The foods you eat and buy on a clean diet are very different from what you’ve probably been eating so far. So many of us are used to pantries, fridges and freezers slammed full of processed convenience foods. Since those are off the menu, grocery shopping will become a very different experience. Here are a few tips to help make grocery shopping easier when you switch to a clean food diet.
Shop Local, or Grow Your Own Produce
When you eat clean, a big part of your diet will be made up of produce. The best way to get your fruits and vegetables is to grow them yourself. You can go all out and plant a garden, or start small with a few herbs and have a perpetual salad bowl on your counter. Nothing beats “grocery shopping” in your own backyard.
The next best thing is to find locally grown produce. Visit your local farmer’s market. Get to know the farmers in your area, or see if there’s someone in your neighborhood who gardens and is willing to barter or trade for fruits and vegetables. When you are able to find free or inexpensive produce locally, consider canning or freezing what you can’t use right away for later in the year.
Getting most of your produce this way will make your grocery shopping trips even quicker and easier.
Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
Much of what’s found in the center aisles of your local grocery is “food” you’ll no longer be buying or eating. Shop mainly around the perimeter of the store, sticking to produce, meat, dairy and the frozen department (for fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season).
Stay out of the center aisles to avoid temptation as much as possible. Grab the few items you need there and head to the cash register. Don’t even look at the candy in the checkout line.
Go in With a Plan
It helps to go shopping with a list. It will keep you focused, and you can make sure you won’t forget anything, particularly when you’re cooking new recipes. A list also helps keep you from cheating, since you can’t really buy what’s not on the list – unless it’s toilet paper, and then, by all means, buy some even if it isn’t on the list.
Don’t Go Hungry
Another helpful tip that works much better than you may suspect is to never go to the store hungry. I’m sure you’ve heard this one, but do you stick to it? It’s much easier to say no to frozen pizza or that box of doughnuts when you’ve just had a yummy veggie wrap. Go shopping after a meal, or at least have a substantial snack before you head to the store. It will do wonders for your willpower.
It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.
That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.
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