Removing processed foods and switching to a clean eating way of life is simple when you make one small change every day.
For us, clean eating means from scratch, knowing exactly where our food comes from, and making the best food choices under the particular circumstances without being manic about it. In other words, we don’t fret if we can’t get to the farmer’s market. When we find we have to do the majority of our shopping at the grocery store, we choose the best whole food, fresh options available that fit our budget. When it comes to clean eating, no matter from where you’re buying your food, the most important choice is always the path least processed.
Whether you’re just starting on a path to clean eating, or deep into it and need some encouragement and inspiration, the following steps will help you start a path to better food for better health:
- Replace at least ONE processed food every week with a whole, unprocessed food — the more the better, but if it feels overwhelming, start out slow.
- Swap out your personal beauty products for healthy alternatives: Use coconut oil or sesame oil as lotion, and make your own DIY toothpaste. Get the recipe here.
- Replace all industrial fats (soybean, corn, peanut, canola oil) with healthful fats like grass-fed butter, olive oil, virgin coconut oil, and leaf lard. Remember, choose the path least processed.
- Reduce or eliminate processed sugars and substitute in from-scratch recipes with dried dates and figs, and raw, local honey.
- Eliminate refined grains, and think of whole grains as a “nice-to-have” and not a “need-to-have.” You can get all of the same vitamins, minerals, and fiber from fruits and vegetables, withe the added benefit of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Take the stress out of what to cook from scratch by starting a meal planning board on Pinterest, and plan out your meals for the week, or even the month.
- Become a food label speed reader. Scan the ingredient list, and if it contains more than five ingredients, or you see an ingredient you can’t pronounce, immediately put the product back on the shelf and move on.
- Learn a new cooking skill every week. Go solo, or invite your friends over for a YouTube party. Pull up a fun cooking video and give it a try.
- Look for easy processed food swaps to get you started. If your family loves applesauce, buy apples. If they love chips, try baked crispy kale or oven-dried carrot chips instead.
- Become a micromanager of your life. Don’t let food companies control what you eat and what you feed to your family. Use your dollars as your voice, and tell food manufacturers you don’t like what they’re making, by refusing to buy their food, and cooking more meals at home, from scratch.