I've always found it challenging to describe my diet. It's easy to talk about what we don't eat. But shouldn't a diet be about what you actually eat? Fortunately, I'm pleased to see a new word "clean" entering our lexicon, popularized by recent two books.
"Clean" means food that is organic, local, sustainably raised. It is food that is mostly plant-based, but includes consumption of sustainably raised animal products.
The books Clean Food and Clean Plates N.Y.C. are written by fellow Integrative Nutrition graduates. I own and use both books and thought they were worth highlighting.
Clean Food is a beautiful seasonal cookbook put together by Terry Walters. If ever there was a cookbook for health counselors, this would be it! It's divided into four sections (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) and contains easy-to-prepare recipes that use seasonal produce and whole grains. I'm currently eyeing her recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fennel and Shitake Mushrooms as well as Teff Peanut Butter Cookies. Terry does a fabulous job of introducing new healthy ingredients (like teff, an African whole grain) while keeping the recipes familiar and accessible. Check out her book and purchase Clean Food at Amazon.com.
Clean Plates N.Y.C. is a restaurant guide to clean New York City restaurants put together by Jared Koch and Alex Van Buren, former food writer for Time Out New York. If you're concerned about what goes into your food at restaurants, and want to eat at high-quality establishments in Manhattan, this book is for you! Jared and Alex dined and met with the chefs at over 200 restaurants, getting down to what kind of salt they use on the table. The result is a great guide of hand-picked favorites. I especially love that in addition to highlighting the usual vegetarian and vegan restaurants, this guide goes a step further and includes restaurants that have macrobiotic, raw and gluten-free options as well as naturally sweetened desserts on the menu. Thanks to Clean Plates, I discovered a pizza place that serves gluten-free and dairy-free pizza (Slice), a healthy lunch spot in the wasteland of Midtown (Free Foods), and an organic taqueria that makes gluten-free burritos using corn tortillas (Cosmic Cantina). If you live and eat in New York City and want to discover more gems like these, you'll want to purchase this handy restaurant guide.
And if you haven't seen it - be sure to watch Food, Inc (now on video). It's a great documentary about our food system that will make you want to eat clean. I recommend it to everyone who eats food (i.e. you).