It seems that you can’t go anywhere today without hearing about a new eating plan that is supposed to get your health in the ultimate shape. From keto to the Mediterranean diet to Paleo, the options seem endless and can be overwhelming!
Having tried many types of meal plans in search of what suits my lifestyle best, ‘clean eating’ has come out on top. I love the flexibility, the health benefits and of course, the yummy food!
If you’re ready to try clean eating for yourself, read on to learn more about this healthy diet choice and discover a clean eating grocery list for newbies that will help you reach your health goals and keep you on budget.
What Is Clean Eating?
While you may know that more veggies and fruits on your plate are always a better option than your less than nutritional favorites, without the right plan in place it can be hard to make the switch.
Clean eating (or eating clean alternatively) is a great plan to help you make the transition from unhealthy meal and drink choices to selections that help you glow inside and out.
The focus of clean eating is to eliminate processed, chemical-filled man-made food and additives and replace them with whole and natural foods. To make it as easy to follow as possible, there are different versions of clean eating and of course, you can tailor it to your specific dietary needs especially if you have an intolerance and/or allergies.
In addition, you don’t have to deprive yourself of the things you love completely as eating clean focuses on balance just as much as making better food choices. Remember, this is an eating LIFESTYLE, not a fad diet.
Tips for Clean Eating Success
These tips will help you to set your clean eating journey on the right foundation:
- Cut down on added salt, sugar and fat and processed foods: This may seem like a no brainer when you start to eat well but many “healthy” products have hidden amounts of these additives.
- Avoid “white foods” such as white rice and white bread. Find healthy replacements such as brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grain options.
- Get into the habit of reading labels: With the examples above, it’s obvious to see why we need to read labels. A good rule of thumb is the fewer the ingredients the better!
- Swap your usual drinks of choice for water: alcohol, juice, soda, and large amounts of coffee take a back seat to good ol’ H2O.
- Eat 5-6 meals a day about 3 hours apart: While this may seem like a lot of meals, the portion sizes are not the standard North American meal size. Also eating every 3 hours allows your body proper digestion time for your clean meals.
- Eat more green plants!: Try to include them in every major meal you have.
- Become an at home Iron Chef: cook or prep your own meals at home.
- Get the basic tools: A multipurpose appliance such as a blender/ food processor combo, a large size lunch cooler and meal prep containers are all going to be super beneficial as you eat clean. You can find these items for affordable prices too!
- Set aside meal prep time each Sunday: Set your week up for success with prepping all or certain meals for the week on Sunday.
- Slowly transition your kitchen to a clean eating kitchen: You don’t have to throw everything out and replace it all at once.
- Shop the perimeter: This is an old mantra that will help to guide you when you Eating Clean. This diet usually consists of the items that are lining the perimeter of the grocery store, not those that are in the aisles (with a few exceptions).
- If your budget permits it, shop local and organic for all of the grocery categories below.
The Clean Eating Grocery List for Newbies
This is a great list of staple items that work with any budget. Have these on hand and you’re ready to make clean eating meals anytime!
- Any berries
- Other fresh fruit you enjoy
- All leafy greens i.e. Spinach, Kale, Collard
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- All onion types
- Squash varieties
- Bell peppers
- Other fresh veggies
Grains and Flour:
- Brown Rice
- Whole wheat/whole grain pasta
- Almond and/or coconut flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Lean Beef
- Lean Chicken
- Lean Pork
- White fish (i.e. Tilapia, Mahi Mahi)
Dairy and Alternatives:
- Yogurt (Greek)
- Cottage cheese
- Unsweetened almond, soy, rice and/or coconut milk
Nuts and Legumes:
- Nuts (i.e. cashews, almonds)
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
- Beans and legumes
- Herbal Tea
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Herbs and Spices
- Sea Salt/Pink Himalayan Salt
- Ketchup (low sugar, all-natural)
Now that you have the ingredients, start trying out Clean Eating recipes! If you need more help with meal planning, check out the $5 Meal Plan and get 2 weeks of free meal plans customized to your family’s dietary needs.
Interested in eating clean on the go and without the added stress of being stuck in the kitchen all day? Start freezer cooking with this resource and continue to meet your healthy living goals.
Remember that whatever your goal is with your eating clean lifestyle, be sure to listen to your body as everyone is different and will have different experiences with this eating method.
As you embark on this journey, be sure to remain open to the new ways you will learn to connect with your food choices and enjoy each moment as you will learn much more about yourself and the environment through eating clean.
What eating plans have you tried before? How was your overall experience? What are your goals with eating clean?
Don’t forget to download the clean eating grocery list below!
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