T Nation

Redefining a Clean Meal

Agree or disagree: Pretty much any meal is clean so long as a protein/flax shake is added.

E.g., thin-crust pizza w/veggies, protein powder w/ milled flax is a clean meal. Why? It contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

The reason pizza is “dirty” is because of the white flour in the crust. Would the pizza suddenly be “clean” if it was made with a flax crust? Well, then, add some flax. The idea that you can’t supplement bad food with good food to make a clean meal is silly.

I’m not sure why people aren’t more creative with their meals. Add some milled flax, protein powder, and veggies, and you can clean up most anything.

I’m pretty sure chasing a flax filled protein shake with a box of Krispy Kremes is still not a clean meal…

I could put milled flax in a glass of coca cola, and though it would be healthier, it wouldn’t be “clean”. I agree that you can improve any meal by adding healthy fats or vegetables, but when the majority of the calories are coming from junk sources, it’s just not clean eating. I don’t think it’s wise to give people an excuse to eat crappy foods.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Agree or disagree: Pretty much any meal is clean so long as a protein/flax shake is added.

E.g., thin-crust pizza w/veggies, protein powder w/ milled flax is a clean meal. Why? It contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

The reason pizza is “dirty” is because of the white flour in the crust. Would the pizza suddenly be “clean” if it was made with a flax crust? Well, then, add some flax. The idea that you can’t supplement bad food with good food to make a clean meal is silly.

I’m not sure why people aren’t more creative with their meals. Add some milled flax, protein powder, and veggies, and you can clean up most anything.[/quote]

I agree with what I believe to be your point, but I don’t think you worded it well at first.

The first sentence implies that you can make a bag of chips healthy by consuming them with a protein shake and some flax. NOT.

But yes, practically any meal can be made at least relatively clean but just using quality ingredients. For me, the dirtiest thing about pizza isn’t the white flour (though whole wheat or some other alternative is obviously better), it’s the trans fat and sugar in the crust, the sugar in the tomato sauce, and the low quality cheese and meat. But Berardi’s pizza recipe is great!

You can even make relatively damage-free desserts by modifying recipes and instead of white sugar and crisco, subbing in xylitol, sucralose or stevia, or using a lot of dried fruit, using healthy fats, etc.

Case in point:

Date Macaroons

8 medjool dates
1 banana
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

?Remove the pits from dates.

?Place ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth.

?Mixture should be moist, but not gooey. Depending on the size of the dates and the ripeness of the bananas, you may need to add more or less coconut to get the right consistency.

?Bake at 325 degrees 10-15 minutes, until done. Cookies will be soft, but should cook enough to have a golden brown bottom and hold together well.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
I’m pretty sure chasing a flax filled protein shake with a box of Krispy Kremes is still not a clean meal…[/quote]

Who said a full box?

Anyhow, isn’t the final macronutriet and micronutrient profile the sine qua non of clean?

Why or why not?

[quote]wfifer wrote:
I could put milled flax in a glass of coca cola, and though it would be healthier, it wouldn’t be “clean”. [/quote]

Why not?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Agree or disagree: Pretty much any meal is clean so long as a protein/flax shake is added.

[/quote]

I’d say I’d have to disagree with that statement,although the “pretty much” gives you a lot of wiggle room.

I would agree that adding flax and/or other poly/mono fats to most diets is a healthy addition.

I would also agree that adding a protein shake to a meal lacking complete proteins is a good idea.

But any meals already high in protein and/or already containing sufficient poly/mono fats do not require these additions.

Also, adding flax to PWO is likely not a good idea.

Yes this is a stretch but, if you’re eating junk food/fast food then adding protein and flax may be beneficial but the meal may still be far from “clean”.

Lastly, in my opinion eating “clean” (I really hate that term) should require some inclusion of vegetables and/or fruit.

PS- Please don’t refer to Pizza as “dirty” it is a gift from the Gods! :slight_smile:

[quote]Jinx Me wrote:
I agree with what I believe to be your point, but I don’t think you worded it well at first.

The first sentence implies that you can make a bag of chips healthy by consuming them with a protein shake and some flax. NOT.[/quote]

Let me give an example to clarify. For lunch, I ate the following:
6 oz. grass-fed flank steak
2 cups broccolli
1/2 thin crust pizza

This gives me
800 calories
36 gms fat
30 gms carbs
60 gms protein

With enough fiber and fat to lower the GI.

