I was really looking forward to watching Horizon’s programme on Clean Eating, threatening to expose the frauds of the diet world, and reinforce scientific nutritional facts. I have to say, it didn’t live up to the hype it had created, and I, for one, was disappointed.
As with a lot of these investigative programmes, they tend to get their teeth stuck into the most obvious bogey man and follow that path. Indeed, their interviews with Robert Young, the ‘Father of the Alkaline Diet’, made for some very uncomfortable viewing, with his claims of curing cancer, through changing the body’s pH levels!
The Hemsley Sisters and Natasha Corrett (Honestly Healthy) both declined to take part in the show, which is a shame especially as Corrett’s opening page of her first book says she ‘stands firmly by her brand’. Her statement shown at the end of the programme would have done little to dissuade her critics, as she didn’t even mention the word alkaline in it! Ella Mills (Deliciously Ella) on the other hand, did appear, and really just tried to say that her way of eating had helped her – nothing too controversial there.
Clean-eating means different things to different people. If it means cutting out refined, processed foods, then I would say it sounds like a very sensible idea. However, a lot of ‘clean-eaters’ now cut out so many food groups, and as they are selling such a beautiful lifestyle via Instagram, people naturally want to copy them. It does worry me that young, impressionable girls will be jumping in head first and cutting out so many food groups.
I love researching different diets, as I am always intrigued to test theories, and think it is part of my job to be well-informed. I wouldn’t go as far as to try the cayenne pepper diet, no thanks, but I have previously cut out refined carbs, stopped dairy, and given up red meat. I know from personal experience that if I eat more sugar than normal, I get rosacea-type redness on my cheeks, and if I eat a lot of dairy, I get a stuffy nose. I am at a place now where I feel that I know the best diet for me, and I can change it up depending on how I am feeling and what I want to achieve.
I think people need to take the time to really work out the best long term diet for them, instead of waiting for the next new fad to hit the press. People are so desperate to be given the magic secret, that they jump from diet to diet, and are often disappointed with the results, or they follow a diet so strict that they will ultimately fail.
The magic secret really is to find your own diet that works for you, and that you can enjoy, so that you will stick to a healthy way of eating. Get to know your body and your mind, and how different foods affect your digestion, your mood and your weight.
In terms of eating clean, just eat real food. As I always say, if you can tell me what’s on your plate, you can probably eat it. By this I mean, know your ingredients. If the list is long and includes words that sound like they belong in a lab rather than your tummy, they probably shouldn’t be in your tummy. It’s that simple. There is plenty of delicious, real food to eat, rather than filling your body with chemicals and additives. The World is your oyster, so start experimenting, and most of all, enjoy your food!