15 Clean and Delicious tips for anybody who is beginning to eat better or wanting to work more healthy habits into their diet or into their lifestyle. For me when I first began to stop dieting and really commit to eating better for the long term.
I used clean eating as my guideline which is where clean and delicious came from so my definition of eating healthy and clean. Is simply this eating real whole unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible most of the time.
So eating foods like vegetables, fruits, healthy sources of carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and grains, high-quality sources of protein and healthy fats like avocados nuts and seeds one of the most important pieces of this process is realizing that it’s not about jumping on a fad diet or on to the next health craze, it’s really about making a long-term commitment to a lifestyle shift for yourself.
This way you are not feeling like you are victim to mood swings and cravings that come with eating a lot of highly processed nutrient.
Void foods which brings me to my very first tip allow yourself to be on their journey when you are a beginner adapting new lifestyle changes and habits.
You have to give yourself a little bit of space to figure it out don’t feel like you need to do everything at once and everything at the same time you don’t need to have all your food perfectly meal prepped and you don’t need to stop eating all of your favorites, this is going to be a process of learning how to do things a new way and that’s gonna take a little bit of time.
So if you notice your brain wanting to go to that all-or-nothing style of thinking just recognize that, that is diet mentality and that it doesn’t work what you want to do is give yourself a little bit of permission to slow down create some space and learn.
Number two healthy eating does not and is not supposed to look the same for everyone you can be a healthy eater and be a vegan. You can be a vegetarian you can be a meat-eater you can be a weightlifter you can be a yogi you can eat two times a day you can eat six times a day and you will also notice that your lifestyle will affect the type of healthy diet.
You’re eating, so for example a young student versus a working mom of two with a family versus a young professional right all of these people can eat healthy diets and you will see that their plates look very different based on the style of their day in the style of their life right.
So there’s no hard fast rule here, other than that simple tie-in that we are eating real whole unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible most of the time and we are enjoying the food that we choose.
Number three cook as often as you can making your own food is one of the easiest ways to eat better because you are in charge of all of your ingredients.
So you know exactly what you’re working with and here’s the deal that doesn’t mean that you have to cook every single thing you eat just trying to get into the habit of cooking more than you don’t and technically my friends that is only 51% of the time.
Number 4 focus on quality over calories now I have noticed for many people definitely.
I’ve noticed this for myself when you are focused on counting calories, you tend to get caught up in feelings of restriction and deprivation and that is because when the brain gets to work.
Trying to stay under or at a certain amount of calories, what it tends to do is pay attention to what it can’t have or what it needs to be restricting or what it needs to be eliminating and those thoughts that thought process creates the feeling of deprivation.
Now, if you switch your focus to quality the brain starts looking for things that it can add into the diet and all of a sudden food becomes a whole new playground and it’s fun and its creative again and so not only does it feel good but it tastes good.
Number five what grows together goes together when you buy foods that are in and of the same season they automatically taste good together because Mother Nature has our back.
So in case you’ve never noticed things like Brussels sprouts and grapes butternut squash and cranberries berries and basil these foods all grow in the same season and they all taste amazing together which is really good to know because it takes a lot of guesswork out of your cooking.
So, a great way to have a little bit of fun with this is maybe when you go to the grocery store you pick up one to two new ingredients each week and experiment with it in your kitchen.
Try a new method of cooking it taste and good thing to keep in mind is that when ingredients are eaten in the season.
They grow in they both have better flavor and a higher nutritional value so it really truly is a win-win to eat with the seasons.
Number six have some back pocket recipes when you are transitioning into healthy eating it is so helpful to have a handful of recipes that you, know that you like, and that you can make in a reasonable amount of time.
So I recommend having a few BPR s for breakfast lunch and dinner and then slowly but surely as you experiment with new things.
When you have a keeper you can add it into your back pocket this way when you feel like you don’t have any time to think you can always lean on this list to help you stay aligned with your goals.
Number seven learn to read your labels learning how to read your labels is a the easy way to recognize what’s going into your body and a great general rule of thumb to follow is to simply focus on the ingredient list you want that list to be.
5 ingredients or less and you want to make sure that each ingredient you can read recognize and pronounce.
Number 8 avoid highly processed foods now just to be clear a lot of healthy foods are slightly processed.
So for example, oatmeal is slightly processed quinoa is so lightly processed.
Frozen vegetables are so lightly processed, I mean basically if it’s not coming straight from the farm or the field it’s going to begin a series of processing.
But these slightly processed foods are not the foods that I am referring to and they are certainly not the foods that you need to be concerned about the foods that you want to be avoiding.
Are those very highly processed foods these are the foods that are going through lots of steps and lots of processing before they ever make it to your plate some people like to call them frankenfoods.
These are basically foods that are made in the factories and here’s the thing the real problem with these foods is that they are so concentrated in fats sugars and salts that they really wipe out your palate because they’re bombarding the tastebuds.
With this concentration of fashion or salt and so we can’t appreciate the natural flavor and subtleties of real Whole Foods.
And I do think that this is why healthy eating gets a bad rap.
So if you find that you do eat a lot of highly processed foods what you want to start to do is baby step your way out of that so you can start to appreciate real whole subtle flavors again and of course you want to work on learning how to infuse lots of flavor into your foods with herbs and spices.
Number 9 avoid artificial flavors sweeteners and non-fat foods. These artificial flavors and sweeteners they are literally designed to bypass the logical part of brain and trigger all of those pleasure points in the brain.
So what happens is you find yourself wanting more and more and more and you don’t really even know why you kind of feel like you’re not in control of the whole show.
