Clean eating doesn’t mean eating anything you want why you sweep, clean or do dishes unfortunately. It also doesn’t mean washing all your food off before you begin cooking either. Clean healthy eating is exactly what you know it to be. Healthy living and good nutrition begins at the grocery store. You’re body and mind need to refuel and these are tips to help get the correct food and beverages from the grocery store. So grab your cart and let the healthy shopping secrets start!
1. Plan, make a list and stick to it.
You don’t need a super detailed plan but your list but you should have a good idea of what you need for weekly meals. Keep it simple and get in then get out. Don’t let the end caps, sale items or your sweet and salty caveman brain get the best of you. You know what is good and what is junk. Find coupons and ads that fit with your plan. If you buy the junk food than you will want to eat it. So resist the urge to splurge!
2. Read the labels and learn the nutritional facts.
If it has more than 6 ingredients in it than that is highly processed. Most fresh foods will not even have food labels. Learn the difference between labels like organic, fat-free, sugar-free and all the others. Manufacturers are good at throwing you off but if you know the difference between good and bad than you and your family can’t lose. By learning about calories, fiber, sodium, sugars, fats and serving sizes you’re setting yourself up for years of success.
3. Buy whole foods.
Fresh veggies, fruits, lean meats, nuts, beans and legumes and eggs are all whole foods. These are the cornerstone of living clean and stopping any health issues in their tracks. Take advantage of in season produce, bulk dry beans or whatever is on sale that day. Lean cuts of meat like chicken and turkey are good choices. Fish two times a week is also a good idea. Especially fish high in omega 3’s like salmon that has not been raised on a farm but in the wild. Eggs also pack a good punch of nutrients.
4. Whole grains should be listed first on the label.
First ingredient whether you’re buying brown rice, whole wheat pasta or whole grain cereals and breads. Swap out the processed grains for the whole grains and you can live longer. That should be enough to get you to switch and there are plenty of choices. You can mix in different grains like quinoa, old-fashioned oats or soba noodles. You can add oats or other grains to meatloaf and other dishes to replace red meat. Its key to aim for good amount a fiber in each serving. As an added tip you can replace your recipes pasta with spiraled veggies.
5. When you hit the dairy section don’t panic.
Dairy is okay but many experts don’t believe it to be the best unless you’re a baby calf. It does have good amount of calcium and vitamin D. Good dairy products are Greek yogurt without added sugar, cottage cheese, alternative milks like almond and soy milk or 1% milk. Cheese is best in a block that needs to be grated or cut into slices. Grating a small amount of Parmesan or feta cheese on your dish goes a long way in the taste category.
6. Fats are not all bad.
Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts show why fats can be good for you. They are full of omega 3’s, lower your risk for heart disease and help your brain and mood. With your new healthy eating why not eat something that helps your mood. The best sources are fish, nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are also a great snack and good mix ins for any meal, or a good way to get that crunch in oatmeal and yogurt.
7. Drink water not sugary drinks.
Water is important in life. Its one of the most important aspects to all of life and its free. I know everyone doesn’t love water. So if you struggle try water with fruit in it, tea or coffee. Try to skip adding all the sugar to them. Drinking water makes your skin glow, make you feel better, prevents you from dying and is super refreshing. Why not give it a try?
8. Tips when you’re in the store.
Skip the middle aisles and make the grocery stores perimeter your main areas. Anything fresh and clean will be there or anything that dies. Don’t go when you’re hungry because that leads to bad choices and a cart full of junk snacks. If you struggle preparing cut up fruits and veggies than buy them already cut. Try grabbing a smaller cart or a basket you have to carry. You don’t need to sprint through the store but have your list in hand and keep on track and don’t fall into a prepackaged processed food trap.
9. Variety is the spice to life.
You don’t need chicken and broccoli every night to be healthy. If you eat potatoes everyday why not try sweet potatoes or spinach instead of iceberg lettuce. Change up your routine so you don’t feel the desire to ditch your healthiness and splurge on salty, sugary and fatty foods. Most recipes are similar foods with different spices so take a trip through the spice section, grab something new and spice it up.
10. Don’t go overboard.
If you’ve been good all week than why not have a dark chocolate snack or some air-popped popcorn. You’ve done a great job all week or all day and a little treat is okay. The quickest way to fall of the wagon is to set unrealistic goals. The same goes with cutting carbs from your diet. First, fruits and veggies are carbs and those are great. Plus eating whole grain has plenty of benefits. Starting a healthy lifestyle can be done by making small changes over time so don’t rush and fall over the edge. Unless the edge is stepping up your health to all new levels and if that is the case than go for it!