In my article: Clean Eating 101 I explained what clean eating was. But now that you know what it is, now what?Well, let’s try to break it down and figure out how to best apply these guidelines into your life.
Let’s start simple.
I want you to go through your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator and clean out everything that does stick to these guidelines. Look at the labels, if you can’t pronounce it, get rid of it. Get of rid of anything that says fat-free if it’s in a pantry item. Make two piles: donate and throw away. Anything that is a non-perishable item can be donated. Anything that is open, needs to be thrown away.
Make a meal plan
“If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Right? So, sit down and make a meal plan. Decide what you want to eat when. Decide if you want to eat the same thing everyday for most meals or if you need to switch it up. Decide how many meals a day you want to eat. Are you going to go for 5 smaller meals, or 3 medium meals with 1 or 2 snacks? Are you going to need to pack a lunch and take it with you to work or school? What about snacks, do you need to take them with you? As for dinner, do you need to plan some crockpot meals during the week because you know you’re going to have a late night and need a quick meal?
As you meal plan, make sure you have protein, fruits and/or veggies, and some healthy fats at every meal. So if you are planning breakfast, start with eggs w/ veggies, a piece of fruit, and a 100% whole wheat toast with avocados on it.
Go grocery shopping
If you want to succeed at this, you need to refill your refrigerator and cabinets with food that does fall into the guidelines. Make a shopping list from the meal plan you just put together. Decide if you want to go shopping 1x a week, or 2x a week. Anything less than that will probably not work. You need to make sure you’re stocking your refrigerator with fresh fruits and veggies. Don’t buy anything that isn’t on the list! Not even if it’s for your kids.
When you are starting to make changes to your diet, you will realize that it’s hard to make these changes if there’s “not allowed” food in the house! Later on down the road, you might be able to buy some non-clean items and not feel tempted by them, but for the first month, keep them out of your house.
To make this a whole lot easier on you, when you get home from the grocery, make sure you have set aside time to prep your food for the following week. Do you need to cook chicken for your lunches so that it’s already to pack in the morning? Or just place them in zip bags to start marinating them. How about snacks? Wash and cut fruits and veggies and put into baggies that are in the refrigerator waiting for you to just open it and grab them. Portion out them so you have enough for the whole week or enough to get you through the first couple of days. What about dinners? Do you need to plan ahead with some crockpot meals?
Grab and Go
You need to be able to easily pack a lunch and snacks during the week. Do you need to invest in a cooler or some water bottles? These will always make your life easy. Also, stay ahead of the game. Make sure you are looking ahead and remembering to defrost food or put it in the crockpot so you can have dinner ready on a busy night.
Out of all this, this may be the hardest one. Do not expect to be perfect. I don’t expect you to be perfect. Try to plan to eat clean 80% of the time. That means that you can still have lunch out occasionally with your co-workers. Or dinner out on the weekend. But this doesn’t mean is that you eat great all week and blow it completely all weekend. Be picky! This is your body you’re talking about and as you begin to clean, you’ll feel better and you won’t want to eat those other foods. (Believe, I know!)
Also, is there’s something you can’t live without? I bet you can find a recipe on pinterest that will make it clean. I’ve seen cauliflower or 100% whole wheat pizza crust. What about donuts??? Go find a better recipe. You don’t have to live with out, you just need to make adjustments.
Okay, I think that’s it! You can do this! It’s easy and you will love the way it makes you feel!
Look for my other articles on Clean Eating on my Clean Eating page.