Clean eating is one of those terms that seems like it should be fairly cut-and-dry but often ends up ambiguous. Some people who eat clean are more strident than others (you’ll recognize them from the “NO” and “NEVER” language they use). I’m personally a fan of balance. I think a person can maintain a clean diet the majority of the time and still have indulgent treats now and then without feeling any guilt. I think there are some situations (like Date Night at a gourmet restaurant) when it makes more sense to aim for portion control than for clean foods. And I think that restriction leads to deprivation and deprivation leads to binging, so I’d rather avoid restriction altogether.
This is what clean eating means to me.