What is the biggest misconception when it comes to clean eating?
There are two misconceptions that keep people from making significant improvements to their health.
The first is the all or nothing mentality. This is the idea that if I don’t eat perfectly or do a cleanse perfectly, then I’m not going to do it. Perfectionism of this sort is a killer of momentum.
This voice comes from the brat within all of us. The reality is that we can start feeling better with small improvements like sleeping more and focusing on eating whole foods.
The second misconception is that clean eating is a type of restrictive diet. We know from the research that restrictive diets don’t work long term. Clean eating is not a restrictive diet, it’s not a diet at all. It’s a way of looking at food and how we make food choices. It’s not a food list that tells you what to eat or some plan that says you need to eat only greens, fish, and drink juice.
Rather, it gives you broad principles where you can decide for yourself which foods work best for you depending on your lifestyle. The main principle is that clean eating means whole foods minus your toxic triggers.
Learn how to determine your toxic triggers here.
What is the difference between the 21 day program and the 7 day program?
The Clean 7-Day is for people who want a taste of what the 21-Day program can do. It’s also great to use when you’ve been going out a lot and you feel rundown, after weddings or holidays. I like to use the Clean 7-Day, 2-3 times a year.
The 21 Day Clean Program is the original program. It’s what I used to recover my own health and what I give to my patients.
I’ve taken thousands of people through the program and the results are impressive. Typical benefits include improved skin, sleep, digestion, energy, and mental clarity with a reduction in bloating, constipation, headaches, and joint pain.
I recommend doing the 21-Day program 1 to 2 times a year and the 7-Day, 1-3 times as needed.
What is the significance of the length of the program? Why 21 days?
Twenty-one days is often cited as the shortest amount of time needed to change a habit. We build health through the consistency of our habits. The Clean Program is not meant to be a quick fix although it does produces immediate benefits. Along with these immediate benefits, I want you to learn the tools during the 21 days, so you can continue your progress after the program is over.
We hear a lot about juice cleanses today, but one of the biggest problems with them is that they don’t set you up for how you would normally live and eat. During the Clean Program, you use shakes and meals to support your body’s cleansing process. All of these recipes can be used in your day-to-day life after the program.
Is there one single worst food to put into your body? If so what is it?
I’m not sure there is a single worst food to put into your body, but if you have removed processed foods in general, then I’d recommend you remove poor quality oils.
Cooked vegetable seed oil is highly inflammatory to our bodies. This includes vegetable oils such as soybean, cottonseed, corn and canola oil. These oils are highly processed, high in Omega 6 fatty acids, and are often rancid. If there is one thing you can do to improve your health right now, it’s to stop cooking with these oils and switch over to coconut and olive oil.
I’ve created a whole guide to help you learn more about what oils to use here:
One of the biggest criticisms of cleansing and eating clean is the idea that clean food is expensive and unaffordable, do you think that is true?
The challenge with a lot of the criticism is that it is often misguided. If we compare the immediate cost of eating clean to the immediate cost of eating junk, eating junk will almost always be cheaper, there’s no doubt about it. But that’s only part of the story.
In 2013 over 20 percent of Americans reported significant challenges paying their medical bills and more than 1.7 million of them filed for bankruptcy. Medical costs are rising so quickly that even those with insurance are finding it hard to keep up.
Considering that most chronic diseases are preventable by better food and lifestyle choices, it’s safe to say that getting sick is much more expensive than eating clean.
With three kids, how do you encourage them to eat clean? Do you have a favorite kid recipe?
I don't make a distinction between adult food and kid food. My kids eat what I prepare. If I eat a salad, they will have salad. The more we create separate "kid" food, which often is not clean, the more we set them up for poor eating habits in the future. I feed my kids all the fresh whole foods I eat.
My favorite recipe is the one I created with my daughter Grace. We added it to my Clean Eats cookbook. It's called "Grace's Avocumber rolls.
Click here to learn how to make this recipe.