This post about how to eat clean for beginners has been sponsored by Seed. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Are you looking for clean eating basics to kick start a healthy diet? Are you unsure of what it really means to eat clean? I thought I would share a few simple tips to help you get started on the road to a simple and healthy diet. From learning the best foods to eat to understanding how to improve digestive health, there is a lot to tackle.
Get ready to start shopping, cooking, and eating your way to better health! And before you dive into a completely new diet, I highly recommend checking out Seed.com to get your stomach ready for the added workout that comes with a high fiber, clean eating diet.
General clean eating food list
So, before you start shopping for your clean eating menu, the first thing you need to do is learn what foods are allowed on a clean diet plan. Keep in mind that these foods may vary slightly, depending on your specific dietary needs.
And remember, the clean eating diet is not an actual DIET. It is a lifestyle. Your goal should be to slowly move into a completely new way of looking at food.
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This clean eating food list is flexible. Try not to be too rigid in your choices.
Foods that are not genetically modified or heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Ideally, you should try to find organic foods whenever your budget allows. Remember, some organic is better than none.
Protein from animals raised as naturally and sustainably as possible.
Look for free range, grass fed, etc. Try to avoid conventional feed lot raised animal products.
Non hydrogenated oils.
Basically, you want to find fats and oils as close to natural as possible. Olive oil and coconut oil are good choices.
Foods high in omega 3, 6, and 9’s.
Include things like avocados, nuts, seeds and wild caught fish as much as possible.
A rainbow of fruits and vegetables, preferably low starch ones.
That means less corn and potatoes and more kale and berries. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat starchy produce at all. Just aim for the high fiber, brightly colored ones more often.
Gluten free carbs more often than gluten containing ones.
Include lots of oatmeal, rice, quinoa, amaranth and other whole grains more often than you include wheat flour.
Minimal processed foods.
Your goal isn’t to figure out how to make clean eating approved pancakes. Or to figure out how to make brownies with cassava flour and dates. The goal of the clean eating diet plan is to rethink your relationship with food completely and get back to eating simple foods as much as possible. If you are really craving something sweet, check out my clean eating smoothies.
Each person’s digestive system is unique. Some people have no problems with high fiber diets. Others may find that the foods on your eat clean menu contribute to temporary digestive discomfort at first. Usually, your digestive tract will sort itself out fairly quickly, however, adding probiotics into your diet can be a great way to support digestive health on your eating clean journey.
One very important thing to remember is that all probiotics are NOT the same. Seed’s Daily Synbiotic is a proprietary formula of probiotics and prebiotics. The probiotics are housed inside an inner capsule, surrounded by the prebiotic and an outer capsule.
What does that mean for gut health? Basically, the outer capsule protects the micro-organisms as the capsule travels through the stomach, ensuring that they arrive to the colon alive, which is where they work to reinforce digestive health.
Seed’s Daily Synbiotic is also soy free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, corn free and has no binders or preservatives. Head to @Seed to learn more about digestive health as you move to a healthier, high fiber diet.
USE CODE DIANE15 for 15% off the first month of your Daily Synbiotic subscription. I truly love that their packaging is completely sustainable and the probiotics require no refrigeration. That makes taking them with you when you travel much easier!
How To Eat Clean For Beginners
So, now that you know the best foods to eat on a clean diet and how to support a healthy digestive tract, where do you go from there? How do you get ready for your clean eating journey? Here are a few tips.
Invest in a few good books!
Investing in a few good clean eating cookbooks will help you understand the sort of foods you need to be eating on this diet.
Gone are the packets of premade seasonings, boxed mixes and processed foods. Instead you will be eating fresh fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats, and whole grains as unprocessed as possible.
Start a grocery list based on the recipes you would like to try and make sure you take it to the grocery store with you! Check out my clean eating meal planning tips for ideas before you shop.
Get ready for some chopping!
You will be eating a TON of fresh fruit and vegetables on your clean eating journey. Investing in a few good cutting boards will make your life a lot easier!
I prefer a natural wood cutting board like bamboo rather than plastic. Do not put wood cutting boards in the dishwasher!
