How To Eat Clean in 10 Easy Steps – A Beginner’s Guide

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There’s a lot of hype at the moment around clean eating and the popular plant based diet, mostly positive, but some of it negative.

Some have taken clean eating too far by watching every morsel that goes into their body and end feeling generally miserable in the process.

Many of us are at information overload. We are told that certain foods are good for us one day, then the next there is something new and better that comes along to confuse us.

In this post, we will talk about how to eat clean foods in 10 easy steps that will keep our bodies strong and healthy for a lifetime. And, this beginner’s guide will show you exactly how to do that with simple tactics and minimal fuss.

Why Eat Clean?

It has to be good to eat foods in their whole natural form as Mother Nature intended, surely?

Eating foods in their natural state and with minimal processing will help you to lose excess fat and tone up, along with physical exercise. You are also less likely to be affected by stress, anxiety and depression, have more energy, a clear mind, and you’ll probably knock years off your physical appearance too!

Keep it simple

When it comes to diet, it’s pretty easy – just keep it SIMPLE. Yes, there are some foods that should be classed as superfoods for the simple fact they really do contain superior amounts of antioxidants and nutrients at much higher levels than other foods. It’s these that you need to concentrate on and eat in abundance.

The term ‘superfood’ is overused

The problems arise when food companies overuse this term to sell overpriced priced products. Or, try to make you believe that you actually need those obscure berries that can only be found in the heart of the Amazon rain forest.

It’s easy to buy into this; and to some extent these berries probably do contain their own unique qualities. After all, Nature put all of these wonderful things on our earth for a reason. They are there for us to eat, but a lot of foods that also deserve superfood status can in fact be bought down your local supermarket for a fraction of the price.

To find out which, check out these top 10 budget friendly superfoods.

Cheap and easy to source superfoods

superfood signsTake a trip to your local greengrocers and you will find an abundance of superfoods. These include blueberries, broccoli, beetroot, garlic, pomegranates, green tea and avocados. Many of which are cheap and easy to prepare. Most can simply be eaten raw and in their natural state for more convenience and an even higher nutritional value.

Some people like to use the excuse that they just can’t afford to eat healthily. But, that’s usually either just an excuse, or a lack of knowledge about healthy food sources. You can buy foods such as sweet potatoes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrains for the same price, if not less, than most junk foods, in most areas of the world these days.

You can make a cheap, healthy and well-rounded meal out of a baked potato and a tin of chili or baked beans. Add a side portion of broccoli and you have a compete meal

The Plant Based Diet And Health

The plant based diet can not only saved you money, but improve your health, give you more energy, less body fat, clearer thinking, and much better quality sleep. This lifestyle works best for those who are educated on food combining, OR know how to build a well-rounded meal with plenty of plant proteins and complex carbs.

If you don’t take the time to do this, then you may miss out on vital nutrients and amino acids, thus completely defeating the object of healthy eating.

10 STEPS TO EATING CLEAN

Here are 10 things you can start doing today to help you feel healthier, happier and more vibrant than you have ever experienced. And most importantly, by doing these things for yourself and your family, you will be helping them to live longer happier lives too!

Take things one step at a time, you will learn as you go along. And, you will be building new habits and changing your taste buds for LIFE. You won’t be perfect at first, but that doesn’t matter because every little change really does add up over time.

Adopt the ideal 90/10 approach to a healthy lifestyle. Then you still have room for treats and the things you enjoy, as you will be crowding out the unhealthy foods with the healthy ones.

Sugar Addiction

woman eating doughnut

To start your health kick, you will be adopting a much lower GI diet (glycemic index is a food rating system which is a measurement of how quickly a foods sugar’s enter the bloodstream).

Junk foods are high GI, and is the reason why they give you that instant sugar fix that you crave. But, inevitably you will crash quickly and be left wanting more. And, so the vicious cycle begins…

It’s this dangerous ‘sugar high’ that is the root cause of so many modern day diseases.

Too much sugar leads to chronic inflammation in the body. And, chronic, long-term inflammation is cited as the probable underlying cause of most of today’s inflammatory diseases. Therefore, cutting down drastically really is the only option if you want to help protect yourself.

MEAL PANS

1. CLEARING OUT THE JUNK

The first and most important step on your clean eating journey is to get rid of foods that are high in saturated fats, salt, preservatives and sugar. This, unfortunately, can sometimes mean pretty much everything in your cupboard!

