We have now learned what clean eating is in Clean Eating 101 and Clean Eating 102. And, we have learned how to purge our pantries of all unwanted ingredients Clean Eating: Clean Out the Pantry, now it’s time to restock! This doesn’t have to happen over night. In fact, I would feel better, if you chose to make small changes over time. It would be easier to change your frame of mind.
But the truth is, this is all about change. And even though this is for your health, it also can be scary. So much so that you might have a desire to turn around and change your mind. Because isn’t it easier to eat like you’re used to? Yes and no. It might be now, but I promise, eating clean will be easier and it will become second nature.
So you walk into the grocery, and then what? Start on the outer rim of the store. This is where you’re going to find all the things that are on your clean eating shopping list. These are also things that have very few ingredients on the labels. It’ll be easier to start.
You want to think about food that don’t really need a label, fresh, straight from the ground or from the butcher! Start with your lean meats. Protein is what’s going to help you stay full longer. Move onto your dairies, then fill the rest of your cart with fresh fruit and veggies. That’s right. These are things you are going to snack on.
Now that you have the basic idea, let’s go into a little more detail.
Shop the outer rim of the store
This is where you’re going to find all the fresh ingredients: meat, dairy, produce. You want to spend about 90% of your time in this area. There are very few labels, and lots of good, clean foods that can be purchased here. The other things I think about, on a particular store that is near me, is that you’ll also find the pre-made food, bakery, deli, juices and ice cream. (But who wants to live without that ice cream?) In these areas, if they happen to be on the outer rim of the store too, walk by them as fast as you can!
Only go down certain aisles
If you need to, walk through your store, at a non-shopping time, and check out your aisles. You want to look for things like nuts, steel-cut oats, spices, and frozen meat and veggies. There might be a few other sporadic things, tea and coffee, but other than that, there shouldn’t be much that you need down the aisles.
Try shopping at the local farmers market or deli
Not only will you help local small business, but you can also find some of the freshest meats and veggies around. Going to a farmers market would be a great outing with the kids. Teach them the different types of produce, how to select the right ones, and then let them pick something. I have found that my kids are far more likely to eat it, if they help with the shopping process. You can even start talking to them about why different veggies are good for you.
And a few more other tips:
Go at a time of day that isn’t busy
If you can, go to the store when not everyone is there. This will help you get through it faster. And also be able to have the luxury to look at labels and not be in some one else’s way.
Don’t go near the pre-made food
That stuff gets me every time! I can smell it, and then I want the fried chicken or whatever it is that I’m smelling.
Eat something before you go
I know I’m not the only one that if I see something, all of a sudden it’s what I need!!! Only to find out when I get home that it’s not at all what I want, or need. Go right after a meal, and your less likely to “feel” like you need everything in the store.
You’re not perfect!
Don’t expect to be perfect the first time you go. Also, remember that this is a 80/20 plan. You can buy something that is off the list (like that ice cream???) or for a special occasion. Don’t beat yourself up over a poor choice, it will get easier.
Okay, I think that’s it. Now, go re-stock your kitchen and pay attention to how your body starts to feel as you make these changes.
To learn more about Clean Eating, go to my Clean Eating page.