We all know how difficult it can be to follow a healthy clean eating plan. You have the best intentions, but hello — life happens and you’re only human. There’s the cost, the preparation and did we mention how much time it takes? Some days it can seem impossible to stay on track.
But, fear not. With a little bit of determination and a lot of planning, you can squeeze clean eating into your schedule. I’ve seen mothers, fathers, teachers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, lawyers and even those who work two or three jobs to make ends meet make a commitment to themselves to treat their bodies better. It’s difficult at first, but throughout the years, you pick up tips and tricks along the way that make clean eating an easy and regular part of your schedule.
Regardless of your obstacles — time, money or dedication, we’ve got some resources that can make your life simpler and can help you be a better version of yourself.
Even with these tips, there will be days when you fall off the wagon. However, we here at FitnessHQ want to remind you that it’s not how many times you fail that matters — it’s how many times you pick yourself up and keep going!
9 Tricks for Healthy Clean Eating Success
1. Buy Pre-Chopped Veggies
Chopping vegetables can often be the most tedious part of meal prep. However, you’d be surprised how many vegetables you can buy pre-chopped without a huge jump in cost.
Check out your local grocery store for items like pre-chopped onions and pre-chopped garlic. Some produce sections even include fresh, chopped vegetables grouped together by dish, such as a fajita mix containing chopped onions and bell peppers.
2. Make Use of the Rotisserie
Some stores are forward thinking enough to sell fresh, shredded meat in separate containers. For example, the store I frequent often has shredded chicken and pre-cooked ground beef in the deli. Although these options are too pricey to use every single night, they’re great to have in a pinch or when the day just hasn’t gone according to schedule.
3. Frozen Vegetables Are Your Friend
We know fresh is always better, but certain sacrifices are worthwhile if it will keep you on track. Frozen vegetables tend to be cheap and many brands now offer frozen vegetables without added preservatives. Make sure the kiddos are getting their greens by stacking up on things like chopped broccoli, frozen spinach, squash and zucchini.
4. Grab Some Pre-Chopped or Ready-Made Bacon
Bacon can be a scary food to deal with sometimes due to the evidence that the nitrates in processed meat are cancer causing agents. However, if you can find pre-chopped or pre-made bacon from a source you trust, stock up on it!
Bacon is a delicious, protein-packed snack all on it’s own and adds a new dimension of flavor to almost any healthy dish. Need to dress up some Brussels sprouts? Throw some bacon on it. Need a heartier salad? Throw some bacon on it. Is that burger just not enough protein to feed your gainz? Throw some bacon on it.
5. See What Frozen Options You Have Available
I’ve been really excited to see more frozen Paleo-style meals available in mainstream supermarkets like WalMart. Check out your frozen food sections and see what options you have.
Beetnik Paleo and Tastefully Plated Paleo frozen meals are both frozen meals with non-processed ingredients you can pick up at many local supermarkets.
6. Check Out the Pre-Made Meals At Your Supermarket
Although some chains offer REALLY expensive pre-made meals, others offer healthy, pre-made options at a reasonable price. I personally stock up on pre-made meals in the Sprouts deli every two weeks. It makes weekday lunches a breeze for both my husband and me and it keeps my pocket book happy.
7. Try Ordering Straight From The Source
Some items like Quest Bars or Epic Bars are actually cheaper when ordered in bulk from the company as opposed to bought in store. Check out some of your favorite healthy go-to snacks and see if you could save a few dollars here or there by ordering directly from the source. Amazon.com is also always a great resource for purchasing items like protein powder on the cheap.
8. Make It Too Easy to Say No
Some people call it lazy, some people call it innovation, but whatever you call it, make clean eating too easy to turn down and you are 100 times more likely to be successful at it.
If you’re more likely to skip over the sugary snacks and go for a pre-peeled boiled egg, then make sure you have them in the house. If your kids are more likely to eat peeled and packaged fruit than chips in the afternoon if they have it available, then don’t feel ashamed of purchasing it. The easier you can make this on yourself and your family, the more likely you are to stick with it.
9. When All Else Fails, Establish a Fast Food Go-To
Sometimes you just have one of THOSE days. The ones where you can’t be bothered to cook or expend any energy on anything other than crawling into bed and eating half a gallon of ice cream. When these moods strike, don’t panic. Instead, have a pre-picked fast food spot where you know you can at least have some semblance of a healthy, balanced meal. These are some of our favorite, healthy fast food go tos.