You can do this over time, of course. We’re not saying you should just throw food away if you’re uncomfortable with that (you can always donate to your local food bank). And, if you’re on a budget you may not be able to simply clear everything out at once.

But, one thing you can do is to use up what you have. Then gradually replace those food items with healthier versions as you go along. Doing this also allows you to make those gradual changes that seem to stay far more readily for the long term.

Foods to ditch from your diet

  • Oils, such as vegetable oil, corn oil, animal fats or lard
  • High fat/salt crisps, chips and snacks
  • Frozen junk foods such as ready meals, fries, pizza, hotdogs, and anything battered or deep-fried
  • Refined sugars like those found in chocolate, cakes, sweets and biscuits
  • Drinks such as fizzy pop, concentrated fruit juices and flavoured waters
  • Most breakfast cereals contain massive amounts of sugar, colours, flavours and preservatives
  • Hidden refined sugars, which may come under the names of glucose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, cane sugar or brown sugar (These are the the most common types of sugar, but there are more that have chemical names, especially the sugar substitutes. Find a full list of the chemical names for sugar here).
  • You need to check labels on EVERYTHING! Even the things you believe to be a savory product can be loaded with sugars, chemicals, colours, flavourings and preservatives. Some of the worst offenders are pre-made sauces such as ketchup, barbecue, chili, canned or jarred pasta sauces; and even gravy powders and stock cubes – yes seriously! The the amount of savoury products that contain sugar is literally JAW dropping!

Try not to become overwhelmed

At this point, you may start to see the scale of the problem and become overwhelmed. This is totally natural and means you’re at the point of turning a corner. It’s easy to see now how so many people suffer from type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in the face of this bombardment of sugar in everything we eat. 

In fact, we are in the middle of an epidemic for all of these diseases. And, many are caused by too much sugar, along with hydrogenated trans fats.

Just getting rid of some of the more obvious unhealthy items such as bad fats and refined sugars would be a great start. You will be half way there from just doing this alone. Then add in some of the budget friendly superfoods such as those on the list below, and you will pretty much be all the way there.

plant based meal plans

2. REPLACE WITH THE GOOD STUFF

Sounds simple, and it is. You can replace all of the bad foods you have got rid of with these alternatives below. You don’t have to do it all at once, just replace as you go along. Then, with every shopping trip you will be getting closer to a healthier, cleaner food pantry that you can be proud of.

Healthy foods to add into your diet:

  1. Coconut oil, olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil (all in very small amounts, and only when absolutely vital to a dish). You can use coconut and normal olive oil for cooking. Then extra virgin olive oil cold in salad dressings, or any other use that doesn’t require over heating. Some oils turn rancid and can produce trans fats when reused or heated to high temperatures. Coconut and olive oil remain more stable, and are therefore a good, healthier swap. Here are some coconut oil use examples: Homemade popcorn popped in coconut oil, baked tortilla chips, homemade vegetable crisps, vegetable stir-frys, roasted vegetables and raw chocolate (see Youtube video at the bottom of this post for a recipe).
  2. Dried, no added sugar fruit, dark chocolate (70% cacoa minimum), homemade protein rich muesli, fruit, and homemade healthier versions of biscuits and cakes where YOU can be in control of ingredients. Try this healthier Betty Crocker Copycat Devil’s Food Cake.
  3. Frozen vegetables, frozen fruits, frozen baked potatoes, and healthier options of ready meals are usually available if you can’t live without these convenience foods. Luckily, most big supermarkets do have healthier frozen ready meal options these days due to such popular demand (phew).
  4. Drinks – go for healthy green tea, fizzy water with a squeeze of lemon, coconut water, vegetable juices and these other metabolism boosting drinks.
  5. If you eat animal products, then go for only lean meats or poultry (organic/grass fed where possible), and oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, herring, mackeral or trout. Buying organic meats can be expensive. This is why we advocate swapping a lot of your protein for pulses, quinoa, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, and to head towards a more alkaline plant based way of eating. Also, most plant based foods are much healthier than their animal alternatives.
  6. Dairy products can be laden with all sorts of added sugars, so go for plain coconut or soya yogurt (you can add your own sweeteners such as raw maple syrup and fruit). Same goes for milk, but you can go for milk alternatives such as oat, almond, soya, rice or coconut to name just a few. They seem to be milking everything these days!
  7. Buy fresh, in season fruits, vegetables and salads as they are often cheaper. Eat them as raw or lightly cooked as possible as most raw foods are healthier. Steaming and very quick stir frying are preferable because these cooking methods hold in more nutrients.
  8. With every meal you make, always be sure to include some side vegetables or fruits.
  9. Buy tinned or dried legumes such as cannellini beans, baked beans, haricot beans, black beans, butter beans or chick peas to add to soups and stews instead of meat. This is a much more cost effective and healthier alternative. Try this Minestrone Soup Recipe.
  10. Nuts, seeds and nut butters (just check they are sugar and palm oil free), wholegrain breads, pasta, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, cracked wheat, bulgur wheat and millet are great, complex carb sources. You may feel bloated or sleepy after eating wheat products or gluten. If so, then stick to rice, potatoes, pulses, lentils, buckwheat and quinoa as your carb sources.
  11. Sweeteners such as xylitol, stevia, coconut sugar, brown rice, date and maple syrups can all be used as an alternative to sugar. But, most are still free sugars, meaning they are not attached to the whole food source. Their fibres and other nutrients have been taken out, making them high GI. This is unlike eating a whole piece of fruit that still has all its fibre, so therefore they still need to be used in moderation.
  12. Green superfood powders are a LIFE SAVER when you haven’t had your daily quota of fruits and vegetables. A superfood shot every day will help you to be sure you are getting everything you need. Plus, they really give you an energy and skin boost that is noticeable within about 20 minutes. Pure, green raw nutrition, you just can’t beat it.

