Lately, I’ve had some great discussions with friends about the various eating habits and diet lifestyles that are so mainstream these days. It’s been great to get the thoughts and learn from shared experiences on how much food and eating really does impact your life. For me, especially now with a wedding less than a month away, I’ve been working on eating cleaner during the week for a slow transition into a healthier lifestyle.
So what exactly is clean eating? Eating clean basically encourages a lifestyle approach of exercise with a diet of unprocessed, whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats) that have little to no artificial ingredients, preservatives, sugars, saturated fat, and trans fat. It might sound like a challenge a first with the multitude of food options that surround us, but taking the time to think and be mindful of what we eat is rather simple.
Many restaurants and grocery stores have grown to be more aware of clean eating and promoting it as well. One restaurant I recently went to for lunch is Panera Bread and I was surprised how many clean eating options they have available! I didn’t realize they have a new perspective on food, which is to take an active approach to clean eating by not only supporting it but changing the food they offer at their establishments. Their ultimate goal is simple, in that they want to offer and provide a cleaner menu.
Knowing this about Panera has made me view them in a different light. I am looking forward to seeing how they will continually evolve towards their goal of a cleaner menu. In fact, there are already changes in place – have you noticed them? I for one LOVE they have seven specialized menus as part of their ‘Eating Well, Your Way’. These menus highlight offerings that fit diets which are:
- gluten conscious
- protein rich
- complex carbs
- calorie conscious
- sodium conscious
And with that, there truly is something healthy and delicious for everyone. As it should be.