4 Simple and Practical Tips to Eat Cleaner This Yearon
Raise your hand if you think keeping up with a clean eating goal is too difficult or expensive.
Hey, we’ve all been there!
Despite your best intentions, buying, prepping, and cooking whole foods takes a lot more commitment than ordering takeout or signing up for a pricey meal delivery service.
But these routes aren't your only options.
If you’re short on time (and want to save some cash!), we know a few healthy eating tips to make the process easier and more practical for your busy life.
4 Simple and Practical Tips to Eat Cleaner This Year
Follow these four simple tips, and clean eating will become second nature in no time:
1. Go For Whole-Foods and Healthier Swaps of Your Faves
If you’re going to follow a clean eating plan, you’ll want to eliminate junk food, limit sugar, avoid chemical preservatives, and ditch other suspect ingredients.
So a good rule of thumb is to always eat whole foods as often as possible.
What are whole foods exactly?
Whole foods are those closest to their most natural form. They’re unprocessed (or undergo very limited processing) and don’t contain any fillers, byproducts, or unhealthy Franken-food additions.
A few options here include raw fruit and veggies, raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds, fresh meat and seafood, and minimally-processed dairy products.
Sticking to these natural sources makes it much easier to fuel your body with clean foods. And they give you loads of options to replace your unhealthy standbys (like chips or candy) with cleaner choices (such as dehydrated veggie chips or fruit).
2. Be Realistic
What if you cram your fridge with a ton of whole foods only to find that you don’t have time to prep or use them before they go bad?
You’ll have to throw out spoiled food, which is a waste of food and a total waste of your hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes people make with clean eating. So to make sure you’re not trying to do too much at once, we encourage you to be realistic.
Look ahead in your calendar before you go grocery shopping to see what you can actually tackle this week. If you're in for a busy week ahead, don’t buy any more than you can prepare or use.
No room in your schedule to chop up fresh foods?
Spending the extra money on pre-cut fruits and veggies will be well worth it since you can use them right away without wasting time. And don’t forget about using frozen fruit and veggies, which are just as healthy and take a fraction of the time to whip up.
3. Prep Your Fruits and Veggies as Soon as You Get Home
If you have the time or want to save the cash, skip the pre-cut options and prep your fruits and veggies as soon as you come home from the store.
This is especially helpful for those times when the thought of cleaning and chopping your food before you can eat or cook it makes the process less appealing.
Instead, take the time to wash your items, dry them well, chop them up, and place them in reusable storage containers in your fridge. This makes it easy to grab-and-go whether you’ll need them in a recipe or plan to snack on them during the week.
Your future self will thank you, and you’ll see that you waste less too.
4. Shoot for 5 Ingredients or Less in Packaged Foods
We all have crazy busy lives these days, so don’t beat yourself up if you need to reach for packaged foods from time to time.
But rather than opting for convenience over health, make it a priority to choose minimally processed packaged foods that contain five ingredients or less.
This usually gives you a better chance of upping your whole-food intake while limiting chemicals, preservatives, and other unhealthy junk.
Stash a few clean protein bars that contain five ingredients or less in your pantry, and you’ll have a super convenient and filling option that’s packed with whole-foods and perfect anytime you need to refuel on-the-go.
Final Thoughts on How to Eat Cleaner This Year
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to stick to your clean eating goals in 2021.
You can start making incremental changes — like buying pre-cut produce or getting whole-food options ready as soon as you get home — to notice a real difference in your eating habits.
Over time, your healthy choices will become second nature and you’ll eat whole foods more often than not (and waste much less!).
Remember to go easy on yourself. If you slip up from time to time, that’s okay. You’re only human! The goal is to do the best you can as often as you can.
Follow today’s healthy eating tips, and you’ll find it much easier to do so.