Nutrition, Wellness

What It Means To Eat Clean

Weight loss is often the “clickbait” for starting one’s wellness journey. But for healthy changes to be sustainable in our lives, we need a deeper purpose beyond being thinner. This is why any tricks we try to speed up this process — especially before special occasions like a wedding, high school reunion or a vacation — end up being quick fixes that don’t stick. 

Personally, my long-term goal is to be able to maintain cardiovascular health plus joint mobility for as long as possible. Outward appearance is a singular, moving target. However, prioritizing fitness and nutrition can improve our lives in many ways, such as better mental health and longer life spans. 

However, no matter how committed one is, it is also not uncommon to get thrown off course by cooking fads, diet trends or nutritional “buzzwords.” So, I decided to interview Home Shopping Network guest host and plant-based chef Michelle Carolla about what clean eating really looks like in practice since she is passionate about creating nutrient-packed, tasty food in simple ways. 

What does the concept of “clean eating” mean to you?   

Clean food is food grown without chemicals and made without preservatives: the fillers, gums and lab-made additives. The preservative-filled foods have wrecked our food supply and health. It’s a tragedy what has happened [to many food supply chains and growing practices] over the last five decades. Now humans, animals and the environment are all suffering because of it.   

How do you make preparing meals and snacks at home an enjoyable activity (rather than another chore)?  

I think it’s fun to read recipes and then make them your own! Don’t worry if you don’t have every ingredient. Look at what you have and think what would be good to — and for — you. Plus, keep learning and practicing different cooking techniques. 

When did you transition to eating plant-based? And why have you stayed vegan for over 20 years? 

I grew up eating typical 1980s meals of “meat and potatoes.” However, I always felt strange eating meat. I’ve loved animals for as long as I was conscious and couldn’t understand why I could eat some and love others. Who decided that hierarchy? The idea of a vegetarian back then really wasn’t understood by most. But, in my late 20s, I finally decided that was it and turned vegetarian. I’ve never looked back. I couldn’t break the cheese habit for a long time though.  

Many years later, I read how cheese is made. And I decided that day, no more. My health is that of someone half my age thanks to how I choose to eat. Thankfully, the world is quickly understanding the necessity of lessening the carbon emissions of animal agriculture and the medical science behind the benefits of eating plant-based. This is the premise behind my new lifestyle brand, Clean Living with Michelle. We create products that make your daily life in the kitchen easier and foods that are vegan, clean and nutritious. 

You may not be vegan or vegetarian, but you might beeating clean” by buying local produce or not using artificial sweeteners. Whatever your health-forward habits, we want to hear them! Let’s use this week’s comments thread to share more helpful tips with each other. 

And check out this video that Chef Michelle and I recorded exclusively for all of you because “Wellness Wednesday” is really EVERY DAY for the TOPS community! 


6 thoughts on “What It Means To Eat Clean

  1. Thanks. I get veggies from a local farm (CSA) each week but I never thought of making my own plant based milk. Great idea and I don’t need to buy blender. I have one!

    1. Happy to have provided you with some new “foodie inspiration,” Stacey! And let me know how it goes if you do decide to try it.

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