You can get started with clean eating in one of two ways:
- You can go cold turkey by eliminating junk food, refined sugar products, white flours products, fast foods, and processed foods from your diet – all at once.
- You can take a more gradual approach.
Both ways have advantages and disadvantages. Pick the one that is most suited for your personality and approach to life, and give it a try.
If you have the self-discipline and confidence to go cold turkey – go for it! If that doesn’t work for you, choose the more gradual approach.
The important thing is to CHOOSE and stay with it. AND . . . regardless of your choice, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP if you slip up here and there, particularly in the beginning.
The key to success is remembering that you are taking a significant step toward better eating habits that will improve your health and protect your magnificent body.
The first step is to answer two questions:
Why Are You Choosing a Clean Eating Diet?
In order to reach any goal, you must have a powerful personal reason for wanting to be successful. So, before you start, be sure you know why clean eating is important to you and your family. Write it down and keep it upper-most in your mind.
What Does Clean Eating Mean to You?
Be sure you understand the concept of clean eating and define what it means to you. If you are not clear on what you are trying to do – what you will and will not eat – it will be impossible to be successful.
To get you started, let’s look at the basics of a clean-eating diet:
- No processed food, junk food, or fast food
- Organic produce
- Free-range chicken and Cage-free eggs
- Grass-feed beef
- Raw dairy, if you can find it
From there you must decide what foods you want to cut completely from your diet.
White flour and refined sugar products are fairly easy. But, you must decide if you want to include whole wheat flour or cut out wheat completely. What about other grains? What about dairy? Will you include it, or not?
What are you willing to give up – and what are the “must keeps” for you?
- Go through all your cupboards, pantry and fridge and toss everything that is no longer on your approved food list. If you are going cold turkey, this is critical.
- Cold turkey may cause you to experience some withdrawal. Do not be surprised it you do not feel well and fight a headache for two or thee days. Your body may need an adjustment period to adapt to the cleaner food and to go through a detoxification process from all the junk you have been eating up to this point. The worse your diet has been – the worse your withdrawal can be.
- If tossing food in the trash goes against your grain, donate it to a food bank. Or – eat what you have and do not replace any of it. Do no allow processed or junk food to enter your house, or your stomach.
- Next, cut out all white flour and refined sugar.
- From there, gradually make more and more changes to your diet until you reach a level of clean eating that you can live with. It does not have to be all or nothing – any changes you make toward clean eating will be good for your health.
Drink Lots of Water
Drink lots of water – notice I said WATER. Sodas and energy drinks are absolutely NOT part of the diet. The only juice you should drink must be freshly-squeezed. Bottled/canned juices are essentially flavored sugar water and are filled with additives.
A cup or two (no more) of coffee each day is OK – if you are willing to stick with plain, organic coffee without sugar and sugary creamers. Herbal teas and lemon water are great alternatives to coffee.
The process you use to get you to a solid clean eating diet is not important. What is important is that you make the change. Regardless of the route you take, you will be amazed at how much better you feel on a clean, “close-to-nature” diet – in other words a diet filled with REAL FOOD.
You will also have more energy and a mental clarity that you may not have realized you were missing.
Good luck and ENJOY!