6 years ago I decided to change my lifestyle habits and I never looked back. Every now and then I will slip up and a few weeks will go by where I am not paying attention to what I am putting in my body, but it only lasts a few weeks because my body can no longer handle the abuse.
The easiest way to build a healthy pantry and fridge is to stick to whole foods aka non-processed food items. Whole foods are an essential foundation to live a clean eating lifestyle. “Real Foods”, typically considered single-ingredient foods in their most natural state, such as a whole apple, broccoli or a cut of beef. Goldfish and Crackers don’t make the cut. Building and sticking to a clean diet is rather simple, it requires a little education and a little will power in the beginning, but once you reach 21 days you will see a noticeable difference. In addition to maybe losing a few lbs, your skin might start to clear up, you will have more energy and you wont feel as bloated or lethargic.
People associate “clean eating” with dieting, but it’s not, it’s a way of life (a better way of life, I think). There is a common misconception that if you are eating clean you are restricting yourself from “the good stuff”, NOT TURE. You can build plenty of meals that are nutrient dense, but full of flavor. Check out the essentials for clean eating staples below.
Clean Eating Staples
Beans & Legumes: These are a great sources of complex carbs, fiber and a plant based protein.
Dairy: High-quality dairy products can be consumed, but just be aware of your personal tolerance as most people have a hard time digesting lactose.
Fats & Oils: Whole avocados, avocado oil & olive oil are great staples to ensure you are consuming healthy fats.
Fish & Seafood: Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It’s best to stick with wild caught over farmed, because Wild Caught contains less saturated fat.
Fruit & Berries: Fruit is very important as it serves as a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruit is also a great natural sweeter when craving a sweet treat or needing to sweeten up a recipe without adding sugar.
Herbs & Spices: Essential in clean eating. Both of these provide flavor as well as vitamins and minerals.
Nuts & Seeds: Great sources of heart-healthy fats
Protein: A great source of protein is not limited to meat. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Whenever purchasing poultry, look for organic options whenever possible!
Vegetables: Veggies play an important role in this new lifestyle. The more color the better. Play around with your favorites. The goal is a variety of cruciferous, root and leafy greens.
Whole Grains: A great source of fiber. Grains such as brown rice or quinoa are easy to make and pull