As you begin your journey of clean eating, don’t forget the importance of meal planning! This will keep you from driving through McDonald’s or picking up a vending machine snack that is anything BUT clean. Here are some easy meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Don’t rule out something as simple as overnight oats. Oats themselves are usually approved by the clean eating diet, as long as they are prepared in a natural and fresh way. This means you shouldn’t use processed instant oatmeal and be careful about what you add to them. However, you can make them ahead of time, usually the night before, so it is convenience when you wake up the following morning with your oats in a mason jar all ready to eat. A basic overnight oats recipe consists of rolled oats, milk, and Greek yogurt. Try adding some organic honey and chia seeds to the oats as well.
If you take a peek around Instagram, you will notice that breakfast toast is very popular for people who are health-concisions, including those following a clean eating lifestyle. It started with avocado toast, which consists of mashed up avocado on whole grain bread, sometimes with a fried egg on top. However, you can make plenty of other healthy breakfast toasts according to what you have, such as almond butter with sliced fruit, salmon and hummus, or veggies with hummus on the toast. You really can add any of your favorite things, or even use large slices of sweet potato for the bread portion of the toast to make it even healthier.
Snack-Style Clean Lunch
This is such a fun and easy lunch to put together that you can even gather ingredients the morning before work and not spend too much time on it. Get a bag of whole wheat pita bread and a container of hummus. Since you are reducing your processed foods, making your own hummus really is preferred, and it is easy to make with a food processor. If you don’t have one, at least choose your container hummus wisely and look at the ingredients. Then you just need your favorite raw veggies in slices. Open up the pita, add some hummus, and layer the veggies. That’s all you need to do.
You can still eat sandwiches for lunch while clean eating, but re-think the ingredients you are using. To start with, stop using pre-sliced or processed meat and cheese for your sandwiches. Go to your grocery store’s deli section and get meat sliced right there. It will be fresh, much better for you, not processed, and you will be amazed by how much better it tastes. You can also get your cheese sliced in the deli, or you can buy a block of cheese and slice it up yourself. Remember that dairy is a borderline approved food with clean eating, so try to find cheese from grass-fed cows if you can.
If you don’t want to have cheese with your sandwich, homemade hummus is another great addition. Pile on the veggies onto your sandwich and use whole grain bread when you can. Wraps will be lower in carbs and only require a big lettuce leaf.
Go Simple with Protein and Carbs
a well-balanced meal while clean eating, choose a protein, vegetable,
and carbohydrate or just double veggies. In this case, you want to go
with rice but not just regular white steamed rice. It is better to go
with a whole grain, brown rice, or even a grain like quinoa. You can
choose any protein you like that fits the clean eating diet, such as
grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or lean steak. Choose any types of
veggies you like, whether you go with a classic steamed broccoli and
cauliflower mix, sautéed carrots, or garlic green beans.
Snacks and Desserts
On the clean eating diet, you are not supposed to have refined carbs, which unfortunately includes white flour. This is a processed type of flour that should be avoided. While you can still have other forms of flour, like whole wheat flour or coconut flour, you may also want to prepare a dessert with no flour at all. There is a version of banana bread that does just that. To make banana bread without the flour, you will use rolled oats, ripe bananas, baking soda, eggs, and maple syrup. Make sure when you are done baking it, that it is stored in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t spoil.
Fruit or Vegetable Chips
You can make your very own apple chips that can be used to replace potato chips as a snack, or even turned into a healthy dessert. All you need to do is slice up apples thinly, then add some ground cinnamon and a small amount of sugar. Lay them on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake for a couple hours, or until they turn into a chip that is slightly soft. You can eat these alone or dip them in any clean eating-approved dip or ice cream. They are great when dipped into banana nice cream, which is made from frozen bananas.
Keep in mind your dessert can be as simple as a few pieces of high cacao dark chocolate in the evening to satiate your sweet tooth.