5-day Clean Eating Meal Plan
So what is clean eating, anyway? In its simplest definition, it’s a concept that stresses healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Here are the five core principles of clean eating:
1. Choose whole, natural foods and try to eliminate or minimize processed foods
Processed foods means anything that comes in a box, bag, can, or package. There are always a few exceptions to this rule (like a bag of fresh green beans or a tub of plain Greek yogurt), but the majority of the foods you choose should be fresh.
2. Choose unrefined over refined foods
While it may not be possible all the times, try to increase your intake of whole grains like brown rice, millet, and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
3. Include some protein at every meal
Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together and space out your protein.
4. Limit salt, fat and refined sugar
This is easier than you think if you’ve cut out processed foods, as they are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients.
5. Don’t drink your calories
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first whenever possible, especially 15 minutes before every meal.
What’s in this plan?
Sometimes when you’re starting a new habit, it helps to have things laid out for you as a place to start. This plan includes a shopping list and daily meal plans, including three meals and two snacks each day. It will help you to clean up your eating habits, reduce bloating and improve digestion, gain some energy and be feeling great by the end of the week.