Episode 81: Our Take On The Clean Eating Trend

Thanks for joining us for episode 81 of The Ancestral RD podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you’d like us to answer it on the show.

Today we are answering the following question from a listener:

“I would love to hear your thoughts on the clean eating craze. And what does clean eating mean? I’ve seen a lot of health bloggers promoting this.”

Clean eating is dietary trend gaining popularity. But what does it really mean to eat “clean?” Tune in today to find out why there is no singular definition to this term.

Join us as we discuss our take on the clean eating trend. We talk about the potential psychological and physical effects of approaching your diet according to this mindset and discuss why this movement toward a simpler way of eating can often make things more complicated.

Here’s what Laura and Kelsey will be discussing in this episode:

  • Why it is difficult to assign one meaning to the clean eating diet trend
  • Negative connotations associated with the term “clean eating”
  • The psychological and physical effects of defining what you eat as “clean”
  • The questions to ask yourself if you define what you eat in terms of good vs. bad
  • How your mindset around diet can lead to health problems associated with under-eating and nutrient deficiencies
  • Why having a mindset of eating “clean” focuses on restriction of foods instead of inclusion and eating enough to support health
  • How long term restrictive eating can be counterproductive to the goal of improving health

Links Discussed:

TRANSCRIPT:

Kelsey:  Hi everyone. Welcome to episode 81 of The Ancestral RDs. I’m Kelsey Kinney and with me as always is Laura Schoenfeld.

Laura: Hey everybody.

Kelsey:  How’s it going, Laura?

Laura: Good. I’m finally going to be not traveling for a month.

Kelsey:  Yay!

Laura: I’m really, really excited about that. It’s crazy, I was talking to my parents about how much I’ve been out of town and from October 5th through November 16th or something I was home for 8 days.

Kelsey:  Wow.

Laura: Yeah. So it got a little crazy. But I was most recently at the Weston Price Foundation Conference, the annual Wise Traditions Conference in Montgomery, Alabama this past weekend. I was invited to do a full day seminar on…well Sally had asked me to do it on carbs and I was like I mean I guess I could talk for 6 hours on carbs, but let me branch that out into more of the adrenal fatigue kind of thing. I did a whole seminar on HPA axis dysregulation, and how diet plays a role, and some of the other thing that play a role as well.

It was cool because that’s the first time I’ve ever done an official paid or expenses paid public speaking type of thing. And I got a little nervous because I was like wow, this is kind of a big jump from not doing that kind of stuff to going straight from that to 6 hours of talking. But it actually went really well and it was a cool format because I did one of the, I guess they call it a workshop on the Monday after the main conference. Instead of being up on a stage in front of a podium, I was actually in a small room with about 15 to 20 people and I got to sit for it.

Kelsey: That’s good, for 6 hours.

Laura: True. For the 6 hours I could have stood. Physically I could have handled that, but there’s something about sitting when you’re talking that seems a lot less intense.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: I say that I get nervous for public speaking, but I was surprised that I wasn’t extremely nervous in the situation. I don’t know if it was the format or the fact that I actually did know what I was talking about and didn’t necessarily have any issues remembering what I wanted to say. I hadn’t actually rehearsed the presentation at all. I just put it together and was like, alright, that’s it.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: So I was actually surprised that it was not as scary as I thought it was going to be. It went really well. I got a lot of really good feedback and Sally thought she might have me come next year and do it again, but do it on stage. So we’ll see. I’ll have to make some tweaks to it, and adjust some of the topics that I talk about, and maybe go deeper into some and maybe spend less time on others because I was supposed to finish at 4 and I finished at 3:53 or something.

Kelsey:  Mm hmm.

Laura: I think I finished with 6 minutes to spare, something like that. I was like, alright, well I managed to squeeze it into the 6 hours, but there was parts of it that I defiantly went a lot faster than I think I should have.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: I have to make some adjustments, but it went really well and it was just nice to be able to talk about something that we talk about so much to the point where I didn’t really feel like out of my element at all. I think sometimes when I’m doing public speaking I get worried that I’m going to not know what to say about stuff.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: Which I don’t know if that’s ever really happened.

Kelsey:  Yeah, it’s one of those things you get nervous about though.

