Paleo. Whole 30. Clean Eating. These are the trending “diets” of the day. The common core of all three is organic, unprocessed meats and produce. They also take grains, dairy, sugars, artificial sweeteners and alcohol off the menu. Supporters assert the remarkable health benefits and weight loss outcomes.
Ingrid Rinck, owner and CEO of Sensible Portions Meals, one of the largest meal prep companies in the country, and a Provisional JLNO member, is a guide through this nutritional minefield for people nationwide.
Ingrid endorses the return to basics that these trending food plans call for. She eats as clean as possible with her own family. Clean eating is often defined as eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, whole or minimally processed. “I’m teaching them habits from the beginning. Good habits,” explained Ingrid.
The good habits that she is teaching her three children and providing for her clients are not ones that Generation Y grew up with. Ingrid acknowledged that for her age group, Pop Tarts were breakfast staples, along with pizza and sodas at school for lunch, hormone treated meats and canned veggies for dinner, with chips or candy bars for snacks in between. Generation Y was raised with sugar as an additive in almost every dish. Eliminating these things cold turkey is shocking for individuals who have grown up with processed foods as part of their day to day.
Step one, she said for people starting any dietetic regimen, is calorie restriction and portion control. Sensible Portions Meals does this. Half of the meals are healthy foods (like chicken, rice or broccoli) and the other half are comfort foods (like waffles and pasta). She conceded that one of the reasons Weight Watchers has worked for so many people is the same reason the meals her company provides also work: eating healthy is possible if you allow portions of comfort foods along with the “clean eats.”
Over time, as results from the portion control become apparent, Ingrid said people generally seek to do more. At this point, a return-to-basics diet is not as much of a blow to the system, making simple, clean options more feasible. The toxins have been cleaned out of their bodies, and doing the Paleo/Whole 30/Clean Eating programs are manageable. And by gradually working up to one of these plans, the success rate is higher for maintaining it as a lifestyle.
In the end, Ingrid stressed that evaluating what will work for you is the most important detail of selecting a dietary strategy. “If it’s going to work for you, and you can do it, then stick to it.”
A diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.
A trademarked diet brand that encourages you to cut out certain food groups (sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) for 30 days for a “nutritional reset.”
A diet based on eating whole or real foods that are minimally processed and as close to their natural form as possible.