3. CHECK LABELS SCRUPULOUSLY

nutritional profile

Get into the habit of checking labels for everything, as this will help educate you on exactly what is in the food you’re eating. A rule of thumb is, if you don’t know what an ingredient is and it’s not a natural food as you know it, then it’s probably an artificial preservative, flavouring or sweetener.

As you start to eat clean you will notice that you rarely need to worry about this kind of problem anymore. This is because you will be eating mostly wholesome, natural foods in the first place.

4. CHECK YOUR PORTION SIZES

Most of us are used to having way too big a portion when it comes to meals. Even when you’re eating clean you will still need to have portion control, as many healthy foods are still jammed full of calories. Just think oils, nuts and seeds for a start.

The best thing to do is to listen to your body and STOP eating before you are really full. A good tip is to make the bulk of your meals from fruits and vegetables. These help fill you up and trigger your fullness hormone leptin, which signals to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat.

5. THE 90/10 FORMULA

We like to use the 90/10 formula to leave room for the luxuries and little treats that make your world go round. And, why not? Life’s for living after all, and you can have a little of what you fancy without negative side effects, if you’re good 90% of the time.

When you say to yourself “I can’t ever have this food again”, whatever it may be, you will immediately crave it. With the 10% leeway this isn’t an issue. And, as your body gets healthier, you will find these cravings more than likely disappear anyway.

6. SUGAR CRAVINGS

Sugar cravings happen to the best of us (especially if hormones have anything to do with it) and is EXACTLY the reason why the 90/10 rule is in place. It’s for those times, when, for whatever your reason, you cave in to temptation.

We all crave something sweet every now and then, it’s only natural (especially if we are stressed or tired), so don’t beat yourself up over it. The body simply wants to find the quickest and easiest way to fuel itself for instant energy, and so it craves the instant gratification of SUGAR!

Giving in to this temptation does make you feel better in the short term, sure. But, in the long term, not so good. Giving in to sugar cravings just sets you up on a cycle of a high, then the inevitable crash. And, it’s this fluctuating blood sugar that leads to the belly fat storage that most of us desperately want to avoid.

If you really have to have something sweet, then go for sugar substitutes such as xylitol, stevia, coconut sugar and maple syrup. But, these should still be used in moderation only as they are still basically sugar.

Yes, you CAN eat chocolate!

woman eating chocolate

When in the middle of a sugar craving that you just can’t shake by other distraction methods, eat a teaspoon of maple syrup, coconut sugar, or a tablespoon of this healthy homemade frosting. This is by far better than any other junk foods.

