Creating and following a clean eating meal plan is very simple. The idea of “clean eating” means consuming foods in their most natural state, or as close to whole and pure as possible. It's eating oatmeal with raisins rather than an oatmeal raisin cookie. Or, a fresh apple with a handful of walnuts rather than an apple walnut muffin.
This back-to-basics approach helps keep meal plans uncomplicated, with recipes that have few ingredients and are simple to prepare. If you want to create a stir-fry with 10 different vegetables and 20 herbs and spices, go ahead.
But, you don't have to be a great cook to adopt a clean eating lifestyle. And, besides being healthy, it is actually quite inexpensive.
Packaged and prepared foods can be very costly
so you will probably notice that your grocery bill goes down when you begin
eating more natural and whole foods. Plan your meals to include local seasonal
produce, and your food costs will shrink even more.
A clean eating meal plan is based on a few basic principles which include:
Eat only whole natural foods that have nothing added and nothing
Eat foods made with “real food” ingredients – ones you recognize.
If you wouldn't find it in your kitchen or you wouldn't use it in your recipes
then it probably isn't good for you. Do you have enzyme modified egg, microcrystalline
cellulose, propylene glycol, or carrageenan in your pantry?
Limit processed foods and products containing refined sugars or
flours, food coloring, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives or a high
Limit alcohol, except for one glass of red wine per day.
Old-fashioned or steel-cut oats topped with fresh berries and a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt, or sliced apples, cinnamon and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. 1 tsp of pure maple syrup may be added.
Sprouted grain or whole grain cereal with 3/4 cup organic milk and topped with 1/2 banana or a handful of fresh berries.
Sprouted grain or whole grain toast with almond butter and 1/2 banana. A glass of organic milk or milk substitute (almond, coconut, soy) or 1/2 cup organic plain Greek yogurt drizzled with raw honey.
Buckwheat porridge topped with fresh fruit and sliced almonds. 1 tsp of pure maple syrup and/or a 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt may also be added.
One egg topped with salsa or sauteed veggies such as onions, spinach, bell peppers, celery, or mushrooms. 1 piece of sprouted grain or whole grain toast with organic butter.
Scrambled egg with 1 small potato cut into bite-sized pieces and sauteed in olive oil. Add a serving of sauteed veggies such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers topped with a Tbsp of grated cheese. Sliced fresh fruit may replace veggies.
Homemade granola mixed with plain Greek yogurt and topped with fresh fruit.
Smoothie made with fresh fruit, veggies, organic yogurt, and healthy spices. 1/4 cup of nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews).
Clean Eating Lunch Suggestions
Salad made with mixed greens (kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, chard), avocado, chopped veggies, sliced chicken, sunflower seeds and olive oil dressing.
Whole grain wrap with sliced chicken breast, homemade avocado mayonnaise or guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and organic cheese (or substitute).
Homemade soup – white bean and veggie, minestrone, butternut squash. Depending on the type of soup, you can add 1 piece of whole grain bread/roll or 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.
Spinach salad with onion, sliced red peppers, feta cheese, your choice of quinoa/navy beans/chick peas/lentils, and tossed with balsamic vinegar and herbs.
Turkey burger on a whole grain bun with a mixed greens salad or sliced veggies.
Whole grain or gluten-free pasta salad with zucchini, red peppers, grape tomatoes, blanched green beans, blanched asparagus (optional), sliced carrots, and chives. Toss with a dressing made from avocado, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and spices.
Quinoa salad with black beans, green onions, chopped veggies, cumin, chili powder, and olive oil.
Chicken breast with roasted potatoes, carrots, parsnips and turnips. 1 cup steamed seasonal vegetables (or veggies of your choice).
Turkey chili with a garden salad.
Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa or rice and sauteed carrots, zucchini, shredded cabbage, onions, spices, and homemade tomato paste.
Ground turkey/chicken or grated organic cheese may be added if desired.
3 oz grass-fed beef, sliced and sauteed with onions and shiitake mushrooms. Serve over brown rice with 1 cup seasonal steamed veggies (or vegetable of your choice).
Baked salmon with grilled veggies (bell peppers, celery, zucchini), sweet potato, and a garden salad.
Rosemary chicken with roasted mini potatoes and steamed veggies.
Eggplant Parmesan with organic cheese and homemade marinara sauce. Serve with a sprouted grain or whole grain roll.
Sliced chicken or turkey breast sauteed with onion, tomato, bell peppers, olive oil. Serve over whole grain pasta tossed with pesto sauce.
Spaghetti squash with garlic, mushrooms, organic cheese, and homemade marinara sauce.
Clean Eating Snack Suggestions
Sliced vegetables with hummus
Homemade trail mix or granola bars
Hard boiled eggs
Greek yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with fresh fruit and chopped nuts.
Sliced apples with almond butter or pure peanut butter.
Whole grain crackers and organic cheese or hummus
Guacamole and sliced veggies
Clean Eating Meal Plan
When it comes to following a clean eating meal plan, any combination of whole healthy foods will work. Like any other meal plan, it is important to keep it balanced to ensure that you get enough vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum