How Clean Eating Cooking is Different
How is clean eating cooking different than regular cooking? When it comes to the clean eating lifestyle, you are trying to reduce processed foods, cook more often, and have as many fresh ingredients as you possibly can. This means cooking is a little different, not just in the fact that more cooking is from scratch, but that you are also changing the ingredients you are using. Keep some of these cooking guidelines in mind.
Cooking Requires More Planning
The first thing you need to remember is that because you are cooking more, specifically from scratch, you need to plan a little bit better. While not all meals are going to take a lot of time to cook, you may be surprised by the extra groceries, ingredients needed for meals, and the prep work added on. For example, instead of buying a bag of shredded cheese, you want to buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. This isn’t difficult to do, but it does require a little extra time. Make sure you are really planning ahead of time.
You Cook Everything From Scratch
As mentioned already, most of your meals will be cooked from scratch. Even though some convenience foods aren’t too bad as far as fat and calories, they are processed and loaded with salt, which is not approved in the clean eating lifestyle. It is a better idea that you try to make everything from scratch. There are some exceptions, like buying pre-sliced veggies from the produce section, but this sometimes adds to your grocery bill. It is better to do absolutely everything yourself so that you know it is fresh and you are saving money. Stop buying pancake mix, and make them from scratch, for example.
Making Meals Ahead of Time Becomes Crucial
In addition to planning more for your clean eating lifestyle, you might also want to begin making some of your meals ahead of time. When you live a busy lifestyle, this really does help to avoid picking up fast food on the way home, skipping meals, or grabbing unhealthy snacks from the vending machine. Try to give yourself one day a week when you have time to grocery shop and meal plan, possible preparing some meals ahead of time for the refrigerator or freezer.
Buying in Bulk Helps to Save Money
If you need to save a little money on your grocery bill when switching to clean eating, try to buy in bulk when you can. There is more upfront to spend, but you save money in the long run. Things like meat, rice and grains, beans, and some spices or seasonings can be purchased in larger quantities.
Tips for Transitioning to a Clean Eating Diet
When you first switch to a clean eating diet it can be difficult to understand which foods are clean foods and which ones to avoid. When purchasing fresh foods always look for the organic varieties. Ensure the products are certified organic, chemical free, and in the case of meats, grass fed.
If you are brand new to the clean eating cooking, the following tips will help. They help you properly plan for a clean eating lifestyle and figure out how to properly transition into the lifestyle full time.
Track Your Current Diet
Before you begin to transition to a clean eating diet, it can be really helpful to take stock of what you currently eat. This helps because you know what foods you currently eat that are allowed on the clean eating diet, but also in what areas you struggle with the most. If you find that eating cheese is in about every meal, that should be the last to go. You might be better off with a more gradual transition, switching just one meal or snack a day at a time until eventually you eat all meals cleanly and reduce your cheese unless it comes from grass-fed cows. If you already eat a good amount of foods allows in the clean eating lifestyle, you can probably transition to it a bit faster.
Begin Gathering Recipes
Once you know what you can and can’t eat on a clean eating diet, you should start compiling recipes. Check online sites like Pinterest for ideas, buy cookbooks to keep at home, or get digital copies for your tablet and smartphone. You can also just check recipe sites and pay close attention to their titles and tags, as that will let you know if it is approved by a clean eating diet or not. Another good place for finding clean eating recipes is by checking out blogs specifically dedicated to clean eating. Also keep in mind that while there are some differences, keto and Paleo diets are pretty close, so check out blogs for those diets as well.
Start Replacing White Refined Carbs
This is a good way to begin making the transition to a clean eating lifestyle, since it is only a small change but makes a drastic difference. With clean eating, you can have some complex carbs, but you want to try and reduce your refined carbs as much as possible. To do this, begin by replacing all white bread, white rice, and white flour with whole wheat versions. For bread, go with a sprouted or whole grain bread, choose brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, and to reduce white flour, choose whole wheat pasta or brown rice pasta.
Tips for Saving Money on Clean Eating
Clean eating is going to require getting a lot more ingredients and cooking at home, so your grocery budget might look a little different at first. Keep in mind that a lot of ingredients you get seem expensive, but last more than one meal. Overall, you actually send up saving money when you aren’t buying processed and convenience foods, and eating out a lot less.
Stop Buying Pre-Made Foods
Even when you aren’t necessarily buying processed packaged foods, you can still have some pre-made or pre-cut food items and produce when you are on a clean eating diet. However, while these can be convenient for you, they also add to the overall cost of your produce. A container of whole mushrooms tends to be less money than those that are already sliced. This can seem like a small cost, but it adds up, and mushrooms are super easy to slice yourself. Stop buying anything that is pre-cut or pre-shredded. You will have fresh produce that tastes better and makes you feel better about how much work went into the finished dish.
Don’t Worry About Superfoods
Being on a clean eating diet doesn’t mean you need to worry about choosing those magical superfoods. Superfoods are simply foods that have a high nutritional content. Some of them are cheap and easy to find, like strawberries and kale, but the more specialty ones are expensive and not required for a well-balanced and healthy diet. Avoid the specialty superfoods like maca powder and chia seeds, as they really are not necessary when eating clean.
Buy Foods in Bulk Whenever Possible
Buying in bulk is a good way to save money for any type of diet, including clean eating. Sometimes it is hard to do because it requires a little extra money in the beginning, but it definitely pays off. You just need to be able to calculate the bulk price compared to the price if you bought less quantities. It also required a good amount of prep and meal planning to ensure nothing is wasted, otherwise you didn’t save anything and might have actually splurged too much. Things to buy in bulk include meat, beans, rice, and grains that are allowed on the clean eating diet. Some produce might also be purchased in bulk, particularly from farmer’s markets.
Eat Less Meat
Lean protein is definitely allowed on a clean eating diet, but it can also be expensive. To start with, change the type of meat you eat. You can choose a less expensive cut of steak instead of eating filet mignon, or just reduce the overall amount of meat in certain dishes and fill up on veggies and other proteins instead.
Our ancestors had no access to processed foods and so they always ate clean. To maintain a clean eating way of life you only need to change your mindset when it comes to the appropriate food and food shopping. If you are more of a greenthumb, you can try your hand at growing your own fruits and vegetables from home.