Clean Eating Vs. The Standard American Diet and How it Affects Your Body

Why Clean Eating Matters

Why Clean Eating Matters

1.   You are What You Eat


You know the old saying, “You are what you eat?” Well, have you really thought about what it is you are eating? The foods you take into your body to nourish and sustain you, are constantly being used by your body as energy—the energy to keep you functioning and moving, and the energy to keep you healthy, and regenerate your cells. Therefore, you really are what you eat.


2.   Your Body Needs Your Help to Detox


Yep, your body is always in detox mode, and was designed to detox itself. But all the chemicals, toxins, pesticides, plastic residues, preservatives that the average person brings into their body every day, has our natural detoxification system on overload.  We bring all these toxins in from breathing polluted air, constantly being in contact with chemicals and plastics, and from eating processed and unhealthy foods.


3.   How You Can Help Yourself


Well, as much as we’d like to, we can’t control the air we breathe. We can, however, limit our use and exposure of single use plastics. And, we can be mindful the products we use on our bodies by reading labels.


But most importantly, we can eat clean. When you practice clean eating, you are eating the foods your body is supposed to eat. Foods that your body’s filtration system is naturally able to filter and process, easily. This is especially important for those of you who often eat processed and fast foods. 

Related: How to Snack While Detoxing

A Day of Clean Eating Vs. A Day of The Standard American Diet (SAD Diet)

Clean Eating Breakfast:

Egg with Spinach and a Side of Blueberries

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2 eggs

½ tsp coconut oil

1 cup baby spinach

1 tsp feta cheese crumbled

Handful of fresh blueberries 

Salt and pepper to taste


Whisk eggs in a small bowl with salt and pepper. Add coconut oil to a medium pan until melted but not smoking. Add spinach and sauté for approximately 3 minutes until spinach has softened. Pour eggs over spinach and toss in feta cheese. Cook 3-4 minutes until eggs are at the desired stiffness. Serve blueberries on the side.



What your Body Needs to Process:

Eggs, Coconut Oil (*organic pressed refined coconut oil), Spinach, Feta Cheese (*cultured pasteurized milk, salt, black pepper, microbial enzymes), Salt and Pepper, Blueberries


Organic Coffee with Milk

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What Your Body Needs to Process:


Coffee and Milk

Related: Clean Eating Breakfast Ideas and Tips


SAD Diet Breakfast:


Starbucks Carmel Macchiato


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Milk, Brewed Espresso, Vanilla Syrup (sugar, water, unspecified natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid), Caramel Sauce (sugar, corn syrup, butter, water, heavy cream, nonfat dry milk, natural flavors, salt, mono & diglycerides, soy lecithin, sulfites


Starbucks Morning Glory Muffin


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Enriched Flour (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Sugar, Carrots, Eggs, Pineapple, Soybean Oil, Raisins, Pecans, Baking Powder (calcium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate), Unspecified Spice, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vanilla Extract, Salt, Egg Whites, Whey (milk), Soy Flour: contains: Wheat, Soy, Egg, Milk, Pecans.


Clean Eating Lunch:


Quinoa Salad


1 cup cooked quinoa (this is a great way to use up left over quinoa)

1 lime, zest and juice

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

 ¼ cup fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped

 sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and stir in lime zest, lime juice, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley until thoroughly combined. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. 


What Your Body Needs to Process:

Quinoa, Lime, Feta Cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, black pepper, microbial enzymes), Cherry Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper

