The holidays are past and the new year has begun – an exciting time where we make plans for our next twelve months, and dream of possibilities. What are the most popular resolutions among your friends? For many, they relate to improving health. As tasty as the holiday goodies are, they leave us feeling a little less on track with our goals than we would like.
You new healthy resolutions need not be complicated, and they don’t have to end before February even arrives. The key to looking and feeling your best is to keep it simple and focus on clean eating. Have you heard the term “clean eating” but not understood what it means? Clean eating entails consuming whole foods and cutting out the processed junk.
Here are some simple steps for a no-fail progression into clean eating:
Focus on your inner motivation
Are you focused on running a 5K (or marathon)? Or are you concerned by the damages you have seen friends and relatives suffer as a result of their eating habits? Identify your WHY – even post it in your kitchen and bathroom – so that you see it daily for greater success in your clean eating plan.
Reevaluate what you are currently eating
Before you begin your clean eating journey, it helps to record what you are eating now. This way you can look for patterns. Do you eat a lot of snacks? How early do you start snacking? After a stressful week at the office, do you notice you’re more prone to ordering pizza. When you see a pattern, you can take steps to redirect rather than fall for it again.
Set realistic, measurable and specific goals
Begin making your changes in incremental steps rather than huge leaps. Tackle just one or two adjustments each week to make it more sustainable. Don’t just say you will stop eating desserts forever. Instead, set a goal of only eating one small dessert each week. This is realistic, measurable, and specific.
Clean out your pantry
Sadly, most American pantries are filled with processed foods. Is yours? Shift toward clean eating by starting with cleaning out the junk. A good rule of thumb is to remove anything that has more than five ingredients on the label. Any items you remove that are unopened can be donated to a shelter.
Refocus your grocery shopping strategy
We are creatures of habit. When we go to the supermarket, we usually follow the same path every time. Shake things up by heading straight to the produce section and then shop around the perimeter. Avoid almost all the middle aisles because that is where those processed food pitfalls lurk!
Master meal prep
One of the easiest ways to dive into clean eating is to prepare your meals. You’ll find lots of healthy meal plans online, many with shopping lists. If time is a factor, look for crockpot recipes that involve dumping in whole foods in the morning, and greet you with a hot, delicious, clean meal that night. Win!
It only takes small changes over time to create a sustainable, healthful lifestyle. I’m here to cheer you on. Let me know what you’d like to do as your first step.
Make 2018 the year you reclaim your health and discover more benefits than you ever dreamed! It can be as simple as focusing on clean eating, and I can help.