These days we do not recognize what we put into our bodies. Artificial sweeteners, kids drinks that look like a pack of sugar and GMOs (genetically-modified foods) are all changing how our bodies function. It’s brings more to argument of why we all should all ditch these foods and eat clean, while going back to the basic foods that haven’t been processed with chemicals that affect our health.
So, what is first on your shopping list? If your grocery store is like mine, when you are in the front door, then you are in produce. This is a fantastic place to start. Fruits and vegetables are super foods given to us by Mother Nature. Apples, for instance, may assist in strengthening your bones or lowering your cholesterol. Similarly, broccoli can help you with your Vitamin D deficiency, while celery protects you from inflammation of the digestive tract. Each fruit and vegetable has its own super powers that help our body, which is why you should vary in all the colors.
Next, hit the meat counter. Shop for lean meats such as chicken or beef. Other meats such as salmon, tilapia and catfish are all wonderful choices. Do not think that since you are eating green you have to limit yourself. This is not a rabbit diet (no pun intended to the diet’s name), but instead a lifestyle change that’s going to benefit your life. It may be hard to give up, but avoid those middle-aisle coolers that contain pre-packaged chicken breasts, chicken nuggets and so on. You will find it is much easier to make your own with some meat and breadcrumbs.
Your next stop should be the dairy counter. Instead of whole milk or fat-free milk, try almond milk. If your grocery store carries it, coconut milk is another option. It may be a different taste, but you might like it. You will find that you can still have your cottage cheese and your Greek yogurt—both of which are healthy snacks when those early-afternoon cravings come around. You may want to avoid the cheese (sorry!) because most who follow the clean eating diet consider this a processed food. According to some who follow the diet you can have low-fat cheese, however, so it is not all bad.
Let us also hit the condiments aisles. This is where people may become a bit feisty, but some change is good—right? You can still have your pure Maple syrup and your honey. Some on the clean eating diet suggest sugar free condiments such as mustard and ketchup. In addition, green tea and decaf coffee are great options. You may also want to consider cooking with canola oil instead of vegetable oil since many contemplate it to be much healthier.
In the cereal and grain aisle, keep eyes on the look out for fiber and whole grains. You are going to want to buy high-fiber cereal such as Kashi GoLean, Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran. In addition, you may want to consider buying whole wheat pasta. I actually prefer this to regular pasta and we buy it all the time. Brown rice, whole wheat breads and whole-wheat English muffins are all wonderful shopping items to add to your list.
Finally, let us not forget the seasoning aisle! I do not know about you, but I do not like eating bland food. You will find this aisle does not change much as you finish your shopping. You can still have your black pepper and cinnamon. The only changes, really, are that most on the clean eating diet change to sea salt, which is supposed to be much healthier.
Converting to a new diet is never easy. People often think you are going to be deprived of foods they love, but this is not the case with clean eating. It is easy to follow and easy to commit to for a lifetime. There are a few adjustable changes, but I believe you can do it. As I start this journey, I hope you will do it with me. Let us all eat clean!