Now that you are eating clean (for at least the next 48 days) and you have started to look at the items you have in your fridge and pantry you are likely starting to find out that all of those “healthy” low fat, low sodium, low whatever items you have been consuming in an effort to be healthy aren’t the healthiest or cleanest foods out there. You might be noticing that there are a lot of products that have a couple words in there that you can pronounce or leave you scratching your head trying to figure out just what exactly they are.
It may seem a little discouraging at first but it is actually great that you are identify items that are clean, but what do you do about? How do you make it a bit easier for you to develop a new healthy habit and not make meal planning and grocery shopping a nightmare? Well I have five tips which will hopefully help you navigate the grocery store and get everything you need without feeling discouraged and beaten (that might be a little dramatic but sometimes it can be so frustrating).
1. Stick to one ingredient foods. I am sure this sounds silly to most of you but sometimes the most helpful tips are the most obvious ones. Stick to filling up your cart with produce, meats, poultry, grains and dairy. Pick the actual food, besides getting to avoid reading food labels you may also have the opportunity to learn how to cook and prepare new foods!
2. If there are more than five ingredients in it ditch it. Now this tip doesn’t work 100% of the time, there are clean foods out there that have more than five ingredients in them (obviously) however if you aren’t making it, it is more likely that this will not be the case. If getting a packaged product is going to make your life easier go for it, just be sure to read the ingredients to look for items that aren’t clean eating friendly.
3. If you can’t read it put it back on the shelf. This one operates in conjunction with #2, while reading the ingredient list on the packaged food if you can’t read it put the box back. Some people’s reading abilities may far surpass mine and perhaps you are thinking “yes a loophole” just on the off chance that this is the case I am going to break it down one more step. If there is an ingredient listed that you couldn’t buy on its own or visualize what that food looks like solo it probably isn’t actually food and would fall under the preservative or chemical category, so put that box back on the shelf.
4. Don’t be afraid of dairy. There is nothing in clean eating that says dairy is a no-no, so don’t think you have to avoid it, however there are better choices you can make. Dairy items like cottage cheese, goat’s milk products, stronger cheeses (provolone, parmigiano, and swiss) and greek yogurt, ricotta might be better options. Also if you are going to be consuming cheese products figure out what a serving size is, it is probably much smaller than you would think.
5. Buy a variety. It is great that you have found something that works for you and you want to stick with it. However most people are less likely to stick to something if they get bored and lack variety and from having a varied balanced diet you are more likely to get an adequate helping of all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. When grocery shopping try to build the rainbow in your shopping cart and do what you can to toss in something new every week, who knows it might become your new favourite thing.
I hope these tips help to keep things interesting and simplify grocery shopping for you over the next 48 days.
Happy Friday Everyone!