This article on clean eating for beginners includes a clean eating shopping list with pantry essentials that you will need.
First of all, Congratulations on starting this clean eating journey! I am so excited for you and I hope you will find this article (and NaturalDeets.com) helpful as you look for new recipes and support.
My family has been eating clean for over 5 years now, but it was a gradual change. Because we did it slowly, it really wasn’t painful and I am hoping this Clean Eating for Beginners guide will help make your transition just as painless!
If you get stuck anywhere along the way, or have any questions, just let me know. We are here to support each other!
Clean Eating for Beginners
The key to sticking to a clean eating lifestyle is to be gentle on yourself. Be patient and forgive yourself for getting off track. The best thing about eating clean is that it is not a diet, so it doesn’t matter if you have a few days of non-clean eating. You may feel a drop in energy, but it will be more motivation to get back on track.
Depending on how you have been eating in the past, this may be a big change for you! So be proud of any changes you make, no matter how small.
If you are only here for the Clean Eating Shopping list, scroll to the bottom of this post! If you would like a 3-step way to jump start your journey, read on!
Simple Steps to Clean Eating For Beginners:
Phase 1 (start immediately):
- Start by switching from white sugar to raw honey or maple syrup. You will find that these two natural sweeteners can replace granulated sugar or brown sugar in any recipe. Keep in mind that both honey and maple syrup are sweeter than processed sugar, so you can cut back on the amount used. Try honey in your tea or baked goods like muffins, and use maple syrup in place of processed syrup or flavored creamers.
- Replace all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour maintains the flavor and texture of white flour, so it is a nice transition.
- Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables. For dessert, try eating cheese and apples. For lunch, add a fruit instead of chips.
- Switch from margarine to real butter. Kerrygold grass-fed butter is my favorite!
Phase 2 (Once you are comfortable with phase 1):
- Start cutting back on the amount of honey and maple syrup you use. As a general rule, you can cut the honey and maple syrup by 1/2 in any recipe and it will still be delicious! Start experimenting with less and less. It’s not necessary to eliminate it.
- If buying processed food, start reading every ingredient. Stick to olive oil, coconut oil and whole ingredients. Avoid MSG, preservatives and any ingredients that are not actual food. You will be surprised by your options these days. More companies are catering to a healthier lifestyle.
- Shop organic when you can. If you aren’t eating organic already, focus on the dirty dozen.
Phase 3 (the final stage!)
- Continue with everything in Phase 2, but start to add more organic produce, if possible. Costco and Trader Joe’s are great options for affordable organic produce.
- Start baking and cooking on the weekends. Preparing food ahead of time is the key to being successful. I find that mornings are the toughest since there is so much to do before I leave. Try a green smoothie for a super fast breakfast!
- Avoid eating processed foods. Now you can find healthier alternatives, such as chips and crackers made with quinoa flour or flax, but eat them in moderation.
- Switch to organic eggs, grass-fed beef and pasture raised chicken. This is the hardest switch, just because of cost. These items can be very expensive compared to farm raised, but their health benefits are so great that it can’t be ignored! We cut back on the amount of meat we eat, adding more vegetables. As a result, we’re eating healthier!
- Switch grains from white to whole grain. Start eating brown rice, quinoa, different flours (ex. amaranth, garbanzo bean, teft) whole grain bread (in moderation) and whole grain pasta.
- Clean eating for beginners means eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, which means frequent shopping. Like many of you, I have young kids, a full time job and a long commute so I have had to find ways to simplify my life. Here are the places I have found that I seriously couldn’t live without! (I may make a small commission off these links, but I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t love them!):
Sources for Clean Eating Groceries
- Instacart.com – They deliver food from local grocery stores (based on zip code). You can even order from Costco without a membership! Use this link for $10 off: Instacart Click Here
- CrowdCow – Grass fed beef at an affordable price. You can buy specific cuts or predetermined packages. Their steak is delicious! Click here for $25 off your first order: Crowd Cow Click Here Read my review here: https://www.naturaldeets.com/crowd-cow-review-affordable-grass-fed-beef/
- Thrive Market – Thrive is an online grocery store for all things healthy! You will find almost anything you are looking for, along with a lot of things you were not looking for! This place is great. I typically order from Thrive Market on a quarterly basis for essentials. Get $25 off and Free Shipping on your first purchase here: Thirve Market Click Here Not Convinced? Read more here: https://www.naturaldeets.com/thrive-market/
Clean Eating Shopping List – Getting Started
This shopping list is intended for those who are just starting out. These are items that you should always have in your pantry. With just these items, you will be able to turn almost any recipe into a clean recipe!
Click here for a printable version: Clean Eating Shopping List – Pantry Staples for Beginners
There are so many other things you can do to live a clean eating lifestyle, but the steps above will get you started and on your way! You will be amazed at how good you feel and that will be motivation enough to move on!
Please let me know how you are doing! Are you struggling or do you find this easy? Do you feel any different?
Let’s do this together!