I was at the Y today and ran into a fitness instructor I haven’t seen since sometime last summer; I almost didn’t recognize her. She’s always looked very strong and fit, but now her form seems smaller and more defined, and her face has a glow I never noticed before. I had to ask her what was different, and told me she’s lost 20-something pounds by modifying what she eats – not exactly dieting, but simply switching to real “clean” food.
Tosca Reno is a bodybuilding “fitness model” who popularized the Eat Clean diet on a mass market scale; she seems to churn out books faster than Rachael Ray. I’m not bowled over by the recipes and production quality of these books – they have a kind of generic, over-simplified feel that remind me of marketing brochures.
But I do like the message she sends – that choosing to eat food as close to the source as possible– like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and lean protein and avoiding anything processed helps people maintain weight loss, which can lead to life-changing habits and great health, almost like magic.
Seems like a no-brainer, but it always amazes me how hard it can be for people to stick to making the best food choices. So many of our food cravings have been crafted and catered to by those in the business of manufacturing and selling food that it can be hard to know what real food actually tastes like.
I see this in my own kids when they devour the occasional fast-food meal or sweet-salty junk food snack but shun my made-from-scratch soup — there’s nothing that frustrates me more than feeling like giant food companies have hijacked my childrens’ tastebuds.
Cooking and eating pure, real food is a way of life for me, but seeing the dramatic changes that can happen when people become aware of what they eat inspires me to keep cooking, creating and spreading the word.