Clean Fuel Keeps the Body Machine Running

Untitled design (9)   6 Ways to Eat Clean

Eating clean is not just the latest phrase for eating healthy and it’s not a diet.  It’s a movement intended to enable your body to function at its greatest potential.  It’s a movement intended to maintain the body with same diligence as we maintain our cars, homes, and possessions.

When I was a kid, I loved Schoolhouse Rock and the songs are still relevant to this day.  We learned about language listening to Conjunction Junction and the legislative process singing along to I’m Just a Bill.  Do you remember The Body Machine?

I’m a machine, you’re a machine,
Everybody that you know
You know, they are machines
To keep your engine running you need energy
For your high-powered, revved-up body machine
Your high-powered, revved-up body machine.

To keep your high-powered, revved-up body machine running, you need to eat clean.  Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry are fans.  So what does it mean to eat clean?  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. 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. [1]

“Clean Eating is not a diet, it’s a happy and healthy lifestyle.”[2]   “Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones.”[3]


  1. Eat Whole Foods.   It’s sort of ironic that when you are eating clean, many of your food choices started out dirty. {Click to Tweet}  From the farm to the table: organic vegetable, fruits, grains (if you do not have a gluten sensitivity), salt-free nuts and seeds.  Be sure to choose grass-fed, organic and free-range meats.

2. No Refined Sugar.   “Sugar is not just an empty calorie; *** its effect on us is insidious.  ‘It’s a poison by itself.’”[4]  In fact, one study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that, “a sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight.”[5]    Click here for a great article about what sugar does to your body.  Click here to watch a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric hormone specialist from the University of California, San Francisco medical school, called Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

3. Avoid Processed Foods.    “Processed foods are any food that has a label”  because a label is required if “more than one ingredient was used to make that food.”[6]  In an ideal world, one would avoid these foods entirely, but realistically, just follow this rule – “if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.”[7]  In general processed foods are: (1) higher in sugar and high fructose corn syrup; (2) are so “rewarding” to the brain that eating them leads to overconsumption; (3) contain artificial ingredients; (4) are literally addicting when your “brain biochemistry [is] hijacked by the intense dopamine release that occurs in the brain when ***[you] eat these foods;[8] (5) are higher in refined carbohydrates; and (6) are lower in nutritional value.

4. Eat Multiple Small Meals Throughout the Day.  This will rev up your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar.  This will also make sure that you are never so hungry that you resort to grabbing a bag of Dorito’s or a Snicker’s Bar at the gas station to hold you until the next meal.

5. Cook Your Own Meals.  I like to eat out as much as the next person, but eating clean requires that you cook meals from scratch as often as possible.  “That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.”[9]

6. Eat Some Protein or a Fat When You Eat A Carb.  When you eat a fat or a protein every time you eat a carb, the body is more satisfied so you are less tempted to eat junk food.  Moreover, “it’s healthier to combine protein and fiber-filled carbs than to separate them. ‘The pairing of protein and fiber is what fills you up the most and gives you the most energy[.]’”[10]

Eating clean makes it (1) easier to maintain your weight, (2) ensures you are eating proper amounts of essential nutrients, (3) ensures that you get a “good combination of micronutrients,”[11] (4) keeps you satisfied longer and away from junk food, (5) regulates blood sugar and reduced cholesterol levels; (6) regulates your digestive system, (7) makes you stronger and more active, (8) causes your body to work more efficiently, and (9) has a trickle-down effect: when you feel good in one way you take care of yourself in others.

So what do you say, are you ready to give your high-powered revved up body machine the fuel it needs to rock!

If you are eating clean, what are your tips for eating in a restaurant?

Caroline Boardman
May 13, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[4], quoting Robert Lustig.
[7] Id.
[10], quoting Elisa Zeid.

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