Looking for tips for eating clean? You’ve come to the right place! Eating clean is a big change to make in your food habits, but it’s worth it. Basically, eating clean refers to cutting out all the artificial and not-so-good-for-you ingredients that are in so much of our food today. Many people don’t even realize that sugar isn’t great for your health, yet it’s usually the number one ingredient on any given packaged food item in the store! Read on to learn some awesome tips for eating clean!
1. Steer Clear of “Diet” Items
One of my top tips for eating clean is to pay attention to what you’re buying. Just because something says “diet” or “sugar-free” doesn’t mean it’s actually better for you. In fact, the opposite is usually true! Diet and sugar-free items will generally have an artificial sweetener in them, which is way worse for you than regular sugar. You’re better off to just buy the regular product, or better yet, scratch it from your list entirely!
2. Pay Attention to Packaging
Manufacturers know how to grab consumers' attention. Just because a package is green or has the words “natural ingredients” or “100 % whole grain” doesn’t mean your item is healthy. Read labels, and know the ingredients in the food you are buying!
3. Know How to Buy Organic Foods the Smart Way
Of course organic food is good for you! However, organic foods CAN get expensive, and there are a few organic items that aren’t actually grown any differently than their supposed “processed” relatives. Learn the “clean 15” and the “dirty dozen” to see which items should be bought organically. Another rule to follow? Buy the items that you eat the most organically.
4. Avoid the Inner Store Aisles
Fresh foods are typically placed on the outer aisles of the store. To keep yourself from being tempted to buy processed foods, try to keep away from the center aisles, and buy only what’s in the outer area of the store! Fruits, veggies, fresh meats, dairy, and bread will all be placed along the outer edges of the grocery store, so shop in a huge circle.
5. Follow the 5 Ingredient Rule
If there is an item you are considering to buy, but aren’t sure how “healthy” it is, just read the ingredients. The fewer ingredients an item has, the healthier it is. 5 ingredients is a good rule to stick by. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or you’re not sure what it is, that’s almost always a strong indication that the food you are holding in your hands is stuffed full of preservatives and non-organic ingredients.
6. Buy Locally
If at all possible, strive to buy local produce! Locally grown food is better for several reasons. It’s fresher, less expensive, and usually treated with fewer pesticides since it’s not being shipped anywhere. If you have a green thumb and a little plot of land, try your hand at a small veggie garden yourself!
7. Start out Slowly
Remember, clean eating won’t happen overnight. It’s not going to be easy, and it will take time to adjust and learn to change your cravings. Start out slowly. Switch out white rice for brown. Swap out sodas for juice. Over time, the transition will have become practically seamless!
8. Cook at Home
Eating clean DOES mean you will have to cook at home more often. And we’re not talking about frozen pizzas here. But there are still fast meals you can whip up while eating clean. Chef salads, crockpot soups, wheat pasta with veggies, or seasoned chicken with beans and quinoa are a few easy, fast, and yummy meals you can make in less than 20 minutes!
9. Don’t Use Cost as an Excuse
My final tip for eating clean is to never let money be an excuse to keep feeding your family unhealthy food. Once you stop buying junk food and over processed foods, you will see that you have more money to spend on fresh foods. And fresh food isn’t really as expensive as you might think. Just try it one time, you may find that you actually saved money on your grocery bill!
With these tips for eating clean, you should be well on your way to feeding your family healthy meals in no time! It may take time and patience, but stay dedicated and it will pay off in the end. What are your tips for eating clean?