Yesterday was the big day! It is nothing but clean eating for me for the next 30 days. I could not be more excited about making this change in my lifestyle or about getting to share my experience with the readers of Best Self.
I ate my last “dirty” meal Friday night, made my last stop at Sprinkles Cupcake ATM and drank my last glass of wine. I have my meals planned for the next week, and I have done my grocery shopping. Now I am ready to go! I will be sharing my recipes and photos of the meals I cook over the week and filling you in on my progress. This post is about how to get started eating clean and is full of information that has really helped prepare me for the next month. It will also be helpful if any of you are planning a clean eating challenge for yourself!
The first step that I took to get ready to eat clean was to define what that meant for me. There are a few different ways that people eat clean: some simply cut out all processed food, while some cut out all dairy and wheat products.
For my plan, I decided to cut back my dairy and wheat intake, but not cut it out completely. This girl loves her Greek yogurt and Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread too much for that.
For my plan, I decided to cut out all processed foods, cut down the dairy and wheat I eat, add a lot of colorful fruits and veggies to my diet, start using alternatives to sugar, like agave nectar and honey, and to eat only high-quality, organic meat and eggs. I also decided to cut out alcohol. I love a good glass of red wine with dinner, but it usually leads me to making less than healthy decisions once dessert time rolls round, so I decided to eliminate that risk all together. I will also be exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I will be eating five to six small meals a day, so I will be eating every two or three hours. Also, I will never be skipping breakfast, which will be a small challenge for me. I often choose 10 more minutes of sleep over making myself breakfast in the morning.
The second step that I took to get ready for this challenge was to clean out anything processed from my kitchen. It will be a lot easier to eat healthy and clean when I don’t have to think about the Oreos that are hiding in the back of the pantry. I just tossed anything that had more than a few, easy-to-pronounce, healthy ingredients. If you have to Google what a crazy-sounding ingredient is, chances are it isn’t clean.
My third step was to plan out my meals for the week and use the plan to make up a grocery list. I am going to do this every week. I am hoping that planning my meals in advance, and knowing that I have all the ingredients I need, will make cooking much easier throughout the week. I am also going to take the time this weekend to make big batches of food that I can eat all week long, like soup and hummus. That way I know I will have an option if I don’t feel like cooking one night. This week, I found some of my dinner recipes from He and She Eat Clean and found the rest from my stash of clean eating cookbooks. This is my meal plan for the next week.
So after taking these steps and planning my meals, I think I am ready for the next 30 days! Check in a few days for recipes and to see how I am handling my new clean eating lifestyle. I will also have some tips about how to eat clean when you are on a budget, which I most definitely am. If you have any clean eating recipes or tips for me, feel free to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great rest of the weekend and see you in a few days!
- Lizzy Stroud