In the processed world we live in, it can be challenging to eat a clean and healthy diet.  Clean eating is a great way to help you maintain your weight or lose weight and feel great!  I hear a lot of excuses about why some people aren’t willing to even try.  So today, I’m going to share 5 tips that can help you succeed at clean eating.

1.  Understanding what clean eating means.  There are many definitions about what clean eating really is but don’t get too caught up in some of the stricter definitions.  A good general rule is to eat as close to nature as possible.  That doesn’t mean that you can only eat fruits and vegetables – just understand where your food comes from and try to make it as minimally processed as possible.  For a more detailed look at how I interpret clean eating, read this article.

2.  Abide by the 80/20 rule.  Like I said in this article, clean eating isn’t an all or nothing way of life.  Eating clean most of the time will give you all the benefits of healthy food, but allowing yourself a little leeway helps you avoid feeling deprived.  It’s all about a healthy balance.

3.  Try new recipes.  As you begin substituting clean foods for some processed foods, try experimenting with new recipes.  You may not be familiar with some foods and hesitant to try them but you may find a food that you love.  For me, that was quinoa – it sounded really odd but once I tried it, I loved it and eat it regularly now.  I still don’t care for eggplant but that’s no big deal since I have found plenty of other foods that I love.  If you find it challenging to get your family to try new foods, get sneaky and add it to foods they’ll never taste it in – like these quinoa brownies.

4.  Plan your meals. I know this is nothing new but it’s good advice and bears repeating.  Planning your meals takes the decision-making out of the week when you might be tempted to call for pizza.  Planning ahead allows you to have everything on hand to make healthy and delicious meals.

5.  Grocery shop at an appropriate level of hunger.  I’m sure you’ve heard that you never want to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.  The opposite is true also – never go shopping after you’ve eaten a huge meal and are stuffed.  While shopping when you are hungry could result in buying too much food (and unhealthy food), shopping when you can’t look at another bite could result in not getting enough food for the week.  It’s nice to save that grocery money at the time but it usually results in extra expense during the week when you either go out to eat or have to go to the store again.

What do you find most challenging about clean eating?  Tell me about it in the comments below!  And be sure to check out my clean eating recipes!

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