You should also invest in a good set of knives as well, since dull knives are a hazard in the kitchen.
Buy cutting boards in multiple sizes, as well as knives so you are prepared for all different sorts of fruits and vegetables!
Season things naturally
Stores are packed full of premade seasoning mixes, boxed pasta and rice dishes, and many other premade foods that contain many questionable ingredients.
Instead of buying things premade, learn how to season your foods naturally with fresh herbs.
You can grow your own herb garden or buy dried herbs to season your recipes. Adding plenty of fresh and dried herbs to your meals will also make it easy to cut down on the salt you use and you won’t even miss it!
Buy the right appliances
There are several appliances you should have on hand before you start on a clean eating diet. A blender is very helpful for making smoothies.
Investing in a high quality juicer will allow you to DRINK your vegetables without all the bulky fiber that may upset your stomach. Juicing is a wonderful way to boost your nutrient intake without eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Clean Eating for Beginners Recipes
I generally don’t do full on meal planning for my family. Generally speaking, I find it much too structured. I try to keep a pantry full of healthy foods and stock the basics every week. Then, I choose three or four breakfast, lunch and dinner options to choose from throughout the week. If you are wondering how to eat clean for a week, try a few of these healthy recipes:
Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potato This twice baked sweet potato recipe is topped with an egg and loaded with bacon and scallions. An easy and healthy breakfast recipe that fills you up and satisfies your taste buds! Look for organic sweet potatoes and sustainably raised bacon.
- Strawberry Chia Seed Jam This easy chia jam recipe is made with just strawberries and chia seeds with a touch of honey for added sweetness. Great on top of homemade yogurt or an organic rice cake.
- Pistachio Granola Recipe Making your own granola means you control the ingredients. Loads of nuts, seeds, oats and dried fruit makes for a high fiber, high protein clean breakfast recipe.
Clean lunch recipes
- Homemade Hummus Dip: Serve with raw vegetables as part of a healthy lunch.
- Pureed Vegetable Soup: Make up a batch on the weekend and put it in a thermos for lunch.
- White Bean Cherry Tomato Salad Loaded with protein and plenty of fresh cherry tomatoes, make your own Italian dressing and toss in fresh herbs.
Dinner ideas for clean eating
When it comes to dinner, I find that simple is better. Don’t try to remake your homemade casseroles with clean ingredients. You will most likely be disappointed and end up wasting food. Here are a few dinner recipes for clean eating:
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry Loaded with chickpeas for protein as well as plenty of veggies, it is served over rice for a vegan dinner recipe that really fills you up.
- Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe Toss in some fresh spinach, dried apricots and pecans and lo and behold! A new healthy salad recipe!
- Vegetarian Crockpot Chili Loaded with beans, corn, tomatoes, and spices, it uses vegetarian meat crumble substitute for the ground beef and a jar of salsa for added heat.
How to eat clean and lose weight
If your overall goal is to eat clean for weight loss, you need to keep in mind one thing. In general, weight loss is a mathematical formula. You have to eat fewer calories than you burn. Just changing the foods you eat isn’t a magic formula. It helps… but cut those calories when possible. Reduce your serving size, stick to more fruits and vegetables since those have fewer calories than some other foods.
Make sure you eat lean protein like fish and chicken more often than higher fat cuts of meat like bacon and beef. And add in plenty of exercise to increase your caloric output. Then, be patient. Eating healthier and exercising is the perfect combination to help you slowly shed those pounds for good.
More Posts To Learn How to Eat Clean For Beginners
Need more tips for clean eating? Here are a few posts you might find helpful:
- Tips for Clean Eating For Better Health: These clean eating tips are part of a general healthy lifestyle that you will want to stick to long term. It’s a great way to start learning how to eat clean for beginners.
- How hard is it to eat clean? Find out how to make your journey to healthier food a little bit easier.
- How to Start Saving Money on Organic Food If you are looking for cheap organic food, here are a few money saving tips and resources to get you started.
I hope these tips on how to eat clean for beginners will help you tackle your new LIFESTYLE (see… not a DIET!) successfully. Don’t forget to check out Seed’s Daily Synbiotic and invest in a few kitchen essentials before you start your journey!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.