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Clean Eating for Beginners: A Basic Guide

clean eating for beginners

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Have you been wanting to eat clean but don’t know where to start? 

Maybe you are tired of excess weight, brain fog, fatigue, and overall health problems?

Normally, eating clean involves cutting out processed foods, chemicals, excess sugar, and even wheat.

How much you cut out may vary on your health problems. 

For example, people with autoimmune disease do well on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. 

That protocol may be too harsh for the average person that isn’t struggling with a disease but wants to clean up their meals.

So how can you get started clean eating for beginners?

Clean Eating for Beginners

Begin to Read Labels

When you begin eating clean, you will need to start reading labels. 

A good rule of thumb is to look for 5 ingredients or less on the ingredients list.

You will also want to look for ingredients you recognize. Avoid a long list of items you can’t pronounce which is often preservatives, chemicals, and additives that are unhealthy.

Learn to Shop for Ingredients

Instead of buying boxed, premade, already done food items, try shopping around the outside of the store for actual ingredients.

Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, seeds, rice, these items are ingredients you would use to make a meal. 

Try to avoid premade meals because you can’t verify all the items that were used to make it.

Look Out for Hidden Sugar

Many companies sneak sugar into their products because it makes their food taste better.

They will use names like agave nectar, cane juice, barley malt, glucose, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrate, and rice syrup.

Be aware when reading the ingredient list that confusing ingredients often equal trouble.

Lower Your Carb Intake

Lowering the number of carbs you eat will improve your health. 

Carbs feed bad gut bacteria, feed candida, spike insulin, and lead to excess weight.

You don’t have to go completely carb-free but it’s helpful to lower carbs in general by cutting out wheat, rice, sugars, grains, and higher carb items to a few times a week.

Carbs shouldn’t take up the majority of the room on your plate.

Add Vegetables to Your Meals

For some people, the produce section can be intimidating.

Maybe you have no idea how to choose your vegetables and how to cook them.

I’ve heard so many people say they “don’t like vegetables” and it always makes me laugh because all vegetables taste different. So how could you possibly hate them all?

That tells me you haven’t tried very many of them if you “don’t like vegetables”. 

There is no excuse for not eating vegetables since you can find hundreds of recipes on any vegetable on Pinterest. 

Related: How to Start Eating Vegetables for Beginners

You can even have your kids pick out a new vegetable to try each week. Kids are more likely to eat different foods if they are involved in the process.

Start Drinking Water

Water is such an overlooked aspect of health and wellness.

So many people drink their calories and excess sugar without even thinking about it. 

Water is vital for your body to be hydrated and to detox properly.

Try cutting out all beverages except for water to see how it makes you feel.

Don’t Go Cold Turkey

If you are someone who eats junk food, processed items, bread, and sugar regularly…consider cutting out one thing at a time.

It can be overwhelming to cut out all those items at once and can lead to come headaches and carb cravings.

Decide what you want to cut out first and do one item a week.

Maybe you want to start with bread, or sugar in your coffee. 

Whatever you choose, keep a journal or calendar of the items you are cutting out and the new fruits and vegetables you are adding in.

Give yourself small goals you can achieve weekly instead of expecting your whole diet to change at once.

Consider Meal Planning in Containers

I know I’m more likely to eat healthy if I have some clean items ready to go in my fridge.

Take a day and make some of your meals ahead of time so they are ready to go. 

Days where you are tired you won’t feel like cooking a full meal so have some items ready to go.

There are meal prep containers you can buy to prep your meals ahead of time. 

This will help eliminate the temptation of grabbing processed foods.

Let us know how your clean eating for beginners’ journey is going and what you are struggling with.

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