“I only eat clean.”
“Made using the cleanest ingredients.”
At MUIR Energy, we believe that optimal health relies on eating whole foods–but it’s equally important to be able to enjoy all foods in moderation. While we love creating tasty and powerful energy gels, our priority is to encourage everyone to eat well AND live well.
That’s why we’re removing the word “clean” from all marketing, including our mission statement.
What does “eating clean” mean?
There isn’t a clear definition. Most proponents focus on some combination of whole foods with the least amount of processing possible–vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean animal protein. It may also include a focus on only eating organic or non-GMO foods.
So, what’s the problem?
Labeling foods as “clean” or “good” creates the existence of foods that are “dirty” or “bad.” By placing foods in these categories, health becomes black and white. In reality, nutrition exists on a spectrum.
Orthorexia is a type of disordered eating characterized by an obsession with eating healthy–ie eating clean. Fixating on clean eating can become a slippery slope to orthorexia due to demonizing specific food groups, often leading to these foods being cut out completely.
Such rigidity can lead to cutting out additional foods, making you more likely to blame yourself for “lacking discipline” if you eat something outside of your food rules. This pattern leads to feelings of failure and guilt when you fail to uphold the unrealistic rules you set for yourself.
Athletes and eating clean
The number one nutrition issue among athletes is not eating enough. By cutting out food groups, athletes put themself at even higher risk of underfueling. Underfueling leads to increased injury risk, delayed muscle recovery, and failure to reach training goals.
Here at MUIR, we LOVE carbohydrates, but they’re the most demonized food group. Athletes need adequate carbs in order to perform at their peak, and you just can’t get enough carbs from solely unprocessed foods to support training. Even our whole food gels are gently processed, just because they are blended and packaged!
The role of mental health
Health is about more than just what you eat. A balanced diet is critical for achieving athletic and wellness goals, but it can’t work alone. Both athletes and non-athletes can fixate on having the “cleanest” diet while sidelining mental health.
An obsession with eating clean can be devastating to mental health. You may skip going out with friends in order to avoid eating “bad” foods–social isolation damages mental health, and eating disorders thrive in isolation.
You may also feel like you need to spend an outlandish amount of money on only the cleanest foods, when certain processed foods (like those that are frozen or canned) can have just as many nutrients and be far less expensive than their fresh/organic/non-GMO counterparts.
Eating clean and the binge/restrict cycle
Restricting foods makes them even more appealing to your brain, leading to episodes of overeating “bad” foods when your resolve inevitably breaks. This leads to more feelings of guilt and the thought that you will “do better” next time and begin restricting yourself to “clean” foods again.
The cycle will always continue–until you stop restricting yourself to only “eating clean.”
What will MUIR use instead of “clean”?
Our New Mission Statement
Our mission is to make the simplest portable food products with the smallest impact, to bring good energy to all people, and to use business to serve Planet Earth.
MUIR is replacing our focus on clean with a focus on simplicity–it’s actually one of our core values.
Our unwavering commitment to simplicity - from products to communication to design to service - is a powerfully refreshing antidote to the increasingly complex world of our customers Our products feature simple, whole food formulations for ease of digestibility and accessibility of nutrients
MUIR embodies simplicity at all steps of the supply chain; we know exactly where every ingredient comes from. Because we get to know each of our suppliers, we invest in people and businesses we believe in.
One of our other core values is Integrity. We are 100% committed to doing the right thing; we assume positive intent in others, speak plainly with each other and our customers, and act quickly to “make it right” when we err. When we realized that “clean” no longer matched our ethos, we knew it was time to make a change.