Clean Eating is Nothing New; Just Repacked

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by Yoli Ouiya on March 27, 2013

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This posted started when I saw the words clean eating scroll across my screen after mediating and it triggered the need to make a point.

Clean eating is not a new concept; Just a repackaged one born out of a culture of lazy nutrition and over consumption

It is a sentiment that I’ve said over and over to friends and associates since the clean eating movement re- debuted on the health scene. When traveling outside of the United States, “clean eating” or in this case, real eating is just a way of life. The more you travel away from modern culture, the more real food you tend to find. And by modern culture, I mean fast food, foreign food imports and bad habits.

I’ll start with my food influences. I am of African and African American descent. My father was born and raised in Burkina Faso and my mother wasborn and raised in Harlem then the Bronx. I’ve always teethered on both sides of the food movement; one that subscribed to original soul food from Africa, the peanut sauces with spinach and fresh chicken. The other side of my life was suffering soul food, an adaption born of slavery. The former (original soul food) energized me, always started with fresh food (sometimes even frozen), no preservatives or plastic. The latter (suffering soul food) made my hyper, tasted soooo good (maybe too good), gave me the itus, and made me a little chubby.

I think in many cultures, both paradigms exist in terms of the “old” way focusing on fresh, local produce. While modern ways of “convenience” creep in to make every tastier, quicker, faster…lazier. To cook a real meal can be all of those things but it takes some thought and know how. A shift needs to happen where involving the family in the kitchen is the highlight of the day. We get to relearn how to use our stoves versus popping something in the microwave.

We’ve become a culture of fadists skipping from one fad to the next. From fitness to nutrition, everything has a digital infomercial. You’ve heard the definition of insanity before: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Yet our current result is this dilution of what being healthy is. You don’t just wake up and say: “You know, today I just need to cleanse. I am going to juice all day” then go back to the same ways you ate before the next day. That is insane. I’ve experienced my own cult like addiction to following a trend of the new in-health rage. We all have. But then you get to wake up and say: my body is my guiding spirit. Listening to anything else will land you in a heap of parasites, candida, fatigue, and emotional roller coasters.

Yes, the clean eating movement is absolutely necessary. It’s a term I use often because it is a necessity and useful. We just got caught up in the “easy food” life and generations are suffering for it. #CleanEating should serve as a reminder that getting back to the basics is what is going to save out poor, nutritional ways. But I think it needed to be said that clean eating is not new. It has always been here.

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– who has written 331 posts on Yoli's Green Living.

Yoli Ouiya is a Green & Healthy Living Expert, Green Chef, Publisher and Editor in Chief of YolisGreenLiving.com. She is noted as the “Queen of Green” by Black Enterprise Magazine, and currently operates a boutique eco-lifestyle outfit Yoli’s Green Living Group. Black Enterprise included Yoli in its “Top 20 National Bloggers” of 2012, was named ‘Best in Green Living” by AllParenting.com, and listed as “Top 17 Black Woman Bloggers to Watch in 2013″ bu ForHarriet.com. With a certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell, she offers workshops, lectures, and organizes a variety of eco-chic green themed events in New York. She is currently on the board of directors for The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, a health and nutrition specialist for Harlem Children’s Zone, and co-authoring a book slated for completion Spring 2014.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rob March 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Original soul food. Hell yea! I remember the first time i ever had ethiopian food (Makeda’s in NNJ) i fell in love. Felt like i was “home”, and I’d never had any of it before.
At any rate, one of the things I love most about living in Germany is what you talked about. Eating regular ass food is way more common than fast food. Granted, mcdees is widespread over here, but (most) mofos still know how to cook. The common German fridge is more like a college mini-fridge (in the states) because they don’t buy ass loads of crap that last forever. They buy for the day/week and repeat each week.

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