Just so we’re clear, I’m not here to tell you that you have to be healthy and eat all your greens 100% of the time. Because, while that is true, we both know it isn’t exactly possible all day, every day, because, girl, I don’t know about you, but I love food and crave the most indulgent foods, especially around the time of my period. So, here are 5 achievable ways (personally tried and tested) that you can try to encourage clean eating.
- Replace the easily replaceable
A lot of times, we don’t even know what we’re really consuming when it’s store-bought or take-out. Try looking at the ingredients before you swipe that card of yours because, in the long run, it will definitely cost you more than your bank balance! In fact, I’ve grown to realize that even on a budget, food is something that I never want to cut corners on because it’s something that’s going to have an effect on my body in the short and long run. After all, you are what you eat.
- Meal prep
I don’t know about you, but in my case, I’ve always turned to take-out, Dominos or instant ramen because cooking a whole meal from scratch? Eh, ain’t nobody got time for that! Well, that was when I discovered meal-prepping. Now, don’t get me wrong, the garlic knots, parmesan bites, and lava cake from Dominos will forever be on the top of my list of guilty pleasures — I just don’t resort to eating it every week anymore. I usually cut my veggies like carrots, cucumber, and red and yellow peppers right when I get them and store them in a mason jar with water so that they stay fresh and crunchy, and then when I’m ready for a quick lunch or snack, I simply take how much I want and eat it with some hummus or Tzatziki. One of the other hacks I swear by is buying the pre-cut veggies because it saves so much time and effort! Lastly, if you, like me, are a carbs-girl, I got you. The next time you’re making rice or quinoa, just make a little extra and store it in the refrigerator — it’ll have you covered for the next few meals.
- Have fun with your food
Honestly, I didn’t realize how fun it is trying new recipes and creating my own until the pandemic hit early last year. I’ve since become that person who just has pictures of food and recipes on my Instagram Explore. In fact, just last week I actually made cinnamon buns with tofu as the base, and it actually worked (crazy, I know!). The more I’ve been experimenting with food and cooking and adding healthier alternatives into the mix, the more fun it is, and it’s made me realize that healthy really doesn’t have to mean boring.
- Exercise on the regular/ stay active
I know this isn’t exactly about food and diet, but exercising and staying active, in my experience, is the best way to train your mind and body to stay on track, especially when you start seeing results! Exercising makes me feel stronger and makes me want to push my body to be the best version of itself. This naturally just makes me want to eat cleaner through the week (for the most part).
- Don’t deprive your body
I can’t stress this one enough. Clean eating does not mean cutting out foods cold-turkey! It means eating what you want, in moderation. If you feel like eating some chocolate, go eat that chocolate, so long as it’s not an everyday thing. Depriving your body of what it wants could actually result in you going overboard when you do actually end up eating it, which is way worse for you! So, eat your greens, but know that it’s also okay for you to cheat your greens (sometimes) — you’ve earned it!