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Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Beginners Guide to Clean Eating

Kick Start Your New Year 

Ah, good ole New Year’s resolutions are here! I know that some people think New Year’s resolutions are silly because they don’t typically last, but I personally love them! It’s a NEW YEAR… why shouldn’t we at least TRY?! Not to mention most of need to clean up our act after the holidays…. I know I’m extremely guilty of over indulging during the month of December.  It’s 2016 and it’s time to get cleaner and leaner… who’s with me?! 

If you want to start eating clean but have no idea where to start (it can be intimidating) Here are a few healthy alternatives to give you an idea of where to start! Each one of these suggestions played a huge role in my 40lb weight loss and current weight management.  Consider this a grocery list for beginners, and a fantastic starting point! 

Below you will find healthier alternatives to foods we are used to eating! The most important thing you can do when first starting to eat clean is READ THE LABELS on the back of EVERYTHING YOU BUY.  You want to be purchasing foods with very minimal ingredients.  The more natural the food is, the better! 

  • Ezekiel Bread- Found in the freezer section.  This is the only bread I buy now.  It’s clean, natural, and organic.  Not to mention, chemical free, easy to digest, has protein, lots of vitamins, is kosher, Non GMO, no refined sugars, no preservatives, no shortenings, and full of fiber.  It’s absolutely delicious! They also offer buns, cereals, muffins, tortillas, waffles, and more! 

White Flour is stripped of all nutrients which makes it an empty source of calories.  That’s not what we want! Here are few nutrient rich grains to add to your diet! 

  • Quinoa- all kinds.  Quinoa is superfood that is PACKED with nutrients 
  • Brown Rice 
  • Wild Rice 
  • Quinoa Pasta 

  • Coconut Flour (Naturally Gluten-Free)
  • Almond Flour (Naturally Gluten-Free and Low in Carb)

Dairy & Non Dairy: 
I personally try to avoid dairy at all costs.  After doing a lot of research on the internet over the past few years I’ve come to learn that dairy isn’t necessary.  In fact, most of the population can’t properly digest dairy products.  I’ve cut out quite a few dairy products permanently and I have noticed a huge difference.  

  • Almond Milk Yogurt (Non-Dairy)
  • Coconut Milk Yogurt (Non-Dairy)
  • Greek Yogurt  
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (Non-Dairy)
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Non-Dairy)
  • Unsweetened Soy Milk (Make sure it’s Non-GMO) 

  • Apples 
  • Oranges 
  • Grapefruits 
  • All Berries 
  • Bananas 
  • Avocados 
  • Pineapple 
  • Any fresh fruit you like 

  • Kale 
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli 
  • Celery 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Eggplant 
  • Squash 
  • Carrots 
  • Celery 
  • Bell Peppers 
  • Zucchini 
  • Sweet Potatoes 
  • Onions 
  • Green Beans 
  • Any Fresh Veggies you like 

With every kind of meat, always opt organic or grass fed. Also, try and purchase the leanest meat possible.  If you buying lunch meat of any kind, look for nitrate-free! 

  • Lean Ground Turkey 
  • Chicken Breasts 
  • Salmon, Tilapia, or other fish 
  • Lean Ground Beef 

  • Always purchase cage free.  

Beans and Legumes: 
If you are trying to eat healthy on a budget, beans are an excellent source of protein (especially if you are vegetarian or vegan) 

  • Beans: Explore different kinds of beans.  Black, Pinto, Red Kidney, Red, Soybean, and More! 
  • Legumes: You can make so many great meals with legumes.  They are excellent! 

Other Grocery Store Items: 

  • Oatmeal: Always buy plain steel cut oats. Nothing flavored due to the chemicals and sugar that they put in flavored oats.  
  • Tea:  Any natural, organic, unsweetened tea is great! 
  • Dry Beans and Legumes 
  • Nuts: Always try and buy nuts that are organic.  Nuts are a fantastic snack filled with a ton of nutrients but you have to make sure you read the labels.  A lot of nuts that are sold in stores are loaded with sodium and sugar.  
  • Bars:  I used to be a protein bar junkie.  Make sure you read the labels on the back of your protein or snack bars.  Most of them are filled with a lot of junk.  My personal favorite brand of health bars are Laura Bars… they are delicious, have minimal ingredients, and are very healthy and clean! 
  • Condiments:  Most condiments are also loaded with a ton of junk that could be slowing down your weight loss.  When you can, avoid condiments or try and make your own using all natural fruits, veggies, and herbs.  If you have to purchase condiments from the store, look for the organic condiments with minimal ingredients and no added sugar.  
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Walnut Oil 
  • Coconut Oil 

Processed Sugar is the easiest way to pack on the pounds.  Here are few natural alternatives to sweeten things up. 

  • Coconut Nectar
  • Honey 
  • Maple Syrup 
  • Agave 

There are so many healthy alternatives out there today! It can be fun to search for new and exciting things in the grocery store.  I know that since I’ve made these changes, I’ve been a healthier, happier person! I want the same for you in 2016! Let’s make this our best year yet! 

I would love to hear some of your favorite healthy alternatives! Leave a comment below with some of your health tips! 

Wishing you the very best!