You can even make your own sugar free chocolate with Xylitol, cacao powder and coconut oil. This also kills sugar cravings, and is a real treat at the same time. You can also add nuts, seeds and dried fruits for variety. 

If you would like, or need more top tips on giving up sugar, then check out this helpful post for tips on quitting sugar.

Here is a short video that explains the exact effects sugar has on the body. It’s not nice, but it’s enough to make you want to make some changes ASAP!

7. FOOD COMBINING FOR SATIETY

Learning how to combine foods properly will be of massive benefit to you if you would like long term success with clean eating. Foods high in protein should be combined with low GI carbohydrates, a little fat, and some lightly steamed or stir-fried vegetables for a well-rounded nutrient profile.

Eat LOTS of quinoa!

When you learn the art of correct food combining, your sugar levels will remain stable. This means you will be much less likely to crave unhealthy snacks and SUGAR. This is your ultimate goal – to be eating in such a manner that you no longer desire sugary or high carb snacks between meals because your blood sugar is always on an even keel.

Quinoa is pretty much the ultimate superfood in this respect as it contains perfect ratios of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids. So, try to make this fantastic grain a big part of your clean eating plan.

You can use it to make quinoa porridge for breakfast as the perfect start to the day. It’s tasty cooked in stock or water, and eaten as a lower carb side to replace rice, pasta or potatoes.

Add cold in salads of all kinds as it is a great replacement for couscous.

8. TAKE YOUR OWN FOOD TO WORK

healthy lunch box

Sometimes healthy eating can be hard in the workplace. This is why you should consider saving leftovers from your healthy dinner the night before to take to work for your lunch.

Or, just make your own sandwiches, salads, pastas, veggie sticks, hummus, or whatever other healthy snacks you enjoy and pop them in your lunchbox.

Not only will you save a fortune (especially if you usually buy lunch out), but you will also know exactly what went into you food. You’ll also have complete control over your fat, salt and sugar intake.

Another possible good outcome from doing this is more often than not, you’ll find workmates following suit!

9. EAT A RAINBOW

Not literally of course, but do eat a rainbow of food colours every day. For example: Dark berries, leafy green vegetables, fruits, and other vegetables, plus red tomatoes and colourful bell peppers are all vibrant, strong colours.

It’s the different colour pigments of these fruits and veggies that is where their antioxidants and phytochemicals lie. These antioxidants are important for fighting the free radical damage done to your body by trans fats, smoking, air pollution, alcohol and pesticides to name just a few of the damaging offenders.

All of these, and many other toxins we are exposed to daily, can lead to an unnatural chemical assault on our poor, over-taxed detoxification system.

Try to eat at least 7-10 portions a day of different fruits and vegetables to help negate this aging, disease promoting damage.

10. EATING OUT

Sometimes being a clean eater can have its challenges, that’s for sure! And, eating out with friends and family may be another one of them. This is specially true if they don’t share your healthy eating habits.

Fortunately, these days it is so much easier as most menus will usually have healthy options. OR, they are more willing to knock something up especially to suit your needs if you ask.

The basic rule is to stay away from the deep-fried dishes. Instead of chips or fries, order a jacket potato, new potatoes, a side salad or some vegetables and you can’t go far wrong. If that sounds too boring, you still have your 90/10 rule for such occasions to go ahead and have that slice of chocolate cake for desert. 

PLANT BASED MEAL PLAN

CONCLUSION

Thanks for visiting ZestForever today!

We hope this post has offered you some valuable insights into clean eating.

Please remember that if you decide to go completely plant based or vegan, then you will more than likely need these 3 extra nutrients in order to stay as healthy as possible.

Share this post with your friends.

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52 thoughts on “How To Eat Clean in 10 Easy Steps – A Beginner’s Guide”

  1. Awesome article and some solid advice here.

    Gotta agree that putting the junk on halt is a superb way of eating healthier. But the biggest culprit is being busy and not having time, especially during lunch break.

    For this reason I agree with you 100% that bringing food is much better. And it will save you some cash in the long run.

    1. Hi Simon, yes it’s true that even if you just cut out junk food then that would be a fantastic start to your healthy eating regime. Like I say in the article, it is better to start of in bite size chunks (excuse the pun), and that way you are more likely to stick to the changes. 

  2. This is an informative article. With all the buzz about ‘Healthy Living’ the 10 steps that you have written are very important to those who want to practice a healthy lifestyle.I know it can be challenging to eat clean but, it is possible.

