When starting a clean eating journey, make it simple and take your time. Don't dive in by cleaning out your whole pantry, throwing away food and racking up your grocery bill. You will just get overwhelmed and frustrated!!
First, let's talk about the components for a balanced clean meal and figure out what to include in each of your meals. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks between meals, and any desserts you want to enjoy. For clean eating and to stay full, you want to be sure you have carbohydrates and protein with every meal. These together provide enough energy for your day and ensure you are getting the nutrients you need. You should also add some healthy fats to as many meals as you can.
Make Meal-Building Simple
If you are new to meal planning, here is a simple formula:
1 protein + 1 carbohydrate + 1 fruit or vegetable + 1 healthy fat
This can be adjusted as needed, but it is a good way to figure out your meals. For example, a very simple meal might include salmon (protein), brown rice (carb), broccoli (vegetable) and olive oil (fat) that was used to cook your salmon. Don’t worry about adjusting it right away, just make your clean eating meals simple to put together for now.
Use Ingredients More Than Once
Another tip that is going to help you with your first week’s worth of clean eating meals is to choose ingredients you can use more than once. This allows you to save money and simplifies both the grocery shopping and cooking processes. For example, you can get a whole rotisserie chicken that easily works for more than one meal, and buy your rice in bags and cook in larger batches to be used for multiple lunches and dinners.
Meal Ideas for the First Week
Now for some meal ideas. These are just a few easy ways to put breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. There are of course many other options but this will give you an idea of what they could look like.
Breakfast – Avocado toast w/whole grain bread, mashed avocado, and fried eggs on top for some added protein.
Lunch – Chicken salad with greens, cooked chicken, veggies, and some vinaigrette as your fat.
Dinner – Chicken (same as used during lunch), quinoa w/black beans, and some roasted asparagus.
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