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 Water with Lime and Mint


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Water, Lime Juice, Mint



SAD Diet Lunch 


Lean Cuisine Marketplace Sweet & Sour Chicken


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Cooked White Meat Chicken (white meat chicken, water, modified tapioca starch, Chicken Flavor (dried chicken broth, chicken powder, natural flavor), Carrageenan, Whey Protein Concentrate (soybean oil, corn syrup solids, sodium phosphate, salt), Blanched Whole Wheat Vermicelli (water, whole durum wheat flour), Broccoli, Water, Yellow Carrots, Red Peppers, Edamame Soybeans, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), Apple Cider Vinegar, Modified Cornstarch, Chili Garlic Sauce (salted chili peppers, salt), Garlic, Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Water, Modified Cornstarch, Acetic Acid, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Brown Sugar Syrup, Sesame Seeds, Dehydrated Soy Sauce (soybeans, salt, wheat), Potassium Chloride, Garlic Puree, Caramel Color, Sea Salt, Sesame Oil, Yeast Extract, Lactic Acid, Spice, Calcium Lactate


Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Brewed Green Tea Using Filtered Water, Honey, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (vitamin c), Unspecified Natural Flavors, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Ginseng Extract



Clean Eating Dinner


Salmon with Roasted Vegetables in a Balsamic Glaze

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Serves 2

2 Salmon Fillets

½ -pound bag mini sweet peppers, cut in half and seeded

½ -pound Portobello mushroom caps, sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced

1/2-pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste



Add peppers, mushrooms, onion, and Brussels sprouts to a large mixing bowl. Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, coconut oil, and balsamic vinegar and gently toss to combine. Season generously with salt and black pepper, to taste. 


Arrange seasoned vegetables on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd. 


Place sheet pan in preheated oven and roast for 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the vegetables are tender and develop a nice caramelized color. Remove from oven and set to the side to cool. Serve with your choice of protein.


Salmon Fillets: Coat salmon with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes depending on thickness and desired taste.


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Salmon, Peppers, Portobello Mushrooms, Red Onion, Brussels sprouts, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil), Coconut Oil* (organic pressed refined coconut oil), Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper


1 Glass of Your Choice of Red Wine and a Glass of Water


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Red Wine, Water


Clean Eating Dessert:


Why Clean Eating Matters

Luscious Lemon Drops

1 ½ cups almond flour

¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup organic lemon juice

¼ cup organic maple syrup

Zest of half lemon

½ tsp organic pure vanilla extract

Dash of salt

¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (for garnish)

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, organic lemon juice, organic maple syrup, half of the lemon zest (reserve other half for optional garnish), organic vanilla extract, and salt to a food processor or blender (on pulse) and blend until a smooth mixture is achieved. 

Remove the mixture, put in a glass bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until mixture achieves the consistency of raw cookie dough.

Measure out small amounts of mixture with a teaspoon or melon baller. Oil your hands with a small amount of coconut oil, and form each small teaspoon of mixture into uniform balls. 

Roll the balls in the unsweetened shredded coconut and the optional leftover lemon zest.

Line the lemon drops on the parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 40 minutes.

What Your Body Needs to Process:


Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Coconut Oil (organic pressed refined coconut oil), lemon juice and zest, pure maple syrup, organic pure vanilla extract (vanilla bean extractives in water and alcohol)


SAD Diet Dinner


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Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza with Cheese Crust


What Your Body Needs to Process:

Dough: Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Vegetable Oil (palm, canola), Yeast, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Dough Conditioners (DATEM, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, potassium iodate, azodicarbonamide, ascorbic acid, enzymes), Soybean Oil, Sucrose. 


Cheese Crust: Mozzarella Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, potassium chloride, enzymes), Modified Food Starch, Flavors, Nonfat Milk, Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Modified Food Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Nonfat Milk, Sodium Propionate (added as a preservative)


Sauce: Tomato Paste, Water, Salt, Spices, Garlic Powder, And Citric Acid, Ham (water added cured with sodium lactate and sodium diacetate, salt, sodium phosphates, sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite) Beef (water, textured soy protein concentrate, soy protein concentrate, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed corn and wheat gluten, salt, maltodextrin, sodium phosphate, autolyzed yeast extract, dextrose, soybean oil and cottonseed oil, natural and artificial flavors), BHA, BHT, citric acid, disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate) 


Pepperoni: pork, beef, salt, spices, water, dextrose, oleoresin of paprika, flavorings, lactic acid starter culture, sodium nitrite, BHA, BHT, citric acid)


