I know first hand that starting a clean diet regiment can be daunting. Not only are you worried about dampening your relationship with Hot Cheetos but eating healthy seems expensive, flavorless, and time consuming. While this can be true, it can also be said that it’s only as expensive, boring and time consuming as you make it. Most importantly, you can be damn sure that if you go into it with a doubtful and negative mindset, you won’t get very far. I’m going to help you solve the flavorless part by sharing amazing recipes that break the mold and keep it simple without breaking the bank.
Excuse #1 (and the most common excuse I hear when it comes to clean eating): “The recipes have ingredients that I’ve never heard of or too many ingredients.”First of all, if you want something to taste good, it’s going to require seasoning or something to give it flavor. Once you start accumulating new herbs and spices, you’ll have them for the next time around. Secondly, take a look at how many ingredients are in a bag/box of your favorite processed food – too many to count, and many of which you can’t even pronounce! So give these clean dishes a try and I guarantee your body will be much happier. I had never cooked with many of these items before starting the Whole30, and now I can’t live without them. If you are currently cooking meals for yourself I would bet you have vegetable oil, margarine or butter in your fridge. Next time, leave those out of the cart and reach for some avocado oil or ghee. It’s really just a matter of swapping out some of your less healthy staples for cleaner ones.
Excuse #2: It’s expensive & time consuming. First of all, don’t get too caught up on organic. Now with that being said, organic is the best option – if you can afford it. If not, don’t sweat it. Don’t be afraid of frozen veggies. They’re incredibly convenient! These guys are already chopped and ready to be roasted, no prep required. I also recommend checking your local store’s ads each week to catch seasonal deals on produce and then base your weekly meals around what is on sale.
You can also save a lot of time & money by planning ahead. Every Sunday, I plan out 4-6 meals for the week. I try to have enough meals to get us through the weeknights. This is something we have made very habitual – no eating out on weeknights. We try to limit ourselves to eating out a maximum of three times each week. For the two of us to eat out, it’s usually around $30-$50. Multiply that by three & we can easily spend $150, which is typically the amount I spend on groceries for the entire week. This should help you put the financial part into perspective. Also, if you know you have food at home you are less likely to stop and grab something else. The meals I plan are typically dinners, and I rely on the leftovers for lunch and plan separately for breakfast. It might sound like a lot but perhaps you start by planning out 1-2 meals a week & work your way up to 3-4. Try coordinating recipes in order to allow yourself to use similar ingredients that you are already purchasing. I promise to help with that by sharing recipes with common ingredients, weekly, to go hand in hand. Taking the time to prepare meals on Sunday when you have free time also helps lessen your food workload during the week.
Below are some items I recommend keeping on hand for a full-proof clean eating kitchen. I know not everyone lives in areas with easy access to grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or other natural grocers, but the good news is that many (if not all) of these items can be found at your everyday grocery store. A lot of mainstream grocers have adopted their own organic lines and have a growing variety of options. Still can’t find what you are looking for? Well lucky for you we live in a time of convenience and there is a little thing called Amazon.com that can meet all your clean eating needs.
Ghee (Clarified Butter):
I love Ghee, it’s like butter with less guilt. Favorite Brand: Organic Valley can be purchased on Amazon.
Favorite Brand: Trader Joes, but if you are a TJ Maxx/Marshalls fan, you can often find great brands along with other healthy alternatives discounted at those stores. Purchase on Amazon
Favorite Brand: Trader Joes
Favorite Brand: Trader Joes Garlic Salt. Spice Blends make it easy to bulk up any dish with Flavor. Check your labels and make sure they are sugar free! Primal Palate sold on Amazon.
Basic spices like garlic powder, sea salt, paprika, cinnamon, are also good to have around.
Favorite Brand: Coconut Secret. Buy from Amazon
Food Storage Containers
My fridge constantly has leftovers stored. Buy on Amazon