By Jennifer Smith, Natural Medicine Practitioner and Certified in Holistic Nutrition
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You might be asking 'What's clean eating cooking look like', and how is it different than the way I currently cook? 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.
The first thing you need to remember about clean eating 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. Some purists would say, instead of buying a bag of shredded cheese, you want to buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself.
But seriously, I have a family of 5 to feed and don't have the time. The biggest takeaway here is that you should be focusing on whole food items such as, an apple instead of applesauce. Don't make this too difficult on yourself. I'm all for keeping it simple.
If food prep isn't something you want to add to your to-do list, buy pre-chopped vegetables and shredded cheese. Try to use the harder cheeses like parmesan and romano cheeses which are less processed and don't contain added ingredients. Even if you have 20 or 30 minutes a night to cook, you can make clean eating work for you and your family.
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. Buying pre-sliced veggies from the produce section can sometimes add to your grocery bill, but if you find it necessary to stick with a clean eating menu, then it's probably worth a couple dollars. It is better to do everything yourself, if you can, so that you know it is fresh and you are saving money. Stop buying pancake mix, and make them from scratch, for example.
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.
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.
Learning these clean eating basics can help you reduce the effort needed to make clean eating part of your everyday life. Making the switch doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. Let me help you get started and learn how to make clean eating part of your life today! Book your free discovery call here and learn how we can work together to develop a plan.
Jennifer Smith, BA, NMP, CHN, FBCC
Jennifer Smith is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, and Faith-Based Clinical Counselor. She has a Bachelor's degree in Christian Counseling. She has completed advanced training in Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Natural Health Consultant diploma, Biblical natural medicine, and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition. Jennifer has a virtual Natural Medicine practice in Naples, FL called Fx Remedies Virtual Care.
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