To eat clean? To eat healthy? No, I am not talking about “light” or “vegan” food. So? It is just a healthy approach to our food.
Many people think that clean eating is expensive, tasteless and difficult to prepare every day, especially when we have to feed an entire family. Wine lovers, meanwhile, add the probably difficulty of wine pairing. Today I want to clarify these urban myths and present a true guide to eat clean and enjoy the wines.
What is clean eating?
First, it is not a diet, but a lifestyle. You can follow a specific program that excludes some group of products, such as vegetarian or macrobiotic trends. Search for proteins in plants or eat paleo, that is, omitting all grains and dairy. It is a very personal thing. It depends on our needs and tastes. But a common denominator of many diets, from the most postmodern to the traditional ones, where the Mediterranean diet still tops the list, refers to the prohibition of eating processed foods. It’s that simple.
Processed food involves many things: it comes in a can, powder (instant food), frozen, salted and / or contains: dyes, flavorings, additives and preservatives, GMO and refined foods. Despite being calorie dense, these foods are often nutritionally empty, even if they have been “fortified” with vitamins and minerals. This is simply not the same as removing them from their natural sources.
One of the most important rules is to reject processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. There is nothing like the sugar that Mother Nature designs: honey, maple syrup and dried fruit such as figs and dates.
And the wine?
The great scientist Louis Pasteur said that wine is the healthiest and most hygienic drink in the world, obtained from the fermentation of must – the grape juice. The fermentation process is produced by the metabolic action of yeasts, which transform the natural sugars and acids of the fruits into alcohol.
In addition, the wine also contains other compounds from the grape, such as tannins, anthocyanins and the mysterious resveratrol. The latter is beneficial for our health and well-being. Remember the Mediterranean diet or French paradox. The daily and moderate consumption of wine is part of a healthy and clean diet. As it is a fermented food, wine improves the bacterial micro flora of our intestines.
There are voices that say “wine, yes”, but only natural or biodynamic for the famous sulfite theme. I do not agree. Conventional wine has the same pro-healthy values, since in most wines called conventional sulphite content is frankly minimal. If you want to talk about sulphites, keep in mind that raisins or cheeses have many more sulphites than wine for preservation.
The key to drinking wine at lunch and / or dinner is moderation and proper hydration. Always drink water to hydrate your body. For every glass of wine, I drink a glass of water. Thus, I dilute the alcohol content and prevent headaches. It does not fail me.
Pairing with wine when you eat clean?
The pairings between wines and healthy dishes do not change much. The same rules apply. Just to remember, we have to look for a synergy and complement between two similar or opposite components. Therefore, before our crucial choice, we have to consider the aromas / flavors and the weight / structure of the food and wine. For example, a pumpkin soup with crunchy toasted dry fruit with a delicious Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay.
We cannot forget that wines have different structures. They can be light, medium or firm bodies. This depends on the amount of alcohol and tannins. The more body the wine has, the dish must be equivalent in weight and structure. A salad with brown rice and adzuki beans harmonizes with Casillero del Diablo Merlot, while a pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, pesto and a rich Parmesan cheese goes best with Marques de Casa Concha Rosé.
It is impossible to get bored if we incorporate different flavors, if we use aromatic herbs and spices, to prepare soups, salads or stews. Clean food, in reality, is nothing more than fresh and homemade food! Eat what you want; just cook for yourself and, please, read the ingredients on the labels of processed foods. You will have a goose skin.