Looking good and feeling good are two sides of the same coin. It is possible to achieve one side of the coin without the other, but true satisfaction comes from owning both. To live our best lives, we want to look good and feel good at the same time. Unite your good feelings by deciding to eat clean. We’ve come up with The Ultimate Clean Eating Grocery List to help you feel—and simultaneously look—your absolute best.
What Is Clean Eating?
Think of the earth and all of its magnificent resources. For millions of years, life flourished. All there was to eat were foods grown or raised on this planet’s soil. Only in the last century has food taken on a different form and flavor. In modern times, grocery shopping has become increasingly complicated.
Foods From The Earth
Clean eating is the process of eating foods that come from the earth. Clean foods are ready to eat in their natural states or have been very minimally processed. Eating clean is a decision to cut out toxic ingredients from the diet. The clean eating grocery list is filled with healthy, high-quality, nutrient-rich foods.
Many commercially available foods have hidden (and surprising) ingredients. We are fortunate to live in a time where food labels are required for store-bought foods, but many of us neglect to read those labels. When we read food labels, we find that many foods have ingredients with undecipherable names, high sugar and sodium contents, unexpected fat, and chemical preservatives.
Clean eating focuses on a few fundamental rules. Adherence to these simple steps will help you figure out what to eat and what to avoid in your diet.
Forget Fast Food And
Nowadays, fast foods, convenience foods, and processed foods are everywhere. You find junk food in every type of store, on television commercials, and even painting the horizon on large billboards. You can identify them by their shrink-wraps, plastic packages, cartons, and boxes.
Processed foods are notorious for containing unhealthy ingredients. For these manufacturers, shelf-life is more important than health. They often contain unhealthy chemical preservatives to keep them "seeming" fresh even though they are far from fresh. These foods often first sit in warehouses, and then on store shelves for long periods of time before purchase.
Unhealthy pre-packaged foods and fast foods have become popular in recent times because they are convenient. The price we pay for this convenience is an obesity epidemic and the rise of food-related diseases.
No matter what the number on the scale reads, a diet made up of processed foods will have negative effects on your health. These foods are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
Eat Whole Foods
With no fuss and no unpronounceable names, whole foods are nutrient-dense foods that support a healthy body. Whole or natural foods don’t need scrutinization in a lab to give you the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
When trying to decipher what a whole food is, think: farm foods. Fresh foods that originated on a farm are whole foods. Whole foods include:
The foods listed above contain clues about what to look for when shopping off of your clean eating grocery list. Whole foods are often marked with certain words that can indicate that they are of a higher-quality. Always double check the ingredients to confirm the label claims. Some ideal words to seek on product labels include:
Many people slip up and eat unhealthy foods purely because there isn’t anything else available when hunger sneaks up. Beat your hunger to the punch by planning your meals efficiently. A well-balanced meal made from a mixture of protein and carbs will prove more satiating in the long term. Protein and carbs give you fuel to power through the day.
More Is Less And Less Is More
Try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three large meals. Planning what types of whole foods to eat throughout the day will prevent you from grabbing unhealthy snacks in a pinch.
Eating smaller meals more frequently will boost metabolism. Metabolism is a major factor in weight loss.
Why Eat Clean?
There are far more reasons to eat clean than to not eat clean. We can no longer use convenience as an excuse to forgo feeling good and looking good.
Millions of people in the US are overweight or obese. Calories in food cause weight gain. Overweight individuals are at a dramatically increased risk for a slew of unsavory health problems.
The quality of life for those who are overweight is also dramatically decreased. Living with unwanted and unhealthy weight is a self-perpetuating cycle. Poor eating choices lead to unwanted weight and lower energy levels; lower energy levels prevent proper movement and exercise. If a person doesn’t change their diet by avoiding processed foods, the weight and inactivity only increases.
Switching from an unhealthy diet made up of a lot of processed foods to a clean eating diet is a sure-fire way to lose weight. Whole foods typically have a lot more nutrients per bite of food than calories. This helps us stay full longer on fewer calories eaten.
Choosing to cut out ready-made and convenience foods will also cut out all the hidden ingredients like sugar. Processed foods contain many secret calories. In time, these calories add up—for better or worse.
Eating natural foods will bring the total caloric intake of your diet down and that’s the only way to lose weight. The more weight you lose, the more energy you will have. The more energy you have, the more able you will be to partake in physical activity to burn more calories. It’s a win-win.
Reduce Risk Or Reverse Disease
Many diseases are associated with diet. If we continue to make poor eating choices and our bodies do not receive proper nutrition, disease is likely to follow. Yes, there are medications available to help with the treatment of these diseases, but who wants to live with a disease? Living a healthy life free of health problems and disease, rather than treating a disease or condition, should be the ultimate goal for healthy living. Deciding to eat clean can help prevent or reverse many of the most common diet-related diseases.