    It is a good suggestion for one to take his food to work. The only way you can be certain about what you are eating is to prepare your own meals. Eating clean also means that you have to limit the number of times you eat out with friends. I know a young lady who has to take a salad with her if she is going out to eat with friends.
    Your article shows that you have done a good research. I enjoyed reading it.

    1. Hi Luna, thank you so much for your comment, it is really appreciated. Yes, taking food to work is something I do all the time and I know it has saved me a fortune. You could easily have a good holiday every year on the money you can save just doing this alone.

      I understand the feeling of taking your own food out to restaurants, but fortunately in the past few years as healthy eating has gained huge popularity, most if not all places (even fast food joints) will have a if not healthy then ‘healthier’ option. This is another reason yet again for the 90/10 rule, so you have some leeway for such occasions. The rest we just learn as we go.

  3. Well done! I have been cleaning up my diet this past year and I do feel a lot better. I read a book by J.J. Virgin which brought a lot of what I was doing into perspective. Your article condenses it. Have you thought of writing a cook book to go along with this site?
    I bet that you have an awesome garden. Best to you and Thanks.

    1. Hi Ken, it’s fantastic that my article has helped you. And that is the aim of my website, to condense things and make them as easy to follow as possible for people. Funny enough, yes I really have thought about writing a book, and that is one of the reasons I set up this website so I can get some traffic and followers before I do so.

      Gosh, I can see I just have SO much work to do, but i absolutely love it! And as for the garden, I actually live in a flat so unfortunately I don’t have one at the moment, but one day I will so I can grow all my own organic veg. Oh heaven.

  4. Hi Stephanie.
    What an informative article. All of this information is pretty much the guidebook/bible for anyone that wants to change their lifestyle and start eating healthily. What I like the most about it is that it’s not one of those diet fads that come and go, it’s proper nutritional advise showing us how we used to eat 100-200 years ago (without so much choice of course) and before all the processed foods and all the giant food corporations “took over the world”.
    You can really tell that you are very passionate about this and you want as many people as possible to benefit from all the amazing health and energy advantages to be had.
    Great article that has been very well written with totally relevant images too.

    1. Hi Fermin, thank you so much for your praise of my article, it has really made my day. It always feels good to know you are helping others and as you say I am passionate about it because clean eating changed my life. I suffered from severe depression and by doing all the things that I write about here it 100% made me better.

      I just feel there are so many people in the world who suffer needlessly when the cure for them also, may be this simple lifestyle change. And this knowing drives me forward every day.

  5. Read your page and got inspired. I always wanted to eat well but wasn’t sure how and I always feel sick. So I tried doing the clean eating diet. I cook all my meals and prepare them a head of time and that helps me not to eat the bad things. Very helpful tips. Great job.

    1. Hi Marlene, thanks for reading and getting inspired, that’s just great! I am sorry to hear that you are sick, but I am sure if you follow the tips here you will start feeling better. Exercise is also very important to feeling good and goes hand in hand with good nutrition so you should also bear that in mind. Good luck to you on your clean eating journey!

  6. I never head 90/10 formula before and I was wondering how much I can eat junk food. I actually do Intermittent Fasting and is this also suitable for people who do Intermittent Fasting?

    1. Hi Furkan, yes the 90/10 formula is quite popular as it allows for those treats that you may crave, rather than thinking you can never have any of them again which will only set you up for failure. I am so into healthy eating now that I never crave those things anymore anyway. However, I save my 10% for when I want the odd glass of wine with friends as I’m definitely not giving that up completely as I enjoy it, And that’s how you find balance, by still being able to have what you enjoy but in moderation.

      And yes, of course, this would be a more than suitable way to eat when not fasting as it is still super healthy.

  7. Brilliant post Stefanie!
    You talk my language. Eating healthy is not that hard once you commit and realise what the alternative is down the track. I love juicing and fasting. We go every Saturday to the local fruit and vegie markets and get our weekly supply.

    Your tips are spot on and I focus on the 90/10 rule. Great rule.

    Keep the posts coming. Kev

    1. Hi Kev, I love to hear that you are into juicing and fasting. I love juicing but I have never fasted, I have heard that it is great but i just love my food too much that I can’t imagine going without even one meal. Is that bad? I watched your youtube channel and saw you going around that great farmers market in Palm Beach. I live in Britain so it all just seems like a far flung dream to be in such a lovely, sunny place haha.

