My top clean eating non-negotiables? Every week, without fail, I make the time to:
Plan a week’s worth of meals that feature fresh produce (always lots of leafy greens), whole grains and almost no processed food. I get my inspiration from a variety of sources including Clean Eating Magazine, Vegetarian Times magazine, Clean Food cookbook and a host of other go-to cookbooks that I like to use.
- Go to the store and buy all the ingredients I need. Invariably, it always takes longer than I think so I generally plan for a couple of hours to get this done. Usually I go to one of two local health foods stores but I often need to pick up other items at the big box grocery store near us. Ideally, I try to plan and shop on either Friday or Saturday.
- Put aside time to cook on Sunday afternoons. I like to get a head start on meal prep for the week so I usually spend time making meals that my husband and I can enjoy for the first part of the week. This includes everything from cooking a pot of brown rice (a regular weekly staple), making a pot of soup (my weekly ritual during the cold weather months) and putting together a meal that we can eat on Sunday and Monday, at a minimum to get the week started. When I’m feeling even more ambitious, I often prep other items we’ll use during the week for meals or snacks.
Make no mistake, these three non-negotiables take time and commitment but like any other habit you may have, these are simply something I do and they’re part of my routine. Over time I eased into this routine so now it’s not hard to put it into practice.
The beauty is that I get to reap multiple benefits from my efforts:
- We eat delicious, fresh healthy food that fuels our many activities during the week
- We sit down to a home cooked meal and make time for conversation. Real food + no distractions = greater enjoyment and being present to all the wonderful flavors and textures
- We maintain a healthy weight. Less unhealthy snacking and more real food means maintaining our weight isn’t so hard. By making some simple changes and snacking less, Bruce has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of January
- I know what’s in my food! No unhealthy ingredients such as unneeded fat or sugar
- I’m not at a loss for what to eat during the week. With a game plan for the week, I have a simple plan for what we’ll eat and I don’t have to be wandering the aisles of the grocery store wondering what to buy
- We save a heap of money bhaving a plan and not ordering high priced takeout or going to the store without a list and racking up a large grocery bill
What are you clean eating non-negotiables? What are you committed to doing weekly, no matter what, to ensure you maintain a clean eating lifestyle that supports your health and longevity?