For most of us, ‘healthy eating’ conjures emotions that are far from “healthy:” stress, guilt, resistance. As much as eating right is about science and numbers – understanding what’s good for you and not, calorie counting, nutritional information; I believe it’s really just about making a few lifestyle changes and getting the basics right. Once you lay that foundation for yourself, you will be self-prompted to learn more which will duly enable you to make better choices. Soon, it becomes second nature.
Eating clean has changed my life. I feel healthier, fitter and so much happier. No one can make the change for you, but I can share a few nuggets of wisdom that will help give you the head start you’re looking for!
Load up on fruits, veggies and natural, unprocessed foods. They are more satiating, generally have fewer calories and are easier to digest. Over processed foods slow down your metabolism and are known storehouses of empty calories.
Make your own
When you start cooking your own meals, you become more mindful of what you’re eating, your calorie intake and carb/fat consumption. And because you care about your body more than anyone else can, you will be sure to use minimal nasties when cooking. Putting together just a simple salad yourself can also make a difference!
Eating clean is an easy job if you have a rightly stocked pantry. Make a clean eating grocery list and regularly stock up your home. Packing a healthy lunch and snacks for work will help save you a ton of calories. And money!
Just because the bread looks “brown” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s whole grain. Gluten- free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy; it could be referencing deep fried, genetically modified corn chips! Don’t be fooled so easily. Take a moment to read the ingredient list and nutritional information on any pre-made, pre-packaged foods.
When you’re beginning this journey of clean eating, it helps to record your daily food and drink intake. You will be more mindful of what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. I’m a big fan of the MyFitnessPal phone app. It gives a detailed account of your daily nutrition gains, and helps you monitor fats, sodium and calories.
Make it a way of life
Take small baby steps to change your diet, so that you actually stick with them for life. I remember when I was initially trying to go off sugar, I weaned it down in my daily cuppa tea by graduating from less sugar, to honey to zero sugar! It’s been years since I’ve had a cup of tea with sugar (and I needed three teaspoons in a cup at one point).