      1. Thanks Stef, its a beautiful place where we live for sure. I fast for 7 days at the start of each season. Gives my digestive system a break and increasing the healing in your body. Well worth a try. Come visit sometime.

        1. Hi Kevin, yes I know I really should have a go at fasting, especially as I would love to lose a few pounds. I’m entering the Elite Fitness bikini competition at the end of April next year as a challenge for myself to get slimmer, fitter and healthier but I know I have a way to go to get to the level I need to be at and fasting may be the answer.

          Oh gosh, yes I would love to visit where you are and it is definitely on my to do list. I seem to have quite a few friends who I chat to online that come from California so I need to do a road trip and visit everyone. That would be great!

  8. This is really great information. Surprisingly I do most of what you have listed already. I think because of my health issues, it tends to keep me on the right path for sure. The 90/10 rule is a great rule. I am going to try and do this with my son. He does have a sweet tooth, and he really needs to stay away from sugar for various reasons. Heck, I do too, but I love dark chocolate, so I just have to watch my portions.

    I also did not know to pair protein with low G.I. carbohydrates. I am also not sure what low G.I. carbohydrates are? Would this be simple carbohydrates? Great information!

    1. Hi Leahrae, I am a massive dark chocolate fan too so we have that in common. I know I probably eat to much of the stuff but it’s my one vice in life haha! As for low GI foods I will explain. GI is the rate in which sugar from carbohydrates hit the bloodstream, the quicker they hit it the higher GI they are. For instance white sugar, refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice and pasta are all high GI as they have had their fiber removed, therefore they are already broken down and the body doesn’t have to work to do that job.

      But low GI like wholegrain pasta, rice, bread, whole fruits and vegetables and pulses are all full of their natural fibers so the body needs to work to break them down, therefore releasing their energy more slowly for more sustained energy. And the reason you should always pair low GI carbs with proteins and fats is because this will slow down the sugar release even more, keeping you fuller for longer and stopping you getting sugar crashes.

      And another great reason to do this is because keeping blood sugar stable really slows down the aging process but sugar spikes and troughs accelerate it.

      In fact, if you read my article on chromium picolinate it actually explains a lot more in depth about this if you are interested

  9. Hi Radha, thanks for reading and enjoying. i always like people to go away having learnt something new and I believe this is the kind of information that everybody should know.

  10. Hi David, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my article and I am happy that you find it interesting and informative as that is my aim, so thank you. Have a great day!

  11. Great article!
    Eating healthy has never been my strong point, knocking on a little now though and think it’s about time I started. Not knowing what to eat, how to cook healthily and what to avoid has always been my problem.
    This article sheds some light on this and also I have always just seen cereals as good for me, just looked at the pack….jeez! They’re going in the bin.
    keep the info coming

    1. Hi Anthony, I’m really glad to hear you are thinking of looking after yourself as you get older as that is the time to start…before anything goes wrong. Yes cereals are some of the worst offenders in the hidden sugar world and people always get a huge shock when they start looking at labels. It’s just so hard to get away from I’m afraid which is why I have written this list to help people make a start. Good luck to you.

  12. Great tips. The toughest part for me is definitely eating out. I travel a lot for work and find it really hard to find decent food at most of the restaurants that are available where I stay while I travel. Given this I’ve started trying to hit a grocery store as soon as I arrive and get some remotely healthy items into my car before I make it to the hotel to ensure I don’t end up eating at McDonalds just because it is across the street!

    Do you have any good rules of thumb for controlling portion size, or good recommendations on how to know what is in food out at restaurants? Is there an app or something that can give you a general idea without too much work?

    1. Hi Craig, I understand your dilemma about trying to eat healthily while travelling a lot. That can really be a tough one, especially with the temptation of a Mc Donalds across the street. Oh these things are sent to try us hey? You are doing the best thing you can by getting in your own healthy snacks. Good things to buy for on the move are packets of unsalted nuts and seeds, pieces of fruit, vegetable sticks, tubs of humus, maybe some baked (not fried) corn chips, sometimes you just fancy the crunch, though eat these in moderation.

