What is clean eating and my 5 clean eating habits

fairy tale food book

I wonder how many of you have been reading this blog for a long time. Like since end of 2006 when it started. Not many my guess. But even if you’ve not been with me right at the beginning but started reading this space some years ago, you may have noticed that I’ve switched gear quite a bit and all the adjustments have something to do with changes in my lifestyle. Most obviously, I’ve slowed down on my posting schedule. Behind the scenes, I’ve actually been culling many old posts to position this blog as one focusing on green beauty. Perhaps a natural progression from going green is my latest interest in clean eating. I think someone just said “HUH? What in the world is clean eating?” Well, that’s the topic I like to get your attention on today. (#k8SjZc9Dxk_#k8SjZc9Dxk)

Okay, just to be clear, I’m not going to define clean eating. That job is for experts who are paid because they’re qualified enough to tell you if clean eating is a trend or a movement. There is a well-written article I read at CNN by a registered dietitian titled “What Is Clean Eating“. You can check it out. In this post, what I like to do is to share with you my take on the topic and what it means for me. Perhaps it’ll inspire you to embrace the concept as well and join me on this new food journey.

clean eating

First off, I need to say that I eat for beauty sake. My food choices are governed by the effects it has on my skin. Yes, I’m so vain. I don’t care about eating for health but obviously and fortunately, eating for beauty means eating healthy too. I have said time and again, you are what you eat and I have experienced first-hand that bad choices of food will most definitely result in bad skin.

I am no food snob. Well, hardly. But since learning about clean eating, I’ve been paying more attention to what I put in my mouth and learning to prepare my own food too. Let’s just say I’m just an aspiring clean eater and here are some of the clean eating habits I’ve picked up:

1. Learning to read food ingredient labels
I now pore over food labels like how I do with skin care products. But my knowledge with food ingredients is low and I’m still learning. When I shop for food items, I avoid those that list sugar, salt or dairy as the first few ingredients.

2. Avoiding processed foods as far as possible
My husband was the first one to teach me this. Every time I try to pick up something interesting from the supermarket that’s packed in a bag, can or box, he’ll point out to me that the item is processed. So I try not to purchase canned food or packet food if possible but I’ll admit that this isn’t always feasible. Not all processed food are unhealthy. I eat canned tuna because that’s the only tuna I know. I make pasta with ready made sauce anyway. So some processed food are a necessity so to me and this is a guideline more than a rule.

3. Cutting down on soft drinks
This one is a definite no no and it didn’t happen just recently. I’ve cut back on sugary drinks a few years ago. I used to drink a can of coke every day but if you ask me now, I’ll say no to coke and most sweetened drinks without batting an eyelid.

4. Buying fresh foods as far as possible
Obviously, the best option is to go fresh as far as possible. Fresh vegetables, fresh meat and fresh fish. It’ll be even better if I can go organic.

5. Avoiding GMO foods
While I would love to go organic with my food choices, I don’t find it viable. But one thing I consciously avoid is to steer clear of GMO foods, at least those I know of. Like for a few years now, I don’t eat seedless grapes anymore.

But before you start thinking I’m some clean eating bore, I must admit that I still feast on cakes and I do munch on some snacks…in moderation. I’m certainly no Gwyneth Paltrow so while I just like the idea of eating whole, unrefined food where possible, I won’t deny myself some occasional indulgences. You can say I’m no purist in that sense.

Share: would you embrace clean eating or are you already into clean eating?



  1. Alexandra says:

    Hi Sesame! I adopted some healthy eating habits for 4 months now, after being sick during CNY. The changes are very positive and good! My diet consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, protein, grains and I stay off from processed foods, even pasta, noodles, bread, dairy products and sweet items as much as possible. ( It can be hard initially, but the good changes on the body and skin is much more worth it) I also include drinking barley water at least twice a week to keep my body from not ‘overly heaty’.
    Aside from that, I workout at least 5 times a week and I feel much energetic than before. It’s all worth it!

  2. Sesame Chew says:

    Wow, your diet is quite strict! I’m also trying to cut down bread purchased from stores. Hoping to make my own soon. ?

    As for pasta, it’s something I can’t cut out or my food choices will be very limited.

  3. Sera Chin says:

    Hi Sesame, what’s wrong with eating seedless grapes ??
    Also I read that BPA is a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and more…To avoid this hazardous chemical avoid canned food entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetable or stick to brands that use glass containers instead- and this is especially true for acidic food like tomatoes.

  4. Sesame Chew says:

    Seedless grapes are genetically modified. All fruits come with seeds naturally. Okay, good thing the pasta sauce I get is in glass container but I don’t know where else to get cooked tuna. But I don’t eat that too often. I do try to avoid canned food as far as possible.

  5. Erin says:

    Seedless grapes are not actually GMO- they’re just selectively bred to be seedless. The list of genetically modified crops includes corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets, alfalfa, zucchini/courgette, yellow summer squash, and papaya. So, you can once again enjoy seedless grapes (at least for the time being!) ?


  6. Sera Chin says:

    Yes i second that ….. not all seedless grapes are GMO . And for now only Hawaaian papaya are GMO . Those we get from Malaysia, Philippine and nearby are fine. Australia banned GMO so stuffs from there are generally ok too!

  7. Sesame Chew says:

    Oh okay, thanks for letting me know and certainly good to learn so. I was told by various people that it’s GMO and some mentioned that a genetic error prevents the seeds from forming hard outer coats like normal seeds do.

  8. stella says:

    this may be useful: http://www.gmac.gov.sg/Education/Index_FAQ_Genetically_Modified_Foods.html

    non-processed GM food is actually regulated and off the top of my head, i was told by regulatory peeps maybe about 5-7 years ago that there weren’t many whole GM foods in Singapore–soybeans were one of the few, if not the only GM foods then iirc. i’d imagine not that much has changed since many countries regulate GM food R&D/production pretty stringently

    worldwide, there are actually not *that* many approved GM food types/strains–they’re mostly grains like soybeans, corn, rice because they are consumed in large quantities and widely used. while we in more affluent countries have the privilege of saying no to GM food, they may possibly improve the immediate needs of those who live in places where resources are scarce by providing better crop yields and nutrition

    it’s a debatable and controversial subject; i don’t necessarily agree with the pro-GM camp’s positions or have thought that thoroughly about the subject, but i suppose one reason why GM food is a growing market is because there are just too many humans taxing the earth’s resources far too much in the first place…

Leave a Reply