn’t stop me from trying it.
The first day was easy. The first day is always easy because you’re motivated and pumped. You can resist anything to have a healthier body inside and out. I floated through the day happily snacking on celery and bird seeds.
The second day was okay. I continued with celery and bird seeds, but I might have added some peanut butter on the celery and soaked the bird seeds in liquid sugar.
The third day I started to hallucinate. I saw taffy on the floor—a group of discarded Lego parts still connected. From the corner of my eye, a baby shoe resembled a rogue eclair sitting abandoned and lonely on the shoe rack.
By the fourth day, I was sad. So, I added some M&Ms on the celery and peanut butter. And some sprinkles. Possibly some mini-chocolate chips. Okay! There was no celery. Or peanut butter.
At the end of the first week I caved. Whatever was left in my house was fair game. Kids cereal, sugar packets, even the little coffee creamer cups. I was like a starving raccoon in a dumped over trash can full of jelly beans and frosted animal cookies. I had crumbs and melted chocolate chips smeared all over my face like a wolf would have blood from a fresh kill.
I was so happy I was crying.
For me, clean eating is just going to be making sure everything is properly washed, cooked, and the five-second rule is adhered to. It’s making sure that donut gets a nice clean distribution of sweetness as it glides through the frosting waterfall, and that my kids eat broccoli florets immediately after a meal of cookies and processed spaghetti. It’s making sure I get plenty of sugar and that my chicken is featherless, headless, and poo free.