Laura: Right. Luckily the audience was pretty much mostly people that are learning for themselves and then some practitioners, but nobody really gave me any hard time about anything or asked any belligerent questions that sometimes happen when you’re speaking in front of a…well I shouldn’t say I’ve ever had that experience, but I’ve seen other people get asked questions that are just like oh my gosh, if somebody asked me that, I’d be so anxious about oh my gosh they’re harassing me.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: But it went well. The conference was fun. I got to spend some time with Chris Masterjohn who’s like my Weston Price Conference buddy. And then also I got to meet Ben Greenfield which I followed him and seen some of his work for the last couple years and it was cool to meet him in person. He’s a really nice guy, and super down to earth, and really…kind of open minded about his recommendations. He might come across as being this like hardcore low carb promoter if you read some of his older stuff, which I don’t think he was ever like really hardcore, but definitely thought he would be way more into the low carb thing than he was.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: Which he’s not not into it, but he was a lot more similar to our recommendations than I even expected.

Kelsey:  Interesting. That’s awesome though. I think probably having that smaller group format for your workshop was a great experience. I always think…I mean granted I’ve done like one big, big meaning like you said, paid kind of speaking gig as well. I think I maybe had like 30 people, 35, something like that, but I would imagine that 15-20, that sounds nice and cozy. You can kind of get to know people.

Laura: Yeah.

Kelsey:  That’s really fun.

Laura: Yeah, and there was decent amount of participation and people asking questions, and my mom was there, and also Sally Fallon was there. They were kind of chiming in a decent amount, which I wasn’t anticipating that amount of audience participation.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: I knew I was going to have some. It was funny because I’m terrible at time management when it comes to that kind of thing, so trying to keep things on track and allow for discussion without letting the audience kind of like …

Kelsey:  Hijack everything.

Laura: Right, I was like alright, well let’s get back to the topic that I was talking about. It’s funny to see what kind of things people will get distracted by. We started talking about glutamate sensitivity at one point because I mentioned how zinc actually affects glutamate receptors in the brain.

Kelsey:  Mm hmm.

Laura: So if somebody is having issues with things like bone broth, that kind of thing, then even if they take a break from it for a while it may be something that can reduce their sensitivity to if they get enough micronutrients. So that kind of spiraled into this discussion on glutamates, and histamines, and that kind of stuff. I was like alright, let’s reel it in. It’s interesting, but that’s not really what I want to talk about right now.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: But it went really well and I learned some stuff from a practical perspective. I feel like I always learn information from Chris Masterjohn’s talks.

Kelsey:  Mm hmm.

Laura: He tends to talk about fat soluble vitamins a lot because that’s like one of his expertise areas. I learned some interesting things about the way that those affect different functions in the body. One of the things I learned that I thought was really interesting was vitamin A especially, but vitamin A also works with D and K2 so it’s not in isolation, but vitamin A especially actually affects our body’s ability to get good circadian entrainment because of the role that it plays in our eyes and light…I don’t want to say sensitivity…but just registering light appropriately in the eye. If you have vitamin A deficiency, that process is impacted in a negative way.

Then as I’m sure a lot of our listeners know, one of the main ways that circadian rhythms are impacted, or entrained I guess is the word, is by light exposure in the eye. Our eyes see light in the morning and that sends a signal to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which is kind of a master clock for the body, and then that master clock is what the rest of the cells clocks are timed to.

It’s kind of really interesting. I’m actually learning a lot more about circadian rhythm entrainment and it’s been kind of interesting to see all the different ways it affects the body. But just from a basic circadian rhythm entrainment perspective, if you’re not having good signaling from the eye to the brain using that light signal, then the hypothalamus isn’t going to be able to actually adjust the rest of the body’s clocks. That was kind of an interesting new effect of vitamin A that I didn’t ever know about.

Kelsey:  Yeah, that’s really interesting.

Laura: Yeah. I mean I’m always kind of pro vitamin A, very aware of it in people’s diets, and making sure people are getting it in either food or supplements if they’re not able to eat things like liver. I personally deal with vitamin A deficiency issues so it kind of re-kindled my interest in it and make me a little bit more serious about making sure my own vitamin A status is improved.

Kelsey:  Mm hmm.

Laura: Yeah, it was kind of an interesting, informative session that Chris gave. Then like I said, I got to see Ben Greenfield talk about mostly supporting athletes using real food because a lot of endurance athletes rely on lots of different products.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: Like gels, and Gatorade, and that kind of thing so he was talking a lot about how to support endurance athletics with real food and just seeing what he eats was kind of interesting.

Kelsey:  Yeah, I bet.

