So many people may want to improve their health by starting to eat clean, but I find that most don’t know where to start! What should I stay away from? What should I eat? And what other healthy meals are out there that aren’t just chicken and vegetables!? Just know I hear you, I’ve been there, and I want to guide you through this! I still get stuck in a rut, not knowing what to make for myself and my family that is tasty but still healthy. So…here are my tips to start you off on the right foot.
1. Eliminate pop
Soda literally does nothing for your body. It actually hurts your body by dumping grams and grams of sugar (including artificial sweeteners which, no, are not good for you), fake coloring, preservatives, and other chemicals into your body. YUCK! It also causes bloating and dehydrates you. Instead, carry around your water bottle everywhere you go, and try to drink a minimum of 2 liters each day. Water keeps your body running efficiently and flushes your system. Craving the carbonation of pop? Pick up a La Croix! It only contains carbonated water with natural flavors. Plus, it’s Whole30 approved!
2. Minimize sugar intake
While eliminating sugar altogether would be great, sometimes it’s just not possible or realistic. Plus, who doesn’t love some flavored creamer in their coffee or a warm chocolate chips cookie from time to time? Now…what I want you all to realize is how prevalent sugar really is. It is in everything. Pasta sauce? Sugar. Bread? Yup. Salad dressing? Full of it. The things we use every day are loaded with sugar! What I encourage you to do is read ingredients. Sugar has many names: maltose, dextrose, dextrin, barley malt, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, the list could go on and on. Try buying things with low amounts of or none of these ingredients. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Eat real food
This is the biggest point I try and teach people. Just eat real food. Fruits, veggies, meats, and whole grains. Basically the food on the perimeter of the grocery store is what you should aim for. Food in the center aisles are boxed and packaged and have the ability to last a long time. Is that real food? I think not! Real food is something that grows, something that can’t last forever sitting on a shelf, and something that came from the earth. Here is a sample grocery list of mine. These are all staples I get almost every time I go grocery shopping:
Apples, bananas, grapes, clementines, spinach, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, whole wheat noodles, larabars, chicken breasts, eggs, and plain greek yogurt.
Real food is mostly 1 ingredient. But if you need to buy something processed and man-made aim for 5 ingredients or less. The more ingredients, the more processed it is and the more fake it is.
4. Meal plan
Eating clean rarely works if you do not prepare ahead of time. It takes time to chop, prepare, and cook food as opposed to popping an instant meal in the microwave for 3 minutes. Figure out a game plan for the week, do your grocery shopping, and even save some time by chopping veggies days prior to needing them. Set yourself up for success with a plan! Need meal ideas? Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you have tips on how to eat clean? Let me know and comment below! Happy Friday, everyone!
Until next time,