How To Start Eating Clean

Wondering how to start eating clean?

When you first get started with eating clean, the idea can quickly become a bit overwhelming. If you are used to packaged and processed foods, the transition can be a tough one for some people. But it’s by no means impossible! In fact, if done correctly, it can be relatively painless! And no, it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune to get started either. You can ease your way into it which is definitely easier on you as well as your wallet. So here are a few easy steps to help you learn how to start eating clean.

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  1. If eating 5-6 meals a day is your goal, plan 3 regular sized meals, and then split them in half and spread them out every few hours until you get used to the idea of frequent, smaller meals. You want to increase the number of meals without increasing your caloric intake.
  2. Keep ingredients simple. Use herbs and spices to get flavoring. This is not the time to try out that vegetable you’ve never seen or heard of before. Stick to basics and keep your meals very basic. Think broccoli, chicken breast and brown rice. Once you get the hang of it, you can branch out.
  3. Pick a few recipes from this site or others that you’d like to try for the week. Trying one or two new recipes per week will help you start to get the hang of the cooking without it getting totally overwhelming.
  4. Plan leftovers!! It makes lunch time (and sometimes even dinner) so much easier if you already have some food ready to go.
  5. Make a list of clean snacks that you enjoy. (Check out the snack info graphic in my Pinables page!)
  6. Each week, when you do your grocery shopping, switch out at least one ingredients in your kitchen or pantry as they run out. So for example, when the white rice runs out, buy brown rice. When the white pasta runs out, replace it with a 100% whole grain pasta.
  7. If exercise is relatively new to your daily routine, start slow. It’s easy to get overly excited and go hog wild your first few days. But you won’t keep it up if you do that. Start with something easy, and work your way up.
  8. If you don’t already have one, purchase a small cooler that you can carry your food in.
  9. Create a Clean Eating Emergency Kit for your car and/or office.
  10. Most importantly, expect and plan for mistakes. Making mistakes is more a frame of mind than anything else. If you know you will make them, expect them and plan for them, they won’t completely derail your best efforts. If you find you’ve purchased or eaten something that isn’t clean, do better at the NEXT MEAL. Not tomorrow, not next week. The next meal. That, in and of itself, will determine a large part of your success with clean eating. It’s persistence and perseverance that will help you reach your goals, and handling mistakes is a huge part of that. You won’t be perfect from the get go, and you’ll even make mistakes after doing this for years. I know I do. So be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to make the next meal clean. It really is that simple.


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  1. Thanks I’m ready to start eating cleaner!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shawanda – Fantastic! You’ll do great!

  2. thank you for this I want to start eating cleaner for sure.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Becca – My pleasure! Just take it one day at a time.

  3. I would also add, clean out your pantry! LOL. I had to clean out all the ingredients/items that were not clean and were are no longer eating! I gave a huge bag of stuff to my sister and some stuff was out of date or close. Our pantry got a huge overall when we decided to start eating clean!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Monica – Absolutely!