Diet Coke


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Caffeine



SAD Diet Dessert:


Breyers Oreo Cookies and Cream Ice Cream


What Your Body Needs to Process:


Almond Milk (water, almonds), Liquid Sugar (sugar, water), Oreo Cookie Pieces {unbleached enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid], Sugar, Palm Canola Oil, Cocoa (processed with alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), Cornstarch, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin - An Artificial Flavor, (chocolate), Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup, Pea Protein, Vegetable gums (carob bean, guar), Mono And Diglycerides, Natural flavor (coconut)




Clean Eating Total Ingredients to Be Processed by Your Body:



Almond Flour, Balsamic Vinegar, Basil, Black Pepper, Blueberries, Brussels sprouts, Cherry Tomatoes, Coconut Flour, Coconut Oil (*organic pressed refined coconut oil), Coffee, Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Eggs, Garlic Powder, Lemon Juice and Zest, Lime Juice, Marjoram, Microbial Enzymes, Milk, Mint, Oregano, Organic Pure Vanilla Extract, Peppers, Portobello Mushrooms, Pure Maple Syrup, Quinoa, Red Onion, Red Wine, Rosemary, Sage, Salmon, Salt, Spinach, Thyme, Water



SAD Diet Total Ingredients to Be Processed by Your Body:


Water, Carob Bean, Carrageenan, Carrots, Cheese Cultures, Chicken Powder, Chocolate, Citric Acid, Citric Acid, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Coconut Oil, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Cottonseed Oil, DATEM, Dextrose, Diglycerides, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Dried Chicken Broth, Edamame, Egg, Egg Whites, Eggs, Enzymes, Ferrous Sulfate, Flavorings, Flavors, Folic Acid, Garlic, Garlic Powder, Garlic Puree, Ginseng Extract, Guar, Heavy Cream, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Hydrolyzed Corn, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lactic Acid, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Malted Barley Flour, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Modified Food Starch, Modified Tapioca Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate, Monoglycerides, Natural Flavor (Coconut), Niacin, Nonfat Dry Milk, Nonfat Milk, Oleoresin Of Paprika, Palm Canola Oil, Palm Oil, Pasteurized Milk, Pea Protein, Pecans, Phosphoric Acid, Pineapple, Pork, Potassium Benzoate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodate, Potassium Sorbate, Raisins, Red Peppers, Reduced Iron, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Rice Vinegar, Salt, Salted Chili Peppers, Sea Salt, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Propionate, Soy, Soy Lecithin, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Soybeans, Spice, Spices, Sucralose, Sucrose, Sugar, Sulfites, Textured Soy Protein Concentrate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Tomato Paste, Unspecified Natural Flavors, Unspecified Spice, Vanilla Extract, Vanillin - An Artificial Flavor, Water, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Whey, Whey Protein Concentrate, White Meat Chicken, Whole Durum Wheat Flour, Yeast, Yeast Extract, Yellow Carrots

Why Clean Eating Matters

Scary Right? Did you ever stop to realize how much the average American is asking their body to process every single day?

What Can You Do About It?

Give your body a helping hand by doing a mini-detox. Or, better yet, convert to clean eating. Clean eating is so easy, yummy, and healthy. As you can see, I’ve provided an entire day of clean eating recipes for you to try out yourself.

Or, you can grab my free 4-Day Mini Cleanse to try out clean eating and give your body a break from all the preservatives, chemicals, and artificial ingredients in the Standard American Diet. You’ll feel great, and you just might decide to bust out of the SAD Diet, and adopt a clean eating lifestyle!


Michelle Jolene

eI am a certified Health and Wellness Coach and Life Coach. I am the founder of, 40yearflip--a self help blog that focuses on empowering woman over 40 to flip their habits, flip their health, flip their happiness, flip their confidence, and flip their lives to reach their full potential. Don't flip out. Flip your life.