Laura: That was cool because I don’t know a lot about endurance sports and supporting that from a nutritional perspective. I understand enough about basic athletic support with nutrition and I’m a little bit more educated in things like weight lifting, and more glycolytic type activities, and supporting that kind of activity. But when it comes to endurance sports, there’s a whole other world of that.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: Looking for ways to replace a lot of those products is challenging if you don’t even know what products people are supposed to use when they’re doing things like marathons and Ironmans and that kind of thing. I don’t work with a ton of endurance athletes, but I do work with some that do that kind of stuff and it was just helpful to get his perspective on it and his recommendations, so that was cool. Then of course just getting to network, and talk to vendors, and meet people, and just try to get my feet wet in that atmosphere again because it’s been, I don’t know, at least 2 years since I was at a conference.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: I think the last one I was at was, I want to say it was 2 years ago for the 2014 Weston Price Conference out in Santa Clara. I want to say that was the last time, but it actually might have been 2013. I’m actually thinking that might have been the last one I was at.

Kelsey:  I know. I haven’t been to one in a while either.

Laura: Yeah, so it’s been a really long time. There’s definitely benefits to going to those things. For me it’s not even about learning, necessarily. I do learn a little bit, but to go all the way to Alabama to learn a few things isn’t really why I would go. Its more I like being able to meet other professionals and people in this kind of ancestral health community, and talk about potential for collaboration, or just get to see what their perspective is. That was cool and it was something like I said, I haven’t done it in a couple years so I kind of forgot the benefit of it.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: It’s just been so long, and so we’ll see. I mean, if I do speak at next years’ conference, obviously that’s one reason that I would be there, but there may be some other conferences that I would be going to next year and years after that. It’s just I think the last year has been a lot of traveling for just seeing my fiancé, so I’m like if I don’t have to travel, I would rather not. I think next year by this time I’ll be like alright, I’m ready to start traveling for work again.

Kelsey:  Yeah, I know. I always find the conferences fun, but for whatever reason, same here. It’s just been too crazy for a multitude of reasons to kind of try to squeeze those in. But it’s worth the effort I’m sure, so I probably should do the same.

Laura: Yeah, even if it’s just one a year or something.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: It doesn’t have to be all of them. I think being able to interact with other people that maybe you’re only interacting with online is always a nice benefit.

Kelsey:  Yeah. Well that’s really awesome, Laura, so congratulations on that. 6 hours is certainly a feat to be proud of, so congrats and it sounds like it went really, really well. With that, we’ll dive into our question for today. But before we do that, here is a word from our sponsor:

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Kelsey: Alright. Our question for today is:

“I would love to hear your thoughts on the clean eating craze. And what does clean eating mean? I’ve seen a lot of health bloggers promoting this.”

Laura: Yeah, what does clean eating mean? I think that’s a really good question. I personally hate the term clean eating. I just think it’s the first step into orthorexia to call what you’re doing clean eating.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: Because honestly, what is the opposite of clean eating? Dirty eating?

Kelsey:  Right, to assign some good or bad value to whatever you’re doing.

Laura: Definitely adds that level of morality to food choices that I don’t think really benefits anybody to be talking about food that way. But as far as what clean eating means, and we can definitely try to define what the average health blogger would be talking about when they say clean eating. I mean to be fair, it really depends on who it’s coming from because for one person clean eating could be like raw veganism and for another person clean eating could be ketogenic Paleo diets.

I don’t think that clean eating actually really means anything objectively. But what I would argue that most people are talking about when they talk about clean eating is avoiding any sort of processed foods, mostly eating whole foods that have come straight from nature, so fruits, vegetables, animal foods like meat, eggs, fish, that kind of stuff, avoiding sugar, avoiding food colorings, avoiding any sort of preservatives or anything like that.

Which I don’t think eating in a way that is mostly from nature and avoiding those kinds of additives is bad, I just feel like the thought of clean eating as being something that somebody is worried about can get a little dangerous because it just depends on what kind of food you have available to you and whether or not your definition of clean eating includes some of the stuff that might be out in the real world.

Do you have any different definition of clean eating, Kelsey?

Kelsey:  No, and I think you’re right. Everybody has their own definition of that. I think there’s not necessarily anything wrong with thinking about your food as being clean I guess, but I think some people can take it a bit far and that’s where you get into trouble. That phrase just tends to, at least in my experience and I’m sure probably yours too, Laura, we tend to hear it from people who have already taken it a bit too far. Typically if you’re hearing from somebody just saying like, yeah, I follow like a real food diet or something like that, generally for the most part that’s what they mean. But when I hear somebody tell me that they eat clean, I don’t know why, but that does just tend to be a clue to me that there’s potentially some orthorexic behavior going on.

