When it comes to social media, I think 95% of my food images are hashtagged with #CleanEating and #EatingClean; and if you are an avid follower of healthy related accounts, you’ll notice most pictures usually depict healthy meals, or meal prepping.
The first step to clean eating is cutting out the “bad foods” such as processed foods, junk food, take-out, baked goods, carbonated drinks, and sugary sweets.
By cutting out, I don’t mean eliminating them from your diet altogether (forever) … but just simply cutting down on your portion intake and how often you consume these foods.
All you really need in order to eat clean is your PROTEIN, PRODUCE, WHOLE GRAINS and LEGUMES.
What is Clean Eating?
Clean Eating has been a staple of the fitness industry, and the diet of those embarking on a healthier lifestyle.
To me, it’s eating foods that are EARTH GROWN, WHOLE and NATURAL.
Clean eating does not include junk food or fast food, and it is not a diet fad, where you take on a challenge for a week or two, and go back to your crappy eating. Simply put, clean eating is a healthy lifestyle of being mindful and health conscious of what you are putting into your body.
What to Buy
Easy way to get started is thinking of meals you will want to eat for the week, and be sure to use items you know you will eat! Make a grocery list of the items you need and plan on where you will be shopping.
Grocery shopping on it’s own can be overwhelming.
People usually go for cost-effective deals, or items on sale, but if you plan ahead, it will be easier to go in knowing the meals you are making and what exactly you need to buy.
A lot of people complain that eating healthy is expensive (this is a topic on it’s own), but to summarize …
just think of it as investing in your health, and avoiding foods that will cause dis-ease and temporarily fill your appetite, with little to no nutritional value.
Plus, if you are a bargain shopper like me, you can find deals/specials to take advantage of!
I’m not telling you to hit up WholeFoods and purchase all organic items, but you can definitely hit up a farmers market for fresh produce (or go to your local grocery store) and find a butcher / meat market that will be cheaper to buy your meat from, as opposed to buying packaged meat from a grocery chain.
Whatever your preference, as long as its healthy!
Healthy Food Tastes Gross
I think I’ve lost count as to how many people I know, have fallen victim to diving head first into an expensive food chain grocery store, purchasing stuff like kale chips, kambucha and even something simple as hummus!
“eww how do you eat this sh!t?!” or “here, I bought this and didn’t like it…” they say.
Don’t go off buying expensive processed items when you have never tried them before! (dumb dumb)
And you are not making a statement by purchasing kale chips… you are better off snacking on something you will actually enjoy!
Depending on what exactly you are eating, eating clean can’t really taste gross, when it consists of the very ingredients you would typically eat, just without all the added sh!t, like sauces, dips, cheeses, gravies, or anything else that is processed,
Having a salad? skip the heavy cream dressing, and use extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon.
Want pasta? ditch the 4-cheese sauce and try pesto.
Meal Prepping is an awesome way to prepare your meals on a day you are free. Sundays are usually my prep day, where I prepare my legumes, grains a and produce for the week.
For fresh produce, I like to prep my veggies by cutting, slicing and dicing them, and storing them in a container for the week. To preserve the freshness, you can try fresh squeezed lemon, apple cider vinegar, or simply water to avoid browning and having the produce go bad.
For protein, there are 2 options you can do…
- Prep your meat / fish into portions and freeze them for day-of use.
This is easy if your sides are already prepped, and all you have to do is cook your meat.
- Portion your meat and marinate it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Meal Prepping not only reduces time in making your meals the day of, but it is great for portion control.
Clean Eating Quick List
Here is a list to help you get started …
- Cut out processed foods
- Decrease the amount of times you eat out
If you do, choose protein and vegetables as your dish
- Cut out dairy
If you are a heavy milk drinker, try switching to almond milk or coconut milk
- Eat more vegetables (raw, steamed or sautéed)
- Eat more fruit
- Eat legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, etc)
- Switch to WHOLE GRAIN bread/wraps
or try sprouted bread like Ezekiel
- Eat brown or wild rice
- Try switching to corn pasta or quinoa pasta
Get inspiration from my Recipes, other food blogs, or anything you come across on social media, tv, magazines, etc. When I’m in a waiting room, and browsing a magazine, I’ll snap a picture of food, or recipes to try.
So food ideas are endless, you just need to put the effort and commit to your plan!
Have you introduced healthy eating into your lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below!