      As for portion size you can pretty much fill up on fruits and veggies as long as they are not cooked in fat. For meat or other proteins you should go fro something the size of the palm of your hand and for carbohydrates, something the size of your clenched fist. When in restaurants you can look for what seems healthier and then ask them how it is cooked OR even ask them to change how it is cooked and to make it low fat. Most decent places will do this as they are used to people being health conscious these days.

      Also, you will find many places will have healthier items on their menus now as well. As for apps, I literally don’t really use them so i don’t know much about them but I’m pretty sure there must be one in the health section or something. Good luck on your healthy journey and if you have any more questions please feel free to message me.

  13. Good list! I would like to add the importance of clearing the house of junk food. You’ll never lose weight the healthy way with chips and sugar and temptation in the cabinets. I love the 90/10 approach too, because “perfection” is dietarily impossible and for those of us who LOVE the occasional treat or drink, we’ve gotta have room for it.

    1. Hi Penelope, yes great advice isn’t it? How could we ever live without some of our favorite treats. Mine is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate (dark of course ha ha). Yes the only way, definitely is to clear out those kitchen cabinets. You can’t sit and relax watching the T.V. knowing all that bad stuff is calling.

  14. This is a great read. I can’t imagine going wrong with this regimen for sustaining a healthy balance. About the subtitle where you mention to “check your portions”, I wrote a piece on my site called “101: what is the leptin diet”. A very short article. I would love to get your two cents on that one. It dovetails very nicely i think. Thanks for this wonderful post.

    1. Hi Brad, thanks for reading and I am very glad you enjoyed my article. I am very interested to look at your website, especially the article you suggested. I will leave you a comment on it. Have a good day.

  15. Well, that just cleaned out everything in my cupboards and fridge. Now I have nothing to eat, lol. I have never heard of the 90-10 rule. I enjoyed your article and found it very informative backed by a lot of research . You have personally lived this lifestyle so that validates the method you are teaching. Your article is precise and educated with good alternatives for the junk we normally eat which helps us make a grocery list as we all head to the market to replace our food. I had to look up a couple of your food items since I had never heard of them before like quinoa. It will take time to implement this new way of shopping but I hope it catches on because we are what we eat.

    1. Hi Monika, I am so happy you enjoyed my article and found it helpful. I do understand how hard it can be to make changes, especially after a life time of living a certain way, that’s why you should just take it one step at a time. Start with just making 3 changes a week. For instance swapping white bread for Brown could be one and then you decide on the other two. Another one could be walking to work instead of driving a couple of days a week.

      Choose what is relevant to you and fits into your life style. Write your intended changes down and tell others to create accountability. Do these 3 changes for a week then set 3 more for the next week (but remember you still need to keep with the first 3). Doing it like this breaks it down and doesn’t overload you with too many changes in one hit, which sets you up for failure.

      This method creates different neural pathways in the brain helping the changes to become a habit. And once something becomes a habit then it becomes something we always do under any circumstances. This is a proven method of how to make life long changes that I learnt when I was studying Nutrition and I hope it helps you.

  16. Hi Melissa, that’s fantastic and I’m happy to be of help. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or need any more advice. Thanks for your comment.

    1. Hi Kayla, thank you for enjoying the article, and yes eating the full spectrum of colours from fruits and veggies is much more important than people realise for health benefits. I eat the rainbow every day now and definitely feel fantastic for it. I hope I have inspired you to do the same.

  17. Hi there, I am so glad I live in Thailand now. To eat clean food here is much easier and normal than where I came from. We grow a bit of vegetable in our garden, BIO of course and a lot of fruit we pick around the house too.
    The only thing we have to work on a bit more is sugar. Thais love to put sugar in every meal.
    Great post, thanks

    1. Hi Stefan, how fantastic to live in Thailand and have all that wonderful food around you, it sounds just amazing. And yes I know the Thais like to put sugar on their food but I still think they are very healthy people in general because they live on lots of fish, fruits and vegetables so I guess that balances it out. It’s all about moderation I think, and making small changes at a time as outlined in my post. Wishing you all the best out there in Thailand.

  18. Well done on this article. I love that coconut oil and other healthy fats are is at the top of your list of good stuff. I also appreciated the list of healthy sugar substitutes.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for reading and yes I love coconut oil, I really do use it for everything; in cooking, on my hair and skin and I often make yummy healthy chocolate with it. It is definitely possible for us to cut out all the junk quite easily if done in the correct way over a little bit of time. That’s how I did it and I have never looked back.

