Eating Clean and Living Green

In defense of “Clean” Eating…
July 2, 2012, 10:20 pm
Filed under: background and research, clean eating, green living

This is my attempt to better equip all of us in attempting to explain why we pursue and follow the clean eating lifestyle, especially when sharing with those about whom we care most.  I’m sure we’ve all been faced with the situation of trying to explain our choices to one or more friends, family, colleagues, etc. who know nothing or very little about “truly” clean eating.  So, here’s my version of how to reach out.

Let’s make it simple and start with a definition:

a·pol·o·get·ics – noun

  1. a defensive method of argument
  2. the branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity

Although our family believes in the power of Christ and that we are called to care wholly for ourselves, others and the world God gave us – I need more room to cover that one! – I’m going to focus on definition number one for the sake of defending the clean eating lifestyle.

1. Share your story – I find it most effective to start any clean eating discussion by explaining your side of the story.  Obviously, with clean eating, this typically happens over food. (Thank Captain Obvious for that one!) Get started with your own personal motives.  What influenced you personally to shift from “conventional” food to clean eating lifestyle?  What changes have you experienced (weight loss, clearer skin, reduced medications)? How difficult was the transition?  Let’s be honest, none of us are perfect.  Our family still has it’s setbacks. Who doesn’t love those gooey, delicious box brownies with heaping ice cream!  but let’s get back on point.

For our family, it started as we investigated natural, un-medicated birth stories and the profound impact the drugs could potentially have on our first child.  Over time, it morphed as we sought to be intentional parents to examine what we put in front of our children.  Yes, it was overwhelming at times. No, we didn’t fully know the direction we were headed.  Keep in mind, we see it as a constant process to be ever mindful of how we “actively” live our lives.  The first step was coming to a decision to make up our own minds and reassess the foundation of what we believed REAL food to be and dig deeper beyond the creative marketing facade of food conglomerates.  Taking what our eyes and minds are “fed” daily through marketing gimmicks at face value in order to find the underlying truth to how and what food should be.  That’s why we refer to it as a “lifestyle”, not a diet or the latest fad.  We have decided as a family to make this a permanent change!

2. Present facts and evidence – Now, the common response you’ll probably get after telling your side is the “well, that’s all good for you but not really for me” bit.  Here’s where the 1-2 punch comes in.  Drive it home by referring them to articles, facts, evidence that shows them how “conventional” food affects their body and behavior.  For starters, here’s a handy one on coke (or soda, if you prefer the term) or on Smoking.  By introducing actual evidence and hard numbers, it becomes more difficult for your audience to directly dismiss.  Who doesn’t want lower cholesterol?  What do you mean I can lose 10 pounds without working out?

Yes, numbers can be fudged.  Yes, clinical study results can be subjective based on who or what cause is supporting the study.  That’s why it’s important to analyze the resource before offering it as evidence.  Do so with care!

3. It’s a pyramid – No, I’m not promoting the government’s extinct food pyramid here.  I’m referring to the Egyptian pyramids!  We all know that they weren’t built in a day.  It took significant time and small individual building blocks to create a masterpiece.  As with any major life change, the initial shift can seem like a major tidal wave to swallow for the newbie.  Present your audience with introductory small steps they can take (SEE BELOW!).  Reinforce the point that it’s about incremental forward movement to reach a life-altering fantastic goal!  We all learn to crawl before we can walk.  (Okay, okay, enough cliches!)

Truth be told, we (as Americans) live such hectic and frenzied lives that it’s no wonder we expect immediate results.    I once heard it said that the only thing Americans fear is inconvenience.  Ponder that for a minute!  It rings true in more than just our fast, faster, give it to me NOW food!  But it’s very important to remember that TRUE change takes time and effort.   In committing actual effort to make the eating lifestyle change, the results WILL come.

Here’s a few quick tips and guides to get started on this new awesome adventure to living a better life..

4. Top 3 rebuttals

  • MONEY -“Buying organic costs significantly more!” “I’ll blow my grocery budget!”  While it is true that buying organic is more expensive (Here’s why it costs more!), not everything needs to be organic!  It’s about making smarter choices to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while cutting back on the amount of meat, dairy and unhealthy fats that constitute a significant amount of the average household grocery budget!  Instead of buying two bags of Baked Lay’s potato chips, you can buy a 10# bag of potatoes and a watermelon for the same price.
  • Nothing wrong with me now – This is often the response of someone disillusioned by the creative marketing mentioned above. Typically, the hard numbers and facts you present should help diffuse this one.
  • Don’t know how to start – see the tips in #3 above!

Congratulations, you made it through my long winded, wordy prose.  I hope I didn’t cause too many casualties along the way!  In all sincerity, life-altering changes are real, even today.  The best encouragement you can offer is to accept an authentic, non-accusatory attitude.  Isn’t that the best part of life, knowing you’re not alone and someone is there who deeply cares for your well-being!


1 Comment so far
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Good post! It is so overwhelming to dive right in and make a ton of changes. I like your pyramid example.

In a previous post, SA talked about how our bodies were to be holy and pleasing to the Lord, and I think that’s a profound observation.

Comment by Kacie (@sensetosave)

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