If you’re new to clean eating, here are the basics (it’s pretty simple & easy, I promise!):
Eat only whole, unprocessed food. Think fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, nuts & seeds. Avoid white food: white bread, pasta, rice and so on. Its had all the goodness stripped from it and is just empty calories. Drink lots of water (at least 2 litres per day) and tea, but limit your coffee and alcohol consumption (better yet, cut it out completely). No fizzy/cool drinks, energy drinks or juice (unless it’s 100% fruit/vegetable juice). Fast food/takeaway is obviously an absolute no – food that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare is pumped full of bad things to make it that way!
If it comes from a box or packet, it’s most likely not clean. Check the ingredients of everything you buy. If the ingredients read like a chemical experiment it’s a no no. Why would you want to put something like that in your body? If I buy anything that comes in a box/container/packet I make sure there’s only a few ingredients and I know exactly what they are. If sugar (which comes under several names such as maltodextrin & high fructose corn syrup) is one of the first ingredients, don’t touch it. You can read here why sugar should be avoided! Natural sugar (honey, maple syrup & agave) are okay in moderation. Otherwise, ditch the sugar and reap the benefits!
Combine this healthy diet with daily exercise and you will feel an incredible difference! You will have more energy and a new found appreciation for the good things in life. Even a half hour walk each day will make you feel better – take your time, notice the little things and have some ‘me’ time. Healthy mind, body & soul!
The main thing is to listen to your body, it’s pretty good at letting you know what it needs. If you’re hungry, eat. Don’t starve yourself. Clean food contains a lot less calories than preservative filled junk, so it’s okay to eat more (not saying you can eat non-stop all day but you do need to make sure you’re eating enough for your body to function). Take your time when you eat so that you actually enjoy the food you’re eating. Avoid distractions during meal times and make the meal last for at least 20 minutes (that’s how long it takes for your brain to realise when you’re full).
Remember to keep drinking water throughout the day and consume at least 2L by the end (more if you’ve been exercising). Water keeps your body regulated and is vital for it to function properly! If you’re still feeling hungry even though you only ate half an hour ago, drink some water! When you’re dehydrated your body can send hunger signals.
Also, do occasionally treat yourself! If you deny yourself too long, it can cause you to cave in and binge on bad food which can result in feelings of guilt. So avoid that whole situation by treating yourself every now and then – the rule here though is to make it worthwhile! If you’re going to treat yourself, make it something good! And enjoy every single mouthful – I mean literally, take your time, close your eyes and savour it. You’ll feel much more satisfied and happy to continue with clean eating if you do it this way rather than scoffing a bag of cookies in front of the TV without even enjoying the food.
Finally, you can still eat out – just be wise about it. Do your research if you know where you’re going, such as looking up the menu online and deciding what you’ll have before you go. Avoid anything with the words fried, crispy, sweet & sour or battered and look for the dish with the most vegetables! Grilled and steamed options are your friend. Ask for a salad or vegetables instead of fries. If you order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side so that you have control (or to avoid it entirely). Many restaurants serve up HUGE meals, so skip the entrees or share a meal (or eat half and take half home for leftovers). Sharing a dessert is also a better option so you don’t miss out entirely!
Click here to print out a basic shopping list I created. Visit the other tabs (meal ideas and tips) for more.
Good luck & feel free to ask me any questions! xo
P.S – here’s a helpful website (thanks Amanda!) that you might want to read through for extra information!