squeaky clean

June 21, 2009

wow, it’s amazing what a day off can do! i feel 8 million times better about . . . well, pretty much everything. i got in such a bad cycle last week — i felt foggy, unproductive, and useless. the worse i felt, the less i did, and the less i did, the worse i felt. such a downward spiral! fortunately, i am back to my regular upbeat self. sometimes i think i need to experience the doldrums every once in a while to realize how good my “normal” lives actually is!

because really, it’s pretty good. i spent the day cleaning and organizing, but i thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the house is 8 million times more inviting and attractive as a result. i treated myself to lunch AND dinner out (what can i say? i enjoy being nice to myself) and a decent amount of down time.

i made a brief appearance at a friend’s husband’s 40th birthday party, where i felt very young and ummm . . . a little overexposed. it was superhot, so i wore the dress i wasn’t quite sure about before. my fears that it was a little too low cut were confirmed when two very sketchy looking men yelled after me as i walked down franklin street, “i like your green dress!” in such a way that i knew their comment had nothing to do with fashion. but whatever. i had fun, drank some nice sauvignon blanc, saw my old boss and some other coworkers, and was home by 9. who says residents don’t have lives? that’s TWO social engagements in one weekend! perhaps a record.

clean eating
since i felt rather dirty from the past week’s indiscretions (is it possible to become vitamin deficient in a week?), i was craving some colorful, fresh foods today. it’s amazing how much better my diet is when i have time to spare and a stocked fridge.

i stopped for lunch at whole foods before filling up my cart with groceries, knowing that i’d buy everything in the store if i was hungry while throwing things into the cart. for a little lunchtime excitement, i bought a copy of clean eating magazine. while i read, i had a lovely spinach salad with lots of vegetables, spicy thai dressing, and marinated tofu.

it was a rainbow of freshness and made excellent fuel, but it occurred to me that by the most stringent of standards, it probably wasn’t even all that “clean”. i’m sure the dressing had some sugar in it, the tofu probably had lots of oil (though it didn’t seem fried), and i put some of those irresistable sesame sticks on top. what can i say? if i’m going to eat salad for lunch, there needs to be more to it than just some greens and tomatoes.

i’m definitely into health and wellness — so much that i’m thinking of attending this blogger healthy living summit in boston this summer! while this blog doesn’t fit the foodie blog prototype, i figure why not — i’m off for the weekend, would love to catch up with kath again, and i really want to meet heather! plus, i put a lot of time into this whole blogging thing and would love to meet others who have the same hobby.

i mention this because in the healthy lifestyle blogging circles, there has been much buzz about clean eating recently. so what is clean eating anyway? must it be raw? vegan? cruelty-free? or just balanced and healthy? i suppose the definition depends on who you ask. the magazine has pretty stringent guidelines for “how to eat and live clean”, including:

eating 5-6 times/day. but what if i don’t always have time?

drinking at least 2 liters of water a day. dude, if i don’t have time to eat, i certainly don’t have time to run to the bathroom every 15 minutes.

scutinizing lablels — according to the magazine’s intro, “clean foods” contain just 1 or 2 ingredients. that seems a little strict. even whole grain bread may have more than that.

avoiding processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta; enjoy whole grains and complex carbs instead. i’m down with that, most of the time.

knowing one’s “enemies”. apparently, thine enemies are saturated and trans fats, anything fried, or anything high in sugar. i’m not about to accept chocolate as an enemy. or pizza. we are friends, forever!

shopping with a conscience — consuming humanely raised and local meats. sound advice . . . i know i should be better about this.

consuming healthy fats every day. NOT a problem for this peanut butter lover!

learning about portion sizes and work toward eating within them. in my opinion, probably the most important tenet of healthy eating.

reducing one’s carbon footprint — eating produce that is seasonal and local. i’m trying to be better about this, too.

ordering water with a lemon wedge and saving wine for “rare indulgences.” no, i am not on board with this one! i’m not about to start drinking daily, but if i want a glass i will have it. there is conflicting data on the healthfulness of alcohol in moderation, and more importantly, life is too short!

slowing down and savoring food. i wish! so hard to do at work, though.

taking it to go — packing a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean food on the go. while i’m not about to bring a burlap sack of tempeh to a barbeque, i am all about bringing my lunch to work. love it!

making it a family affair. i love our dinners together! i just wish there were more of them.
the pictured snack has 3 ingredients . . . so is it “clean enough”?

anyway, despite some of my snarkiness, i liked the magazine. there were some delicious recipes and i agreed with many of their philosophies. however, i felt they went a little overboard with rules and regulations. products were reviewed and deemed “CE-approved” or (gasp!) not approved.

i think that’s a bit of a dangerous message, letting people think that to be healthy it’s an ALL or NOTHING sort of thing. personally, i will stick with my partially clean (but always tasty!) ways, although i do want to work on some of the above — particularly buying local/in season produce and trying to stick to humane/local meats.

this picture made my mouth water! when doin’ time is over, i may consider subscribing.

pushup time!
after last week’s slothfulness, i’m equally energized to get back to my normal endorphin-seeking ways. i think i am ready to dive into the 100 pushup challenge! official pre-test will be tomorrow. anyone else in?


  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Glad you are feeling better! I think eating by that definition of clean (especially just 2 ingredients!) is overly restrictive but eating clean most of the time and eating other foods in moderation is fine! Everyone has a different definition though.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I tried to do the pushup challenge, but I wimped out after the first couple of weeks. It was HARD! Also, I have such an inexplicable problem with the term "clean" eating. As if, the alternative is soiled eating, which sounds gross and also doesn&#39t really make sense.

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Just wondering what lunch bag you might recommend for taking lunch to work? (this is a male reader, and although I am sure there are some male fans of orla…) any ideas would be appreciated, trying to make a concerted effort to take a health(ier) lunch to work

    btw, thanks for all your thoughts, musings, etc; so very appreciated

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