Vegetarians are going to rule the world

Brittney Christ

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Clean eating to a better you!

Clean eating is a new food movement that has been taking off, showcasing all over Instagram and Twitter. You have probably seen the hashtags #cleaneating and #farmtofork as you are scrolling through your feed. But what exactly is “clean eating”?

According to Fitness Magazine, “clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate.”

We all know someone who counts calories, or takes a bite of a dessert and equates the bite to how many push-ups they are going to have to do tomorrow to burn it off. Clean eating is a rebellion of sorts. People are demanding to know where their food comes from, and they are not reaching for the processed foods.

“At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible,” Fitness continues.

This can be near to impossible on a college budget since we practically live off of top ramen; chips and guac; hot dogs; peanut butter and jelly. Right?

Wrong.

Many students are attempting to eat clean in order to cleanse their bodies and just eat healthier and feel better.

Blake Caldwell says that she “gained about twenty pounds last summer and decided [she] would go back to being vegetarian.”

“I feel better and I’ve lost more weight than I gained,” she said.

Brianna Dagnall had a similar epiphany.

“I kind of went cold turkey one day in January this year after seeing some doctor results and being disappointed enough to change,” Dagnall said. “What brought me to where I am today (vegan, whole foods, plant based) was watching a ton of health documentaries…it’s not a diet for me, it’s a lifestyle change 100 percent.”

“There’s a service called Bountiful Baskets that I use (fresh fruits and veggies from all over), and if I buy bulk staples like rice, quinoa, and beans, I can last on one Bountiful Basket for a few weeks,” she said.

Dagnall also said that “college is when you are exploring your wants and needs, and it sets the stage for how you’re going to live in the future. It would be a crime not to at least attempt clean eating in some way (whether it’s just healthier, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, whatever). [You] would just be depriving [yourself] of that exploration time. There are ways to be completely clean without breaking the bank.”

Instead of grabbing a cookie, grab an apple, or a pear on your way to class. You do not need to count every little calorie or every gram of protein to be healthy.

Do not shy away from an avocado because it “has too much fat”. Avocados have vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytosterols, and other dietary bioactives that actually lower bad cholesterol more than a low-fat diet.

Do not be afraid to reach for all of that seasonal fruit like strawberries, watermelon, or nectarines because they “have too much sugar, and sugar equals carbs!” They have so many nutrients, water and fiber.

If you are afraid of eating something natural, like avocados, or bananas because of their fat content, ask yourself: Would I rather eat a banana, or a HoHo? An avocado, or a ready to heat 100-calorie burrito?

Too many people remember bad dieting advice they have been fed their entire life about low-fat, low-carb diets. In actuality, most nutritionists put their clients on high-fat, raw diets to encourage weight loss, and even fertility. A coworker of mine lost 20 pounds in a month on a high-fat diet that included heavy cream in her coffee and fried eggs.

Clean eating is all about eating as raw or as “clean” as possible. This phenomenon is not only good for you, but it is also good for the economy.

Instead of supporting Keebler or Hostess, you are supporting local farmers and produce, in place, helping your economy and making the world a “healthier” place. Not to mention, your wallet will thank you. Instead of spending lots of money on freezer pizza, or sugary cereal, you can buy some oatmeal, eggs, poultry, and lots of fruits and veggies that can outlast anything you buy that is processed.

You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to “eat clean” or see results, you just need to eat food as natural as possible. Who knows? After a few weeks, you may find that you have the energy to rule the world.