Diseases and conditions associated with diet include:
A Thin Body Does Not Equal A Healthy Body
Those who are overweight and obese aren’t the only people who need consider how diet is affecting their health. It’s common for people to believe thinness equates to health, but this isn’t accurate. Without a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet, people within a “healthy” weight range are still wreaking havoc on the body.
The term “skinny fat” is used to describe thin people who are not physically healthy. Just like with the overweight and obese, malnourished thin people have a higher risk of diet-related health problems and diseases including:
Set Yourself Free And Kick Food Addiction
No, it’s not just you—fast food is addictive. Food engineers are paid to identify ingredients that will keep you constantly craving. These ingredients are found in junk food. A lot of these ingredients are chemically produced and not found in nature.
Food additives communicate with the pleasure centers in the brain. This causes us to crave unhealthy foods even if they ultimately do not make us feel good after eating them. The initial feelings of euphoria when eating a comfort or convenience food is a similar response produced by other harmful and illicit substances.
At first, it will be difficult to stop eating these unhealthy foods. Your body is detoxing. Just know the initial struggle is normal. With time, persistence, and continued effort your body and mind will no longer crave unhealthy foods. Your entire food perspective will shift. Cravings will shift and you will seek healthy, clean food alternatives.
Get All The Nutrients
One of the best reasons to stock up on food from your clean eating grocery list is that whole foods provide a wide range of nutrients and micronutrients not found in other sources. By eating a balanced diet of earth-created foods, you are most fully supporting your body.
It comes as no surprise that junk foods aren’t great sources of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. That said, it might be surprising to hear vitamin and mineral supplements often aren’t sufficient sources either. The best way to give your body what it needs is to provide the needed vitamins and minerals through food.
How To Use The Clean Eating
We know it’s a long list; don’t worry about buying everything at once. Start by buying foods from each of the categories you feel comfortable with. Look for recipes that incorporate your favorite food into delicious meals. Gradually introduce new items from your clean eating grocery list into your recipes and meals.
Remember To Portion Your Plate
Remember portioning rules for your plate. A healthy mealtime plate is divided into three parts. The largest part, taking up half of the physical plate should contain colorful, non-starchy vegetables. Divide the other half of your plate into two parts. Fill one-quarter of the plate with whole grains. Your chosen source of protein will fit in the remaining one-quarter space on your plate.
Snacking—Clean Eating Style
Opting for healthy, whole food snack options throughout the day will keep you from grabbing an unhealthy on-the-go alternative. Fruit and nuts are ideal snack choices.
Think Before You Drink Calories
Drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and curb hunger pains. Water is one thing we all need to live. Don’t neglect to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. Adding fresh-squeezed lemon is a healthful way to mix up the flavor of your water.
Many commercial juices and drinks are loaded with sugar and calories. Remember to read labels before drinking store-bought beverages. The calories add up quickly.
Served without sugar, herbal tea and coffee are excellent clean eating beverage options.
Spice Your Life Up
Many people hesitate to move into healthier eating under the premise that clean food is bland and has no flavor. On the contrary, flavor is what you make of it. There are many clean eating options to help make your foods taste incredible. You can easily customize your food by adding herbs, spices, and condiments to your clean-eating recipes. You get to decide how much spice or seasoning goes on your food.
Moderate The Sweets
Adding a small amount of natural, clean sweeteners to your food or drinks is better than using processed or artificial sweeteners. Fruit is also naturally sweet and can sweeten foods such as yogurts, oatmeal, and cereal. Always moderate sugar intake in your healthy diet. A little goes a long way.
The Ultimate Clean Eating Grocery List
Cooking at home is the only fool-proof way to know what is in the food you eat. We’ve established The Ultimate Clean Eating Grocery List to help you decide which foods to put in your clean eating shopping cart.
Plant-Based Foods With High Protein:
Dairy Foods With High Protein:
Seafood With High Protein And Low-Mercury Levels
Meat High In Protein:
Nuts And Seeds:
Oils, Organic And/Or Cold-Pressed:
Butters And Spreads, Organic And Natural Varieties:
Legumes, Low In Fat And High In Protein And Carbs (Beans):
Legumes, High In Fat, Protein And Carbs (Opt For Unsalted And Dry Roasted Varieties):
Vegetables With High Fiber:
Fruits, Low Glycemic (Low GI) (Will Not Spike Blood-Sugar Levels):
Fruits, Medium And High Glycemic (Medium GI, High GI) (Caution: Could Spike Blood Sugar Levels):
Plant-Based Milk Substitutes:
Everyone wants to reach the place where they feel good in both body and mind. Along with exercise, clean eating is the fastest way to get there. By using this clean eating grocery list, you can transform your life, and your body, for the better.