While clean eating is one of the simpler healthy lifestyles to understand, it does have its restrictions just like everything else. The important thing to remember is that you are eating whole, fresh foods. Avoid most things that are packaged and processed, begin to read labels and be sure to cook more at home. Here are some additional tips to help with your clean eating diet.
Eat Lots of Fruits and Veggies
The first big change you might make is eating more fresh and frozen produce. A good portion of your meals and snacks will be of fruits and vegetables. If you currently eat a lot of fruit, but not much veggies, it’s time to switch it up. By having a good amount of both throughout the day, you stay full, get plenty of nutrients, and have enough variety in your diet so you don’t get bored. Frozen produce and even some canned veggies are okay, just make sure you are checking the ingredients to ensure it is clean.
Enjoy Your Whole Grains
If you are coming off diets like low-carb or Keto, you might not be used to having these types of carbohydrates, BUT clean eating is not a low-carb diet. While it is a reduced carb diet by simply by taking away things like white rice and processed breads, you will still be eating carbohydrates throughout the day. Your meals should consist of a protein, fat, fibre and a carb, like brown rice and quinoa for example. Filling up on whole grains increases your nutrients and keeps you energized for the day, so ti is definitely recommended.
Always Have Snacks Ready to Go
You want to be as prepared as possible to survive clean eating and get to the point where it is a simple lifestyle change. One way to do this is by having enough snacks on hand that are clean. This means enough fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds in portion-controlled containers or bags, and any homemade snacks you have prepared like granola or oatmeal bites.
Meal Plan and Prep Weekly
Try planning out as many meals as possible for the week and do your prep. With clean eating, getting convenience foods while you’re out is not always easy, you still need to plan to provide the majority of your own meals and snacks at home. If you can prep things like casseroles, salads, and chopping veggies, then you are more likely to eat those meals instead of grabbing pizza.
SIMPLE CLEAN EATING LUNCH IDEAS
Pita, Hummus, and Veggies
This Meditteranean inspired lunch is such a fun and easy to put together that, and you can even gather ingredients the morning before work and not spend too much time on it. Get a bag of whole wheat pita bread and a container of hummus. Since you are reducing your processed foods, making your hummus is preferred, and it is easy to make with a food processor. If you don't have one, at least choose your container hummus wisely and look at the ingredients. Open up the pita, add some hummus, and layer the veggies. That's all you need to do.
Sandwich or Wrap
You can still eat sandwiches for lunch while clean eating, but re-think the ingredients you are using. To start with, stop using pre-sliced or processed meat and cheese for your sandwiches. Go to your grocery store’s deli section and get meat sliced right there. It will be fresh, much better for you, not processed and fewer preservatives, and you will be amazed by how much better it tastes. You can also get your cheese sliced in the deli, or you can buy a block of cheese and slice it up yourself. Remember that dairy is a borderline approved food with clean eating, so try to find cheese from grass-fed cows if you can.
If you don’t want to have cheese with your sandwich, homemade hummus is another great addition. Pile on the veggies onto your sandwich and use whole grain bread (OR, rye/sourdough are great options) when you can. Wraps will be lower in carbs and only require a big lettuce leaf.
No-Mayo Chicken or Tuna Salad
With clean eating, mayonnaise isn't necessarily a big no-no, but dairy in general needs to be ‘from the farm' as much as possible. Many people make their own, or you can try to look at the ingredients of organic mayonnaise. Another option is to make tuna or chicken salad with no mayonnaise at all. Another option is to use mashed-up avocado. This healthy fat is approved on a clean eating diet. Chicken is better than tuna since it doesn't come in a can and you can even prep it ahead of time to use for lunches. Cut your chicken into small pieces, add your avocado and any other veggies or seasonings. You can have it in a wrap, on its own, or alongside some fruits or veggies.
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