You’ve probably heard the term “clean eating” or maybe you know people who say they are starting to “eat clean.” While it may seem like a term that has gotten popular in the last few years, many people will recognize the basics of clean eating diets because it’s how their grandparents naturally ate.  


1) Avoid foods that come in a box or a can. The basis of all clean eating plans is simply choosing to avoid all (or most) packaged and processed foods. Check labels. If you do have to buy something that is packaged or canned, avoid added chemicals, sugars, and fats. Some brands are cleaner than others. 


2) Cook your own food – We all know that fast food is unhealthy, but many restaurants also include additives to their foods. While we can’t always cook at home, we can consider our choices when eating out, and even ask the chef for a special preparation if possible. 


3) Buy real vegetables – By eating real veggies, you can’t go wrong. Remember it’s okay to use frozen fruits and vegetables – just avoid purchasing any that are sauced. Buying frozen produce can help you save money, especially when they are out of season. As you are slowly moving your taste buds away from the chemicals that are in processed foods you will find that organic veggies are often tastier than those grown with pesticides. 


4) Choose unprocessed meats – Buying cuts of meat directly from your butcher, or supermarket will help you to eat clean. Avoid any precooked or pre-seasoned meat because it may include preservatives or MSG. If you want to take it to the next level, buying meat at your farmer’s market will help to insure it’s been raised without hormones or chemicals. 


5) Be patient with yourself – A little goes a long way! You don’t need to clean your diet up overnight; when faced with decisions about what to eat, consider the cleanest option. You might consider clean eating as a practice, just like going to the gym. The more you do it, the better you feel. 


Common sense reminder: Before you start any diet or nutrition plan, always talk to your doctor especially when planning to cut out entire food groups from your diet.