Because sorta you’re not and because it’s not really real food your body is not really even sure what to do with it.
Plus we tend to play this little psychological game with ourselves when it comes to fake sugars and nonfat foods which is well it doesn’t really count.
So I can have more of it and I know but all my dieters out there know exactly what I am talking about and studies have shown that eating artificial sweeteners actually creates more desire to eat more sugar so we actually end up cutting our nose off to spite our face.
Number 10 practice meal prepping, now you don’t have to have a Instagram or Pinterest ready fridge right I know that’s what a lot of people think when we think about meal prepping.
But I do think it’s a good idea to get in the habit of learning how to cook once and then eat two three four times, because this is gonna save you a lot of time and a lot of sanity in the long run and you could start off really easy.
So maybe you just make one big pot of soup and then you use that for some lunches or for some dinners during the week or maybe you just set yourself up with some overnight oats and then you have your breakfast.
All ready to go, I know how helpful meal prep can be so I do have a meal prep playlist if that’s something that you’re working on and you need a little more inspiration.
Number eleven, stock your pantry and your freezer keeping some healthy staples on hand in your pantry and your freezer can be a huge help when time is not on your side.
I know for myself I love to have things in my pantry like tuna salmon canned soups beans and olives and then in my freezer.
I always have Rosen fruits frozen vegetables some type of frozen brown rice or frozen quinoa I also like to keep veggie burgers in the freezer.
And I have these cauliflower custom pizzas that we like to have in the freezer and so this way when you’re in a pinch.
You know you’ve got something that you can lean on and you can also use these items to build a meal with some of the fresh ingredients you may have in your fridge.
Number 12 follow your hunger. So many people are in the habit of eating according to a clock or according to a diet plan or according to what the experts tell them that we become very out of touch.
With our natural built-in biological signs that tell us when we are hungry because yes the body does know when it needs food and it does feed us signals to let us know and reconnecting to the system is your best bet for long-term effortless healthy eating habits.
Because once you’ve reconnected to it you don’t have to think about it so much you just kind of feel it so a good little tool to try to practice.
This would be if you think you’re hungry but you’re not sure ask yourself would I be willing to eat an apple.
If the answer is yes you’re probably hungry and if the answer is no you may not be hungry yet so you just wait a little longer and then pose the same question again this is a practice.
So it’s gonna take a little bit of time it’s like doing a little dance with yourself so don’t be in a hurry give yourself the time and the space to figure it out.
Number 13, So often when we are trying to create some type of change we do it from a place of I need to have to or I really should and what you need to recognize is that number one that’s not true and number two those thoughts are very stressful.
Remember that you are perfect beautiful worthy and valuable just the way you are no need to change a thing unless of course you want to and if you do want to then ask yourself why make sure that that desire is coming from a place of love connecting to your why?
Why you want to create the changes that you want is really important because it will serve as your anchor as you move through creating new habits and lifestyle changes for yourself.
So once you identify that why what I would do is write it down on a piece of paper and then make sure that you take a look at it and read it every morning and every evening so that you’re keeping your mind aligned in the direction of what you want and where you are headed.
Number 14 it’s not just about the plate when it comes to healthy eating so many of us get very laser focused on the food that’s on top of our plate but we have to remember that we get nourished by a lot of things in life right.
So how we eat why we’re eating where we’re eating who we are eating with all of these components can create a healthy or unhealthy eating environment.
So for example imagine that you’re wanting to eat healthier and you’re like I have to do this I know I really should do this.
So I’m gonna go get that organic non-gmo chicken with the steamed broccoli and I’m gonna eat it and I don’t really love it but I know that it’s healthy and I’m not really enjoying it but I’m gonna do it anyway because I really have to get healthy right?
I want you to notice that, why?
I want you to notice that while you may be avoiding those toxins on your plate you are still creating toxins in the body as a result of your toxic.
Thinking this scenario does not create a healthy eating environment.
Now on the flipside, imagine that you’re at your mom’s house and you’re with your family who you love very much and your mom is making one of your favorites from childhood.
It’s her lasagna and it’s got lots of white flour and lots of cheese and lots of meat and when your mom cooks, it she makes it with so much love and when you eat it you enjoy it so much.
And you are so present with this meal and you enjoy every bite and you’re really getting pleasure from the meal and from everybody that sharing this meal with right everybody at the table.
So what’s happening here is maybe it’s not the world’s healthiest food on the plate but you’re having this very healthy nourishing eating experience.
So what I want you to do is pay attention to why you’re eating where you’re eating who you’re eating with the stories you’re telling yourself about the foods that you choose to eat and of course as often as possible try to eat in environments and with other people who feed and nourish you as well.
Final tip is to stay easy and I think this may be the most important of all of them because I think a lot of times when we’re trying to do better and we’re trying to make a change with our food that we tend to get very militant.
And we tend to push push push and try try try and willpower our way to the other side and what I want to remind you of is that there really is no rush and there is no finish line and there is no gold medal when you get there.
So what you want to do is learn to be patient and easy and kind and soft and curious with yourself on the journey because in so many ways learning to eat better and take great care of your body.
It’s really just a way of creating a more intimate relationship with yourself.
It’s like getting to know you and your body just a little bit better and seeing what works for you and seeing what feels the best for you right?
So we can do all of this without being critical and without being hard on ourselves and really just give ourselves again that permission and that space to learn and adapt to new habits and new lifestyle changes.
So that’s what I have for you guys I hope you find some of those tips to be helpful.