Clean Eating Steps

Clean eating steps begin with avoiding processed foods. But there are always going to be times when seasonal holidays, birthday celebrations and get-togethers with family and friends make it tough for you to eat in a healthy manner.

The video below provides an excellent overview of clean eating, as well as helpful tips. Be sure to watch the video now.

However, there are some steps you can take which will help you avoid processed food any time you eat away from your home. For instance, avoid processed salad dressings and choose oil and vinegar instead the next time you join your friends for dinner, either in their home or restaurant.

Opt For Grilled

Choose grilled over fried as an option whenever possible. Food items which are processed and prepackaged may be fried in oil that contains trans fats. And when eating at a restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask your chef or waiter how certain meals are prepared.

Another great way of avoiding processed foods when you eat out is to take advantage of the growing movement towards healthy dining options.

Many restaurant menus contain gluten-free, heart-healthy and non-processed sections, making avoiding processed foods easy. Sometimes these are not printed. But all you have to do is ask and you might get a meal prepared in a healthier way.

Skip dessert or Opt for raw fruit

You might want to skip dessert as well. Desserts are notoriously high in sugar and other processed additives which serve no other reason than to preserve them longer and get you hooked on their taste.

One of the best ways to keep from eating unhealthy manufactured foods when attending a party or gathering is to bring your own dish. And whether at a friend’s house or restaurant, skip flavored beverages and stick with water.

You can also eat a small portion of something healthy and filling before you head out, so you limit the number of processed calories you consume. Now let’s take a look at some yummy dishes you can make at home that beat their processed counterparts in flavor and health.

Healthy Homemade Alternatives to Common Processed Foods

Make these flavorful foods at home and you can save money while eating healthy and responsibly.

Tomato based products –

When you make your own pasta sauce, ketchup and salsa, you dictate exactly what healthy ingredients you are using. When you purchase these tomato-based items at a grocery store, they have likely gone through an extreme manufacturing process.

Sauces and dressings –

We mentioned in the last section about eating out how you can choose healthy oil and vinegar as a salad dressing over processed options. There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of great tasting dressings and sauces you can make right at home, using healthy ingredients. This also means never purchasing expensive processed sauces or dressings again.

Granola and energy bars –

There are multiple healthy recipes online for making your own granola bars. The same goes for energy boosting bars, which you can make for up to 50% less money than purchasing the unhealthy processed options at your supermarket.

Guacamole –

This is another “made at home” processed food alternative which is not only healthier when you create it in your own kitchen, but also less expensive than the store-bought variety.

Yogurt –

Do-it-yourself yogurt is so much healthier than the products offered at your favorite supermarket. Some yogurt can be healthy off-the-shelf, but most of it is extremely processed.

Bread –

You can purchase a versatile bread machine, or simply make healthy and incredible tasting bread varieties in cooking tins in your oven. The list of healthy ingredients you can incorporate into homemade bread, like whole grains and fruits, is virtually endless.

Soup –

Store-bought soup is notoriously high in sodium. If you are crunched for time, you can slow cook several servings of healthy, tasty, homemade soup in a slow cooker and freeze for instant enjoyment later.

How to Deal With Cravings for Processed Foods

Clean Eating Steps

One of the best ways to deal with an addiction is to remove a physical presence. We spoke earlier about cleaning out your pantry, and removing processed foods from your living environment. After all, if a sugar-filled snack or processed microwave meal is not available, you can’t eat it.

But sometimes you may experience cravings for processed foods when you are away from home. A great way to kill those desires is to keep healthy and delicious tasting fruits, vegetables, homemade granola bars and other unprocessed snacks in your car and workplace.

Drink lots of water

Studies have shown that drinking 8 to 16 ounces of water can fight a food craving for more than an hour. Also, if you eat 5 or 6 meals throughout the day your stomach constantly stays full. This means less of a chance that you will give in to the urges created by a processed food that is calling your name.

Keeping a food journal is also helpful here. Whenever you experience a craving for unhealthy, processed food, write down your feelings. Then look at what happened just before the craving hit. Did you receive an exceptionally good or bad piece of news? Emotional eating is not in response to true hunger, and is often attached to a sugar addiction which can be a problem with processed foods.

Like-minded people

Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is extremely important. If you have someone you can talk to that is also trying to steer clear of the dangers of processed foods, your chances of eating smart and never giving into unhealthy cravings are much higher.

You should also keep a “Why?” belief statement on you at all times. This can be simply a small card that fits in your wallet, pocket or purse. Write down the reasons why you are avoiding processed foods and trying to eat a much healthier diet. This can provide the motivation to beat even the strongest cravings.

The Takeaway

The Clean eating steps mean avoiding heavily processed foods. And you can actually save money by treating your body to a much healthier diet in many cases. There are cookbooks, DVDs, courses and web videos which arm you with the proper information regarding processed foods and their dangers, and how to avoid them.

The information included in this short guide, found in this and 2 other related posts, acts as a primer to get you started on a path towards healthy and smart eating. So formulate a game plan of clean eating steps. Choose a plant-based diet beginning today, and you will treat yourself to a happier and healthier tomorrow.