Last week I published the first part of Clean Eating 101, where I discussed why we want to strive to eat clean, as well as what it really means to eat clean. If you missed this blog post, you can read it here: Clean Eating 101.
Today is part 2 of Clean Eating 101 where I'm going to share with you some practical ways to actually start eating cleaner. It's one thing to know what it means to eat clean, and know why you want to do it, but the 'how' part is the really important one right? If we want to make actual changes in our life, having strategies on how to create the change is important.
When making changes with your diet, I have one big piece of advice: baby steps. Making small changes a little bit at a time is much more sustainable than trying to make a lot of big change all at once. Take a suggestion or two from this blog post and start working on them. Celebrate the small changes you've made, then add more positive change! Learning to eat clean isn't something that happens over night. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process! You'll be surprised how big of a difference a small change can make.
Wishing you Wellness!
11 practical Ways to Start Eating Cleaner:
1. My TOP suggestion for really making change: Once per week purchase 1 whole food that is new to you. There are a plethora of fruits veggies, grains, beans, nuts, seeds out there to try to experiment with. Maybe it is as simple as trying a new fruit or roasting a vegetable that is new to you, or maybe you are trying out a new dinner recipe, or have found a simple great way to prepare that new food online. Just get yourself trying 1 new whole food per week. Even if you only like 1/2 of them, at the end of a year, you will have 26 new whole foods in your diet!
2. Reference the Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen list HERE to understand when its really important to buy organic and when it's not as important. Be sure you are buying organic when it comes to the dirty dozen list, as these are the foods that are most heavily laden with chemicals.
3. Give yourself permission to play in the kitchen and be creative! You might mess up sometimes, or not like something you create but that’s okay! The more you play, the more comfortable you get with cooking from scratch, the easier it will get, & the more you will eat whole healthy foods!
4. Find healthier substitutions. Take a look at your diet. What do you consume regularly that you know is not great for you? Seek out healthier substitutions to start adding in, so you are not feeling deprived.
5. Read Labels! If you can’t pronounce or know the origin of the ingredient, then find another option.
6. Give your taste buds a second chance! (or a third, or fourth) Some foods that are really good for us are a matter of acquired taste. Sometimes it takes the right preparation. Our tastebuds change over time. Keep trying things over & over.
7. Remember that the more fresh foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. The more processed foods we eat, the more our bodies will crave them. Be patient as you transition to eating cleaner, you will learn to love it more & more the longer you stick to it.
8. Try to do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store. Shop local farmers markets. Join a CSA. Grow some of your own food if you are able. Learn to shop & acquire your food differently.
9. Keep Healthy snacks like nuts & fruit always available & with you so that you are less tempted to grab something processed.
10. Remember 80/20 rule. It's not what you do ALL of the time, it's what you do MOST of the time. If you can eat really clean 80% of the time, then feel okay with indulging a bit sometimes. Aiming for perfection in anything can lead us to feel disappointed in ourselves. Don't expect perfection of yourself in anything, including how you eat. Allow some flexibility.
11. Don’t drink your calories. Pay attention to the ingredients & sugar content of your drinks. Drink mostly pure, clean water.