When my mom and I decided to change our lifestyle because of her cancer diagnosis, I decided that I was going to have to have as much fun with this as possible. So far, we’ve found that we really enjoy the hunt. It’s great to take our health into our own hands and feel like we’re gaining a sense of control.
Do Your Research
Chances are if you are really doing your research, the way you think about food actually changes. I would say 90% of the items in my grocery cart come from the peripheral areas of the store now (produce and refrigerated items). That’s because real food isn’t meant to have a shelf life as old as you. That stuff isn’t food no matter what you say. A shift in mindset is the biggest way to make this easier on yourself.
Commit to the Purge
The more we read, the more we felt differently about food. It was time to do a purge. First things first, the refrigerator. Next, we conquered the pantry, cabinets, and dry storage. Anything we had labeled “bad” was out. Pasta and bread items, processed foods, condiments we didn’t need, meat, dairy, it was all going.
Establish Your Values
Very soon after we changed our diet, I remember standing in the produce section and seeing that regular blueberries were on sale. 2 for $5. Organic blueberries were $5 per container and the container was smaller. We looked at each other and had this moment of but the regular blueberries are so much cheaper. Right there we made the decision that buying organic was one of our values even if it is more expensive. Stick to your values and figure it a way to make it work. When you’re eating clean, you’re not just buying food, you’re making an investment in your health.
Get Excited About Trying New Things
Through all of the research we’ve done on food, we’ve found new ingredients and recipes. Take note of the things you’re sure you’ll love or are curious about. For the first couple months, we committed to trying 1 new recipe every week. If possible, we make more than enough and freeze it for lazy nights. For example, one night we made these black bean sweet potato veggie burgers from Kris Carr’s cookbook — amazing.
Take a Trip
You’ve done your research, gotten rid of all of the junk, decided on your values, and found some new things you’re excited about. Now it’s time to head to the store and replenish your kitchen with good healthy things that you and your body will love.
Make the Kitchen Your Happy Place
Transforming the kitchen has been crucial for me. Every opportunity I have to create a positive experience in my kitchen, I take it. Every couple of weeks I make a small purchase that adds to the experience of eating well. I love a well-organized kitchen. So items like greensavers, fridge binz, or tea storage containers have been perfect purchases for me. I also make sure that I always have my favorite foods and ingredients in stock. Matcha? Check! Real vegetable chips? Check! Dark chocolate? Check!
Set goals for yourself and preplan rewards for when you succeed. Each month, I’ll make a larger purchase like a spiralizer or a food processor (I bought a small one, but after using it, I really wish I had gotten a bigger one). Just recently, I bought glass food storage containers and an ice cream maker so I can satisfy that nagging sweet tooth in a healthier way. Side note, check out the blueberry lavender ice cream I made when I first got it. Yes, it is as good as it looks, and I previewed this on Insta Stories, so if you’re not following me over there, join the party!
Allow Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Anyone who knows me well knows I love good food. Meat, dairy, gluten and all. When I started this journey, I decided that most of my meals would be at home and that everything I bought from the store would be clean. However, when I’m out, I give myself a little freedom. This has been very revealing. Almost every time I’ve broken my new normal while out, I’ve regretted it. I don’t feel well, I get bloated, I can’t sleep… it’s just not fun. Here’s the cool thing about that: I’m gradually seeing that by cutting certain things out of my diet, I’m not depriving myself of anything. I see how my body reacts and then I want to make the healthiest decision.
Remember That You’re in Transition
You’re learning how to do a big part of your life differently. It takes time to settle into a rhythm. Parts of it might not be the most fun, you’re gonna cheat every now and then, and some days you’re gonna forget to take supplements or work out. Just breathe and remember: progress over perfection.
Grab a Buddy
Having someone on your team is crucial. Case in point: me and mom. I don’t know if either of us would be able to do this alone. We tag team everything: grocery shopping, research, recipes. You’re gonna need encouragement and you’re gonna need accountability.
I want to hear from you! How do you make clean eating fun?
Feature Image via A Beautiful Plate
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