In February 2014 when I made the decision to change my health the words “clean eating diet” wasn’t even in my vocabulary. Its 2015 and it seems that many people are adopting it as a lifestyle because it certainly isn’t a diet in the traditional sense.
To follow a clean eating way of eating the main thing to focus on is eating live foods and a mainly plant based diets. Organic meat and wild fish is included and so are grass-fed eggs. Coconut oil is the main oil of choice and an increase in healthy fats (e.g. avocado) is encouraged.
So what is clean eating?
Clean eating is a lifestyle change that involves cooking from scratch (mainly) and avoiding processed foods. It relies on a focus of eating live foods – fruits and vegetables – plus a range of healthy legumes, nuts, seeds, carbs and oils.
Many people following a clean eating way of eating also eat organic/grass fed meat and other animal products.
When deciding on what “processed” food is I tell myself if a food in a packet contains more than 5 ingredients and/or if it contains ingredients I can’t pronounce then it has no business being in my stomach!
A clean eating diet plan or meal plan will include eating things like:
Porridge made with almond milk with raspberries and blackberries for breakfast or tuna and scrambled eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes and avocado. Lunch will include home made hummus with roasted vegetables, any kind of home made vegetable soup with a wholegrain role.
For dinner you can eat home-made shepherds pie with sweet potatoes and lentils (in the beef), or steamed fish with black beans, quinoa and vegetables (and a green side salad)
One of the best things about eating a clean eating diet is the fact that you naturally increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat. I easily eat my 10 a day or more on my clean eating days.
My clean eating shopping list
When it comes to buying food its really simple. I avoid things like
- ready meals
- crisps (chips)
- processed/shop made cakes, biscuits and pastries
- fizzy drinks
- Anything covered in pastry
- Chips (fries)
I focus instead on things like:
- Real butter (unsalted)
- Nuts, grains and seeds
- Different variety of legumes although I love black beans the most
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – choosing organic whenever possible
- Chicken and turkey plus lean red meat
- Fish – as my main animal source
Start slowly and build
I found it easier to start eating the clean eating way slowly. A little like I did with vegetable juicing it was just two or three times a week. I would usually drink vegetable juice all day and then in the evening have a “clean” meal of salmon with vegetables and sweet potato wedges.
Or you may want to do something as simple as adding a side salad with each meal. A green salad that includes rocket, spinach and watercress with cucumber, tomatoes and avocado (maybe even some olives) will help you eat less at each meal.
You can also make yourself some homemade green soup (I like to focus on eating loads of green foods) that you eat before your main meal – again helping you to eat less
This is how a clean eating diet helps weight loss.
Clean Eating Recipes and Ideas
If you are wondering where you can get some clean eating recipes and ideas from there are a range of different options
Vegan community – anything cooked that is vegan related will be clean, live food and worth eating
Raw food community – find YouTubers like TannyRaw and FullyRawKristina and use their recipe ideas
Avocado Pesto – Great blog with a range of healthy recipes
Delicious Ella – That’s one of the first places I started looking for clean eating recipes. Loads shared.
Paleo lifestyle community – Some of their recipes can be great and include meat
The key to success is to find a few different recipes that you like. Maybe 3 or 4 and just cook/eat them all the time. Once you get used to those add another and another and another until you build your recipe portfolio. The only way to find recipes is to either buy books or search online.