I think it’s interesting just because of that phrase clean eating, like I had mentioned before, I do think there is a good/bad context that comes into play, clean vs. dirty, good vs. bad. Maybe that’s why it tends to be said by people who have some orthorexic tendencies because they’re assigning morality in a lot of cases to the types of foods that they’re eating and they feel guilty when they are not eating things that are “clean.”

I think that it tends to lend itself toward that group and if you are somebody who thinks about food that way in the context of good or bad, that’s something to look at because I think that while it’s not necessarily a bad thing and there are people who can think about food as being good or bad that eat perfectly normally and healthfully and don’t have disordered eating habits or anything like that, I just think many people who do think about food that way will tend to have those kind of tendencies.

Laura: Mm hmm.

Kelsey:  If you find yourself thinking about food like that, it’s worth diving deeper into that and figuring out why you think about food as good or bad and how that affects your eating behaviors or habits because you may notice that that sort of thinking is changing the way that you’re eating for the worse and could be potentially affecting your health.

Laura: Yeah, and again it kind of depends on what the person considers clean vs. unclean or dirty.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: Again, I don’t really know what the opposite of clean eating is. Because some people may just say clean eating is avoiding processed foods, and sugar, and that kind of kind, which I mean even sugar sometimes I think people go way overboard avoiding that. I know there’s some people that really struggle with moderation with sugar and there is a role for abstinence if you really just can’t control yourself and feel like the sugar intake just throws you off completely from your healthy approach to food. But for most people having a little sugar, or having a little processed foods, or having fried food once in a while is not really that big of a deal.

I do think that for as much as diet and nutrition does support good health and well-being, there is a limit to the impact that eating that way will have and if somebody’s kind of gotten the majority of the benefit of eating well, they’re not really going to get much more benefit from being so, so strict that they never touch anything that’s not what they would consider clean eating. It can go a lot deeper than just packaged food, like I said sugar, or I’ve had clients that weren’t eat fruit because they thought it was too much sugar.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: They might consider that clean eating, which I would say is definitely not a good way to approach diet. I don’t think avoiding fruit is a good idea for most people. If that’s what they consider clean eating, that could be a problem. If they’re avoiding animal products because they consider animal products to be not clean, then that is obviously going to put them at risk for certain nutrient deficiencies. Depending on how strict their definition is of clean eating and how restrictive that is to what they would consider clean eating, it can be not only a psychological issue but it can actually lead to significant nutrient deficiencies, and under eating, and that kind of thing.

There’s two issues here. There’s the issue of the mindset around food causing problems with your health. So if you’re afraid to eat something that you don’t consider to be clean, that can definitely affect your health and well-being if you’re just afraid of food or you avoid food because it’s not in that definition of clean eating. But then it can go deeper with certain levels of nutrient deficiencies if you’re avoiding foods that you don’t consider to be clean but that are actually ones providing certain nutrients that you’re not really getting in your diet.

Again, clean eating really has no definition. There’s no diet that I would say that’s clean eating vs. not. It’s not really a helpful approach to nutrition that actually makes sure that people are getting well nourished.

Kelsey:  Right. Yeah, and I think probably asking some questions regarding what you feel like is clean eating is worthwhile. Because like Laura just mentioned, if you find that you are literally afraid of food because it’s not what you would consider clean, that’s definitely going to have some potential health detriments like Laura just mentioned including effects on your mental well-being as well.

You want to ask yourself questions like why am I actually afraid of this food? What would be the worst thing that would happen if I ate this food? For a lot of people when I ask clients that when I’m working with them, the answer is never something really, really horrible. Usually the worst case scenario is maybe I’m sensitive to that food and I don’t know it so I have a little bit of a bad reaction which goes away over the next few hours. I think it’s worth questioning why you might be afraid of foods that aren’t clean or clean to you at least because you want to start thinking about how you can overcome that. You don’t want to let fear hold you back from eating foods even if they aren’t “clean” or “healthy.”

It’s also not healthy to fear food that may not be the best for you. Like Laura mentioned before, if you’re eating occasional foods that aren’t the most healthy food, you’re having a little bit of fried food, you’re having a little bit sugar, whatever, for the most part for most people, that’s not going to set you back majorly in your health especially if for the most part you’re eating a very, very diet.

