But you know what I like about that system? I can *choose* to add them back in if and when I want. Not eating white sugar, white flour, fried foods, and a lot of processed stuff on a regular basis makes me feel healthier, happier, and, well, cleaner. There is no clean-eating police that is going to haul me away if I decide to have a piece of birthday cake or a few glasses of wine in any given week (or day...).
Contrary to some feedback I've received in person, I don't have to stop eating at restaurants with friends or family. When I do eat out, I may or may not make a super-clean-eating choice for my meal. We don't eat out all that much, so I feel perfectly justified in splurging now and then.
What keeps me in check from going off the deep end and completely reverting to my old unhealthy habits is the fact that I feel better when I eat clean, as long as I'm doing it properly and eating healthy carbs + protein every few hours. My skin is clearer, my pants fit better, my mood in general is more even-keeled. The physical benefits are remarkable to me. I've lost 30 pounds. I'm wearing sizes I never even dreamed of putting on myself. It's easier to have a good run--whether it's 3 miles or 10 miles--when I've been providing my body with good, clean fuel instead of sugary processed snacks.
BUT but but but... I'm not perfect (and I don't expect any other clean eaters to be, either). Some days I eat cold cereal (that may or may not contain HFCS) when I'm too lazy or too hungry to wait for oatmeal, or just sick and tired of eating sprouted grain toast with peanut butter. I might have a turkey hot dog for lunch if I don't think I'll get a chance to make something cleaner because my son is having a demanding, clingy day. After dinner, I might reach for the Lindor truffles hiding in the candy jar instead of blending up a frozen banana and dark chocolate because my son is in bed and I don't want to make too much noise with the blender.
Usually after a few off-track meals or munchies, I realize I could have done better if I'd planned ahead and had easy-to-grab clean snacks in the fridge. It's days like that when I make a dozen Larabars or a boil a half-dozen eggs and grill some chicken breasts on the Foreman. And that's exactly what I'm going to do right now!