What exactly is a clean diet? It may vary from person to person, but typically it is one that contains unprocessed, whole foods without chemicals or other strange, artificial ingredients. Here are some tips for going clean, as well as a list of pantry items to have on hand for quick meal prep. If you have everything ready, and no temptation in the house it will be easier to make a ‘clean’ start 🙂 Cooking for yourself is an inevitable part of a good wellness routine, and if you want to eat well, you have to be prepared.
Use this list as your guide next time you go shopping.
By the way, if something sounds unfamiliar to you, do a little research. Once you discover an array of new foods on offer you will constantly be learning about new, interesting, good-for-you foods. You will be amazed at the options out there, and keep your palate from getting bored!
CLEAN EATING TIPS
1. Start by saying goodbye to a few main “evils.” This includes all white stuff (especially sugar), plus caffeine and alcohol (or at least cut down). This doesn’t mean you can’t detour every now and then … you decide what works for you.
2. Know that you don’t have to go toss everything and start from scratch in one day. Switching to 100 percent clean foods can be challenging and even costly at first. Give it time, and take it easy on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Substitute soba noodles for plain white pasta, or swap the sugar in recipes with inventive ingredients like sweet potato instead. As you continually add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want good, clean, whole foods. (The “fake” foods will seem less appealing.)
3. Remember: less IS more. The fewer ingredients an item has, the “wholer” it is, as in less processed. Try to purchase items with five or six ingredients at the most.
4. Plan to create meals with just a few items. Try mixing and matching from the lists below. For example, boil quinoa and then toss it with roasted asparagus, butternut pumpkin, a sliced hard-boiled egg and 1/2 sliced avocado. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, a splash of tamari and sprinkle with sunflower seeds and a pinch of cayenne. Fresh, clean, fast and delish!
GRAINS AND PROTEIN IN THE PANTRY
Quinoa (also a protein source)
Soba noodles (also a protein source)
ALL other vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, fennel, whatever you like)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Grey celtic/pink himalayan salt
Tamari (instead of soy sauce)
Apple cider vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Varied other fruits (berries, melon, mango, grapes)
Almond or hemp milk
To add into smoothies: goji berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao powder, maca powder
If you are including lean protein or eggs, remember that organic, free-range is best, and try to avoid pre-packaged meats.