There’s two sides to the coin here. You don’t want to be too afraid of food, but you also don’t want to not care at all about the types of food that you’re feeding your body. Some people have a really hard time balancing those two. But if you tend toward the fear side, definitely start asking yourself some questions about why you fear food. What is the worst thing that could happen if you ate some foods that you are afraid of because they’re not clean? This is a good time to also maybe work with someone whether that’s a therapist of some kind or a nutrition professional, just some kind of health care practitioner that can help guide you through this process of overcoming any fear that you have about eating “unclean” or sometimes unhealthy foods. Because you don’t want to live your life that way because not only does it just kind of affect you mentally, but like Laura mentioned before, you can potentially start to get some nutrient deficiencies, you may not be eating enough over all. So it can definitely have some physical negative effects as well.

Laura: The other thing that I don’t really like about the clean eating term or the approach to nutrition that is of that mindset is that it really does focus so much avoidance and what foods you’re removing and avoiding as opposed to what foods you’re including and eating more of. That’s one thing that being at the Weston Price Conference this weekend that I was reminded of is that nutrition is not just about what foods are taking out, and which foods are bad, and which foods shouldn’t be eaten, and that kind of thing. It’s really also, I mean I would almost say more about what foods are providing you the nutrients that you need and what foods do you need to have more of. Because if your diet is pretty much full of those foods that are more nutrient dense, and are providing the kind of nutrition that you need to have good function, and good detoxification ability, and good micronutrient intake, then having a little extra of these “unclean” or “unhealthy’ foods really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

I’ve actually had a lot of clients, and I even had a person come up to me at the conference who listens to our podcast who was saying that adding foods back was actually making her less sensitive to food in general and reduce some of her symptoms. I think people really underestimate the potential for malnutrition causing a lot of these health issues including things like leaky gut, food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis in general, autoimmune disease, just all these things that a lot of people are on restrictive diets to help correct. Some of those things are actually caused by malnutrition or at least exacerbated by malnutrition.

I get a little worried that with all the focus on what to avoid in somebody’s diet that they’re not really paying attention to what they need to include, or how much they need to eat, or making sure that their food is actually providing their body the basic macro and micronutrients that it needs to function optimally. Just this whole obsession with what to avoid, and what to remove, and what’s bad for you really just overlooks the kind of foods that need to be eaten more regularly for good health.

I do think that’s a big issue that gets missed by this clean eating movement where they’re like I’m just eating fruits, and vegetables, and fish, and that kind of stuff. Which is fine, all those foods are fine, but how many people eating that way are getting enough food in general, getting enough nutrition, getting enough micronutrients, getting enough fibers and things to support their gut health? I just like to kind of flip the focus from what we’re avoiding and what we’re removing to what we’re actually including, and focusing on, and increasing, and that kind of thing.

I think that can be one of the biggest physical issues, and I know this is a big thing that you and I work with our clients is the fact that they have been on an overly restrictive diet for so long that they’re actually either reversing some of the benefits that they had from the diet in the first place, or possibly even developing new health issues form that restrictive diet. It’s really the inclusion of more foods and the focus on eating enough that actually ends up helping them more.

Kelsey:  Yeah, I think that’s really good point about that inclusion because I find at least the people who tend to get on board with this whole clean eating idea are the people who find that easier in the sense of restricting and only eating a certain number of different kinds of foods feels mentally easier to them because it’s like okay, these are my choices, this is what I can choose from, and that takes out some of the decision making for me, which is fair enough. There’s definitely kind of some research showing that when you take out all that extra decision making, obviously you can stick to things easier and it just takes out some of that mental fatigue. I think that’s why that tends to be appealing to people whereas when you’re talking about okay, you have to include this, you have to include this, I think some people can be overwhelmed by that. For other people I think they love that idea because it’s like oh okay, I get to just focus on what I’m including.

So if you are someone who tends toward that idea of restriction and less decision making, that’s something to pay attention to as well because you may get yourself into trouble. I think these are the type of clients that Laura and I tend to see where they are drawn to that clean eating idea. They kind of just stick to it for way to long because it feels mentally easier for them and then eventually they start to get all of these extra health problems that like Laura just mentioned, while they maybe went away to begin with, the longer they’re on this really restrictive diet potentially not getting enough nutrients, they may not be getting enough calories, they start to not only develop some of the problems back that they got rid of originally, but yeah, they maybe get some more problems on top of that like HPA axis dysregulation, gut issues from not having enough nutrients to support gut health.

