Brother in law was across the table from me at Sunday dinner. My family all knows I am a Clean Eater, and he decided he wanted to know more about CE. I obliged, gladly. We discussed the Basic Tenents of Clean Eating, what I eat, what I don't...and then we got to the deal breaker.
Brother in Law ( hereafter referred to as BIL ): What about alcohol?
Me: Alcohol is considered unclean.
Me: Anything that doesn't provide nutritional value - something that is either negative to your system , or neutral, can be considered unclean. Alcohol has little nutritional value - so...unclean.
BIL: But...but...beer. Beer is water, hops, barley - clean, right?
Me: In technical terms, yes - but beer doesn't really have nutritional benefits. It doesn't "add" to you, other than giving you a beer belly. The alcohol in it is really...bad for your system.
BIL: Beer makes me happy. I don't want to give it up. Doesn't something that makes your body happy count for something?
Me: *rolls eyes* Think of your body as a machine. It needs top grade fuel to function. Give it 93 octane: fruit, veg, lean meat - and it purrs like the day it rolled out of the factory. Give it 78 octane: fast food, Pop*Tarts, bacon - beer...and you gum up the works. You lower the life of the engine. It needs more maintenance, more effort - but in the end - shorter life span.
BIL: I eat very Cleanly.
Me: Eating few processed foods is a great start - but basically spending multiple nights a week after work with your buddies at the sports bar chugging whatever is on draft is not the best way to treat your body, is it?
BIL: I pick up a lot of chicks, which is great for my body.
Me: You really are a pig, aren't you.
BIL: Seriously - no alcohol?
Me: Bottom line, alcohol isn't Clean. Now, some Clean Eaters will allow themselves a glass of wine a month, or a mixed drink, or a beer - but not every day. Not every night.
I ended up sounding preachy - and I apologized to him later. But, the point is still valid. Alcohol - beer, hard liquor, wine - all are not clean. I'm sorry, there is no way around it. Most people who are CE for a long time find the semi-annual beer or wine or mixed drink - and only 1 - to be more than enough.