Ever since Mia started eating solids I’ve been super conscious about what we are eating and putting into our bodies. I make all of her food myself so that I know its fresh and can make sure there’s no extra added preservatives or unnecessary ingredients. I’ve also been hyper aware of what types of ingredients and foods Shawn and I are consuming, and we’ve made A LOT of changes to make sure we are eating clean. I used to associate “clean eating” with being vegan or vegetarian, but honestly it has nothing to do with that. I enjoy meat, and I’m nowhere near ready to give it up. So instead we focus on eating healthy, wholesome foods with the most fresh and pure ingredients we can find. In today’s post I’m sharing 5 tips for eating clean without having to give up any of your beloved foods.
Use fresh, organic ingredients
Eating organic is the best way to ensure that your food is grown or raised without pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or any other chemicals that you don’t want to be consuming. Grocery store organic foods can add up quickly and isn’t feasible for everyone, BUT there are other options. Find a local farmers market to get fresh produce and meat (you can check the vendor websites to see how their produce is grown) or if you have the space, grow your own! Gardening in itself is such a fun and peaceful activity and harvesting your own food is so rewarding.
Cook at home
I know, I know – I love me some delicious Chinese take-out as well, but the downside with eating out is that you have no way of knowing what type of ingredients are ending up in your meal. Cooking at home gives YOU the control of choosing what type of ingredients you use and eliminating any processed or impure foods.
Eat your veggies
Remember when I said you don’t need to become vegan to eat clean? It’s true, but prioritizing veggies in our diet is SOO important and is something that a lot of us struggle with. Try to make sure that you are adding veggies into every meal, whether they are mixed into your main dish or as a side item.
Make as many “from scratch” recipes as you can
This sounds daunting because we are often so pressed for time and it’s so much easier to cook at home when half of your ingredients are already prepped for you. Am I right? I know the feeling! But honestly, cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be super intimidating. Take a look at a box of store-bought pancake mix. There are SO many ingredients and a lot of them you can’t even pronounce. On the other hand, making pancakes from scratch involves maybe 4-5 ingredients total and takes less than 10 minutes to whip up. Cooking from scratch is something that Shawn and I have been committed to doing for the last few months and I absolutely love it. We make bread, butter, pancakes, plus most meals completely from scratch and it feels so good to know that we are controlling every ingredient that goes into our bodies.
Meal prep healthy snacks
One of the biggest culprits for eating unhealthy, processed junk is SNACK TIME. It is so much easier to reach for a bag of chips or a cookie than to get up and prepare a healthy snack. Try to meal prep healthy snacks and have them portioned out ahead of time so it is just as easy to grab for a “clean” snack instead.
The main purpose of clean eating is to use pure, fresh ingredients and to control exactly what goes into your body rather than eating processed foods that contain a ton of ingredients whose names you can barely pronounce. We’ve been using all of these tips over the last few months and while it does take a little more effort and time, it is actually A LOT easier than it may seem at first. You can also involve the kiddos with cooking or growing veggies in the backyard and make it a fun activity rather than having it seem like work. I also think it should be said that we are not perfect beings. We still treat ourselves to take-out once in a while and use pre-prepped ingredients when we just don’t have the time to make everything from scratch. IT’S OKAY! The goal is to do as much as you, not to be perfect.