If you're trying to be healthy and eat to nourish your body well, you have probably formulated a list of foods that are "good" and "bad", or at least the ones that are better for you that you want to eat more off. Is the concept of "clean eating" that useful though - for our bodies and minds? Let's find out.
First off, let's not demonize any foods. Psychologically We are built to crave something if we can't have. Don't create a downward spiral for yourself to go into if you suddenly had a piece of pizza at a party, and now decided to finish off the whole box because "oh well, I have failed to eat clean, so may as well splurge!" It's the same logic as noticing your tire busted, and popping the other three cause your car can't drive the car anyways...
I have been having a relatively similar diet for years - oatmeal for breakfast, with a ton of nuts, chia seeds and cranberries, a fruit/berries. Rice and beans plus veggies for lunch, salad and some protein for dinner. Nuts and hummus for snacks... these are easy, well marketed "clean eating" solutions that you see in every single magazine. If they have worked as well as his advertised, wouldn't everybody have perfect health in a six-pack?
The problem with "clean eating"
Because no one has EVER proven energy balance to NOT WORK. You overeat on oreos, tofu or nuts - in the end, if your energy balance is positive, you'll gain weight. Period. The trick is - it's kind of hard to overeat on spinach and broccoli because they are high volume and low calorie foods. So, if you despise counting calories and tracking macros - fine, estimate your energy expenditure (there are plenty of calculators online, or get a fitness professional to do this for you) and create a menu for yourself every week based on that approximate number. Stick to it 80-85% of the time, allowing some treats here and there - volia, you've nailed flexible dieting!
No need to get upset with yourself if you've BUILT IN the room to splurge every once in a while - vs. wondering whether a giant "clean" fruit salad was too many carbs before bed. Controlling the macros of your intake at least approximately alleviates stress and anxiety over the unknown energy in vs. out ratio.
Tracking macros provides real data on what you eat and how that affects your body. Eating clean Foods or eating according to a certain diet does not. Tracking macros is a simple tool you could learn in a couple of weeks and keep for a life. You can still adjust your ratios and watch how having more or less of a certain macronutrient makes you feel (e.g. I LOVE fats - if someone takes away my walnuts and almonds, i'm deeply sad. Some people love carbs, and need their rice before a workout, etc.). After a few weeks, you'll notice that you've memorized that there are 22g in 3 oz of your homemade seitan, or 50 calories and 12 g of carbs in 1 cup of fresh strawberries, intuitively eating a balanced diet becomes as second nature as brushing teeth.