Start Clean Eating in 7 Easy Steps
Clean Eating is all about a balanced diet, which consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole, unprocessed and unrefined foods - as close to the way nature made them. Most importantly, clean eating is a lifestyle, for the overall improvement of your body, based on moderation and a few simple principles. So, if you plan on getting started with clean eating and don't know where to begin, here are a few tips to make your transition easier:
1. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats
Try to buy from farmers markets as much as you can. Clean Eating also means cutting down on pesticides or other chemicals that are usually used in the cultivating process. As for the meat, try buying good quality products, grass fed and small fish, from cold waters. Also, consider cutting down the quantity of meat you consume, as there are many vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds that contain protein to keep those nutrients in balance (like chia seeds, lentils and beans).
2. Avoid eating ultra-processed foods
You know exactly what I'm talking about. Sugary cereals, soda, chips, fruit yogurts and other stuff you pack your pantry with. Try to replace them with rolled oats, fresh lemonades, homemade snacks and yogurt with fruits. The internet is full of clean eating recipes to keep the entire family happy, but most importantly, healthy. You can make your own ketchup, trust me! That doesn`t mean that all goods that come in packages are bad for you. Brown rice is labeled too and is extremely healthy. So are olive oil and flax seeds.
3. Stay away from refined sugar, white flour, rice and pasta
Try to substitute with other sweetening products (honey or maple syrup, if vegan), almond flour and quinoa. And these are just from the top of my head, the options are really unlimited!
4. Focus on macros, not just calories
Every meal should include proteins, carbohydrates and good fats. By eliminating empty calories, everything you eat will also have a nutritional value, which, in the long term, means overall improvement of your body.
5. Drink more water
If you can't meet your daily target, try tea or homemade lemonade.
6. Eat at least 5 meals a day, but make your portions smaller
I cannot stress enough the importance of a regular meal plan when deciding to change to a clean eating lifestyle. Consider preparing some snacks and buying a cooler for when you take a road trip, to avoid the obligatory pit stop for crisps at the service station. These little changes will go a long way, but take baby steps. Stop eating junk food on the run and pack lunch for work. Give it a try - you won't regret it!
7. Find a clean eating buddy
It's a hard transition and you will need a friend in need. Even better, try introducing this lifestyle to your family so you don't lose your mind on pizza night!
Good luck and don't forget to let me know how your journey is going by leaving a comment below.
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