  19. Hi Sarah, thank you so much for the complement, I really appreciate it when people make nice comments and it inspires me to carry on what I do. Yes, getting the bad stuff out of the house for good is really the only way to stop temptation getting you. When you know it’s there, you want it.

    When my boyfriend puts his junk food in our cupboards sometimes ( he’s not a fully blown health freak like me…yet ), I get very tempted and sometimes cave. So now I just don’t allow him to do it and order is restored ha ha.

  20. This is a great inspirational article! It is well written with tons of useful information. It’s motivated me to start eating healthier, even if its only a little bit at a time. Great visuals and a great layout! Keep up the great work!!
    Best Wishes, Becca W.

    1. Hi Becca, thanks so much for the compliment on my post, it has really made me smile. It’s always nice to hear that all your hard work is paying off and that you’ve inspired people to eat healthier or do other things to make their lives better. Good luck with your healthy eating plan and please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

  21. I am a health coach and nutrition practitioner and I agree with all of your steps. I especially like the advice to keep it simple. If it’s too complicated it just won’t stick. Awesome advice!

    1. Hi Holly, I’m glad you agree and like my post, thanks. My whole website is about simple and easy plant based living and healthy eating specifically, because I want people to see that it really isn’t as hard as they imagine to get healthy and stay healthy for life. Always start small and don’t do too much at once as you will become overwhelmed. That’s always worked for me anyway.

  22. GREAT Article! When I first saw the title, I was like.. yeah right! But when I actually started reading it I was like wow… just very good material. Glad I had a chance to read your article, i’m a clean eater by necessity and I can confirm almost all of what you have written. Good to see this information out there.
    Thank You, Jay

    1. Hi Jay, I’m really flattered you like my article so thank you. I can see you have a website on diabetes so I’m sure you understand the importance of all of this. I really hope this post can help others who don’t know where to start when it comes to eating clean. There is so much information out there these days and it can become overwhelming I suppose. I’m glad to see you are out these helping people also.

  23. Hi Sarah, yes eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive or hard work, that is why I love sharing these easy tips with people.I’m really happy you’re a regular visitor to my site and you are learning from it. That’s just awesome, thanks.

  24. Sotiris Bassakaropoulos

    Some great information here Stephanie very inspiring, I bought a new Juicer last week and it has inspired me to make a celery juice with Kale and fresh greens every day, I also add an inch of fresh Ginger and Turmeric some days or some organic beetroot. I think tomorrow I am going to make one of my cashew raspberry smoothies with some mint from the garden.

    1. Hi Sotiris, that sounds awesome. I love fresh juices and make them a lot. I th8nk the secret is to use lots of greens and vegetables and not too much fruit – just like the ones you make! This really helps keep th3 sugar content down. I especially love the idea of adding turmeric; I never thought about doing this before and it’s such a healthy spice.

      And cashew, raspberry, and mint – what a great combo too. I need some of your ideas for my ebook!

  25. This is great advice, especially about the cheaper superfood. Honestly, I get so confused about how to eat healthy that my head spins, but you’ve kept it simple. I like eating to the rainbow.

    Thank you! Here’s to eating healthy.

    1. Thanks Brian, yes I just like to prove to people that they most certainly can be healthy on any budget. And I like to keep it simple as there is so much confusion out there about food and diets.

      Here’s to a ling healthy life hey!

  26. Hi Stefanie, this is one of the most sensible posts I have read with regards to eating healthy foods and as you mention, most of these veggies and fruit are affordable and grow naturally as nature intended us to eat. In fact, many veggies can be homegrown, providing another saving.
    We seem to have gotten ourselves into eating ready meals and takeaways which are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like sugar which simply give you an instant fix, but leave you craving for more hence the spare tyre growing around most of our bellies – Sad but true.
    Thanks again for all your healthy tips & advice,
    Simon.

    1. Hi Simon, yes you are right, as a nation we eat too much junk foods and take-away’s. I guess it’s a convenience thing more than anything, but unfortunately these quick foods are usually laden with fats, salt, and sugar! People need to know that healthy eating can in fact be much easier than they think, which is what I aim to do with the advice on my website.

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