I think you can definitely get yourself into trouble with long term super strict clean eating. But I understand why people gravitate towards it. To me it makes sense because like I said, it takes out that decision making. While clean eating, or however you want to call it, can be useful for a short term in terms of like an elimination diet of sorts if you’re trying to figure out what things are bothering you, what food sensitivities you have, yes, there’s definitely a time and a place for that. But I think the problem arises when somebody stays on this kind of clean eating diet for a really long time and this cycle of health problems starts to occur where a lot of these things start to come back and you develop new problems.

Laura: Yeah, I mean it kind of goes along with a lot of what we talk about on this podcast in general. It does amaze me that there’s still, even though we talk about it so much, that there’s so much confusion about adequate eating, and avoiding nutrient deficiencies, and that kind of thing. But I do hope that people listening to our podcast get the sense that there’s a lot more to nutrition than just avoiding things. We try to give people the best information to help them make decisions on food that does support their health and does give them the nutrients that they need. That’s definitely going to be a theme of our podcast for a long time, if not always, just because it is something that’s so important.

Honestly I think from a marketing perspective, that clean eating thing is really sexy, and sells well, and it just sounds appealing on the surface.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: But when you actually dig into what it is, it isn’t very useful at best and it actually can cause harm at worst. I’m not saying people need to feel guilty that they’ve ever said the word clean eating or that they said that that’s what they do. But maybe just think about okay, what does clean eating actually mean and is there a better way to describe that to people? Because even if it doesn’t affect you and what your decisions are, you may have an influence on somebody else that could cause them to be malnourished or have a bad mindset around food. I do think that it’s important to look beyond just our personal approach to nutrition especially if there’s anyone listening that has any sort of influence on other people, maybe they have social media account, or maybe they’re a practitioner themselves who is talking to other people about what their recommendations are.

I just hate the term clean eating and I really think that the more we can do to describe a good approach to nutrition that doesn’t come from that restriction mindset, then that’s going to be better for us personally, and it’ll be better for our clients, and better for the people around us who are curious about what we’re doing and maybe don’t understand the importance of inclusion in a diet that is healthy.

Kelsey:  Right, yeah. Sadly a balanced, real food, ancestral based diet template is not quite as sexy sounding.

Laura: It doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

Kelsey:  No, not quite. If anybody comes up with a good term that adequately describes it in less words than that, we’re all ears.

Laura: Well, that’s I think why we do the ancestral diet. It’s a little less wordy and honestly I think there’s enough confusion in the general public around what word means. They’ll be like, oh, what does mean? And then you can try to describe it. Although sometimes describing for example how I eat can get kind of tricky because I’m like well, here’s the things I generally eat and avoid, but not always, and I also kind of try to not be neurotic about it.

Kelsey:  Right.

Laura: It can get a little complicated.

Kelsey:  Yeah, for sure. But at the end of the day, you can eat whatever makes sense for you personally. You don’t have to worry about what other people are eating. You don’t have to worry about being clean because you see that in a lot of the people that you’re following on social media and stuff. You do what’s right for you and that’s a message that we always be saying on this podcast I think because health is personalized. Everybody’s got different things going on and everybody’s body reacts a little bit differently, so you really just need to pay attention to you and that’s all that really matters.

Laura: Awesome. Well, hopefully that makes sense. We’d love to hear thoughts and comments about clean eating on the comments section of this podcast. So if you go to TheAncestralRDs.com you can leave your thoughts there and you can also ask us either follow up questions to this topic or completely unrelated topics by clicking the contact tab at the top of the page. We love getting your questions and we’re going to try to bounce back and forth between Q&A’s like this and hopefully some more interesting interviews in the New Year. Now that Kelsey’s well beyond her wedding planning and I’m kind of in a little bit of a less crazy travel period, we’ll hopefully be getting back on the interview circuit again.

Kelsey:  Yeah.

Laura: But we’re always glad to have you here and we will look forward to having you here next week.

Kelsey:  Alright. Take care, Laura.

Laura: You too, Kelsey.

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  1. I’m so glad you addressed the topic of “clean eating.” The phrase was invented by the disordered eating community, and as you pointed out, is a red flag for all sorts of disorders: anorexia, orthorexia, and compulsive-obsessive disorder. Long ago (by internet standards), Sean Croxton coined a healthy acronym for eating well: JERF — Just Eat Real Food.

    Thank you for helping put a stake in the heart of this dysfunctional term.