Clean Eating – How to Navigate the Commissary
Nine powerful tips to help you navigate your way to healthier eating
Clean Eating – it’s the new buzz phrase for eating and living healthy. It’s not a diet or exercise plan, it’s a way of life. According to websites and books, it’s about eating more whole foods and less processed foods. It’s not about losing weight, but being healthy. Clean eating also encourages replacing saturated fats with healthy plant-based fats. Most who eat clean don’t count calories, but instead believe in good quality, healthy food will pay weight loss dividends in the end.
Clean eating appeals to me for a variety of reasons, but I’m terrible at execution. I love the idea of eating whole foods. I can picture myself with a Martha Stewart-rustic looking dinner, kids grabbing the beets and carrots for snacks and a farm in my back yard where I pick every thing fresh daily.
But let’s be honest, I’m not that person. I live on a military installation, with two small children who are picky eaters. I’m the first to grab the box of mac n cheese with glow-in-the-dark powdered cheese. I’m also the first to resort to frozen dinners in pinch or sugary cereals because I’m avoiding a conflict in the morning. I use artificial sweeteners in everything because I think it’s “healthier” than sugar.
I want to change to the way I eat. More importantly, I want to change the way my kids crave food. I want them to have healthy taste buds now, so we are not fighting obesity later. So I bought a book on clean eating and walked into the commissary with list in hand. To my complete (but not surprising) disappointment, I couldn’t get past aisle two and condiments. I was so overwhelmed by ingredients and labels that I just turned around and walked out.
I knew I needed help, so I turned to a Registered Dietician at Goodfellow AFB for focus. Kathy Viau or aka the “Food Whisperer” helped me understand the relationship between the food I eat and me. Viau specializes in sports performance, but she also understands the struggles of being a busy mother and a military spouse. She offered to take a group of my squadron spouses on a first ever “commissary tour” to show us what foods are considered clean and why.