Why is this not clean? Shouldn’t we look at the overall macronutriet and micronutriet profile of the meal (as well as the GI and acidity) rather than simply say, “No clean meal can contain x-food?”

Now, I’m not asking for “permission” to eat meals like this. I know what works for me and don’t need someone on the Internet to validate what I do.

I am simply seeking to spark discussion by rexamining the concept of a “clean meal.”

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
stuff
[/quote]

You have not made no arguments, only assertions.

Let’s look at things more deeply: We know a food is clean how? We look at what the food contains. We want protein, good fats, fiber, etc. AFter looking at what the food contains, we know whether it’s “clean.”

My claim: Don’t look at simply the individual foods in a meal. Instead, look at the entire meal.

Why is this approach flawed?

Damn, I need to hit “Refresh” before I post next time, I think my points have already been covered.

CLaw,

I think we see where you’re going with this.

Dan John has in the past (pre V-diet) stated his nutrition guide lines he gives to people. I forget the specifics but it was basically eat what you like but…

  1. have protein with every meal
  2. have fish oils every meal (or every day)
  3. eat veggies and/or berries every meal (not positive on his wording of this one).

He has also listed a number of foods to consume on a daily basis, then if after eating the recommended foods you want something else, go ahead…

…just eat the requirements first.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Ruggerlife wrote:
stuff

You have not made no arguments, only assertions.

Let’s look at things more deeply: We know a food is clean how? We look at what the food contains. We want protein, good fats, fiber, etc. AFter looking at what the food contains, we know whether it’s “clean.”

My claim: Don’t look at simply the individual foods in a meal. Instead, look at the entire meal.

Why is this approach flawed?[/quote]

My original post was made when I only say your first post with your initial question. You’ll see my second post was more along the lines of what you were implying in your following posts.

To answer your question, “Why is this approach flawed?” My answer - It isn’t flawed.

People should gear their eating habits to their goals. The term “eating clean” has become a buzz word around here and as soon as that happened the terminology lost its value.

Stop making exuses for yourselfs to eat like fatties.

[quote]Roy wrote:
Stop making exuses for yourselfs to eat like fatties.[/quote]

If you’re joking, then that’s pretty funny…if you’re not joking, then slap yourself!

[quote]Roy wrote:
Stop making exuses for yourselfs to eat like fatties.[/quote]

Roy, I read a couple of your previous posts: All evidence an ignorance of basic nutrition. E.g., you wrote: “My previous protein had BCAAs in it, so I really never bothered supplementing with them. This new protein, however, has none.”

All protein has BCAAs in them. That’s so basic that if you don’t know that, chances are you know very little.

Please do not respond further. You lack a basic understanding of nutrition, and certainly lack the expertise to positively contribute to this discussion.

Stick to quoting the latest article you’ve read. Leave the serious thinking to the rest of us.

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
The term “eating clean” has become a buzz word around here and as soon as that happened the terminology lost its value.[/quote]

Truth.

[quote]Roy wrote:
Stop making exuses for yourselfs to eat like fatties.[/quote]

That lunch sounds like a pretty restrictive diet to me.

Adding healthy foods doesn’t remove unhealthy foods. Flax seeds don’t remove hydrogenated fats or dairy fats (that is, excessive dairy fats).

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
eengrms76 wrote:
I’m pretty sure chasing a flax filled protein shake with a box of Krispy Kremes is still not a clean meal…

Who said a full box?

Anyhow, isn’t the final macronutriet and micronutrient profile the sine qua non of clean?

Why or why not?[/quote]

I cannot completely agree with this statement. I believe that the macro- & micro-nutrient profiles are part of the equation, but there are more distinctions to make after that.

Take sugar, for instance. I think most people on T-Nation will agree that there is a difference between raw sugar and high fructose corn syrup. However, both are listed under the micro-nutrient sugar.

Again, the above example of Krispy Kreme donuts. Trans fats are saturated fats, but there is a difference between the two. Because of the media and the FDA, trans fats are now listed separately on nutritional facts tables.

That’s funny, because I kind of define “clean meal” as “anything not containing pizza.”

If 2 foods touch each other, it is not a clean meal. Pizza? Blasphemy! Whether it moves you towards your goals or not, thou art not holy enough for the clean-eating, probably jealous crowd.

It’s just food.
:slight_smile: