Living a Clean Eating Life

Clean eating means a lot of different things to many different people. Everyone has their own version of what should and shouldn’t be considered “clean” when it comes to food. At Mighty Great Fitness, we believe that clean eating is essential to maintain a healthy body and lose weight.

What clean eating means to you may be slightly different from what you’ll find in the tips and shopping list you see below. Take what works best for you and leave the rest. Always listen to your body and what it tells you. Your body knows best.

What is clean eating? Clean eating implores us only to eat foods that, by definition, are fresh, whole, and as close to nature as possible. Clean eating encourages us to eat food that is unprocessed, minimally refined, and able to distribute the best in nutrition.

Clean eating is all about eating a little more of this and less of that. It’s about making a conscious effort to pay attention to what you are putting in your body.

There are many benefits to clean eating besides losing weight and feeling better. Clean eating increases the number of plant compounds in our bodies which play a significant role in fighting symptoms associated with conditions like inflammation, menopause, arthritis, and even asthma. Studies show that it can also reduce certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

The best way to start a clean eating plan is to clean your kitchen and cupboards out of junk and processed foods. If you are not comfortable throwing them away, you can donate them to a local food bank. Below you will find a shopping list to help you on your way of clean eating.

Clean Eating Food List:

Whole Grains

  • 100% whole wheat flour (must way whole wheat not just wheat)
  • 100% whole wheat or whole-grain bread, tortillas, hot and hamburger buns, etc.
  • Ezekiel bread
  • 100% whole wheat pasta
  • Bob’s Red Mill™ offers very clean flour varieties, including almond flour, coconut flour, soy flour and many others
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Steel cut oats (no added sugar)
  • 100% whole grain cereals, like Kashi™ 7 Whole Grain Flakes, Grape Nuts and others (check ingredients)

Fats

  • Grass fed butter
  • Avocados
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Nut oils
  • Grapeseed oil
  • For desserts choose whole whipping cream versus manufactured stuff like cool whip

Produce

  • All fresh vegetables
  • All fresh fruits

Meats and Poultry

Grass fed, pasture raised, or organic meat is always best as it is devoid of antibiotics and growth hormones fed to traditionally farmed animals

  • Fresh red meat (steaks, hamburger, ribs and roasts)
  • Fresh pork (steaks and roasts)
  • Fresh chicken
  • Bison or venison
  • Fresh turkey

Fish and Seafood

  • All fresh fish and seafood, preferably wild caught versus farm raised

Dairy

  • Eggs (pasture raised/grass fed or organic)
  • Organic milk or milk from grass fed cows
  • Nut milks (without added sugar)
  • Soy milks (without added sugar)
  • Organic Greek yogurt
  • Organic soy yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Block cheeses (shredded adds a chemical to keep the cheese separated)

Beans & Legumes

Dry beans are best, canned is okay as long as there is no added sugar or salt

  • Adzuki beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • White beans

Canned Items

Look for cans that are BPA free

Should have the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal

  • Vegetables packed in water without sugar and low sodium
  • Canned beans with no added sugar and little to no added sodium
  • Pure coconut milk
  • Marinara sauce with no added sugar and little to no added sodium
  • Olives
  • Tomato sauce or paste (no added sugar)
  • Tuna (packed in water)
  • Chicken (packed in water)
  • Fruit packed only in water (no added sugar)
  • Stocks and broths without sugar, dextrose and low sodium
  • Pickles (in moderation due to salt)

Sweeteners

  • Stevia
  • Raw honey (in moderation)
  • Sucanat (in moderation)
  • Organic maple syrup (in moderation)

Condiments and Spices

  • Vinegar
  • Mustard with no added sugar
  • Sugar free ketchup
  • All fresh and dried herbs and spices
  • Tahini
  • Hummus
  • Relish (must not have added sugar)
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Fresh salsa
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Low sodium soy sauce

Packaged and Snack Foods

Should have the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal

There are many healthy snack choices that are made with whole food, check labels

  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • KIND™ Snacks
  • RX™ Bars
  • LARA™ Bars
  • These snack bars list their very simple whole ingredients right on front of the package in big bold print
  • Organic 100% Pure Nut Butters – peanut, almond and others are available in brands where the ingredients list is the nut and nothing else
  • Air popped popcorn (check ingredients for anything else added)
  • Raisins, prunes and all dried fruit (as long as nothing else is added, especially sugar, dried fruit is also very high in fruit sugars and should be eaten in moderation, fresh is better)
  • All nuts (plain, raw and unflavored)
  • All seeds (plain, raw and unflavored)
  • 60% + Cacao dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Vegetable chips – a new trend in healthy snacking, you can find green bean, kale, beet and carrot chips, the best ones will have two ingredients, the vegetable and oil. You may want to avoid canola oil due to the oxidative stress it can cause in your body and brain. You can also make your own if you have the inclination and the time.

Beverages

  • Water
  • Milk and nut kinds of milk
  • Naturally sweetened coffee & tea
  • Freshly squeezed juices (fruit and vegetable)
  • Seltzers/Club Soda (without added sugar)
  • 100% pure coconut milk (high in calories, use in moderation)

Listen to your body and dont put anything inside that is bad for you to ingest.

Don’t Buy List:

  • Refined grains
  • White flour and foods made with them
  • White starches, like pasta, rice, or bread
  • Refined sugars
  • Table sugar
  • Sweets, like cakes, cookies, ice cream, soda, etc.
  • Items that come in a bag, box, bottle, or package with more than 5 ingredients, preferably less than 4, and none of those should be sugar or trans fats.
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Fast food
  • Junk food
  • Canola oil (due to it causing oxidative stress in the body and brain because of the molecules changing in a molecular structure during processing)

Make sure to listen to your body because you only get one. Treat it right.

Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

Published by Amanda Jordan

Amanda Jordan is a writer, specializing in fitness for women, especially those just beginning their fitness journey. She combines life as a freelance writer with teaching effective meal planning and targeted exercise routines. Amanda has firsthand knowledge of what life is like being overweight and unhealthy. Through many means, she has personally lost over 80 pounds and become a healthy woman.

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