Hands up if you have Instagram? Okay, so that’s everyone with an iPhone. Hands up if you follow anyone that frequently uses the hashtags #fitspo #healthspo #cleaneating? My hand is very much in the air, and I’m assuming quite a few of yours are too. I’m confused though. Where has clean eating come from? Why is it now the “next big thing”?
If we look at it on paper, clean eating is, well, a very sensible thing. Eating all natural ingredients, nothing which has been meddled with – no additives, no artificial flavourings, no scary chemicals you can’t pronounce. Just what the good earth produces every day for our convenience. In short it equates to this…
a) You’ll lose 5lbs in a week
b) A right old faff making everything from scratch (clean eating doesn’t sound like grabbing a packet of Kettle Chips at 4pm is part of the regime…)
c) Sensible. Which is just a bit dull. Pass me a donut.
Behold, the queen of clean eating and the reason for all the recent hype: Deliciously Ella (www.deliciouslyella.com). A ‘BNOI’ (Big Name On Instagram) and huge in the bloggersphere, Ella started clean eating in 2011 when she was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. This illness left her with heart palpitations, stomach issues and headaches – all in all, pretty miserable. After trying all conventional treatments, Ella undertook a drastic diet change and cut out all meat, dairy, sugar, gluten and anything with a chemical or additive in. A humongous lifestyle change. But it worked – Ella’s health has miraculously improved and this incredible story has been picked up by the media. Not to mention, she is absolutely stunning.
Go Green like Deliciously Ella
Now it seems everyone is at it. Celebs like Millie Mackintosh are Instagramming their versions of sweet potato brownies, oat pancakes and berry smoothies and they (both Millie and her food) look divine. The Deliciously Ella blog has shown that this clean eating malarkey isn’t too bad, well – you can eat brownies! Yes, brownies! And cookies too! And fries – celeriac fries! Proving that clean eating isn’t restrictive or boring, just plain old good for you.
Millie keeps her lunch clean and lean
I decided to give this clean cooking a go and rustled up an ad hoc batch of parsnip brownies (all out of sweet potato) and they were very, very tasty. I sat there watching TV feeling very smug that I could have two of these brownies and know that they were good for me. Actually nourishing me, whilst I gorged on rich, gooey, brownies. I could get very used to this ‘guilt free’ dining.
The downside? Clean eating is not cheap. At all. The sheer magnitude of ingredients needed to create some of the dishes is mind boggling. Just to make Deliciously Ella’s brownies you need 14 medjool dates. Dates aren’t cheap. The double chocolate cheesecake brownies? 10 ingredients, including 3 avocados, almonds and pecans – all notoriously pricy.
If I could afford to clean eat every day, had hours of free time to rustle up these delicious treats and could give up my Hummingbird Bakery habit, I would clean eat all the time. Unfortunately, I’m incapable of doing any of the above, so clean eating is a miss from me.
By Jessica Moffatt-Owen