When it comes to clean eating, to begin with, shopping takes time. Plan when you are going to go. Allow yourself twice the amount of time you would normally take. REALLY if you can avoid it don't take the kids - You want time to stop and think and compare.
If your partner is patient then take them. I asked Richard to come with me one day when I was in search of a tin of clean tomatoes ( at $7 a kilo at the moment I'm using tinned! ) and he checked two tins and said aghh this takes forever come on this will do. Umm no there's like 8 different sorts - and for the record only one clean.
Coffee yourself up - eat before you go and have your patient boots on. Start by reading every single item you pick up. Every one - especially the things you always buy.
You are looking at the ingredients list - don't worry about anything else just the ingredients.
Is it clean? - Can you understand each item? Do they sound like food - tomato, milk, oats, are food words - emulsifier, additive 302, flavours are not. Also look for added salt and sugar. I was shocked by how many items had sugar and salt added. Tinned apples have salt added - why ??
White stuff for whole grain (but always checking the ingredients first - some things you would expect to be clean are not)
White pasta - Wholemeal pasta
White Rice - Brown rice
White flour - Wholemeal flour
Sugar - swap to honey, organic maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia - whatever you have decided you will use
Tins - wild red salmon, tuna, coconut milk , coconut cream, tomatoes.
Fruit and Vege - whatever you like as much as you can and each week we add in new things we haven't tried before. We enjoy going to one of the many farmers markets to get our stash. I always get plenty of lemons and apples - I use them so much!
Eggs - we use more eggs than we used to
Meat - we use much less meat than we used to
Other things you may want to consider including that may not be part of your usual shopping
- Almond meal - to substitute for flour
- Almonds - for snacks
- Avocado - to substitute for butter
- Nut butters- to substitute for butter
- Macadamia Nut Oil - to substitute for canola or vegetable oil
- Organic or 100% Peanut Butter - to substitute for butter
- Coconut Milk (Tinned) - use in baking and as a subsitute for cream or to make ice cream
- Oats - for baking
- Egg whites ( real 100% ones ) - to substitute for butter and to add protein
- Cocao - to substitute for drinking chocolate and cocoa
- Spelt flour - to add to baking
- Puffed Brown rice - for rice bubbles ( baking or cereal)
- Molasses - to substitute for brown sugar
- Natural yoghurt - for baking and snacking
- Balsamic Vinegar - great for flavours and sauces, dressings etc
- Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Oat Milk - check the longlife milk section there are lots to choose from
- Ricotta - instead of cheese
Check out the "health food " section of your supermarket - woolies has the Macro range - it's quite large now and coles has their own brand too. Even though it says "healthy" - still read the labels.
Don't forget to call into your health food store too and see what they have - just remember to read the label :)
I guarantee it's only the first few shops that take a long time. I kept finding myself going back for one or two things too. I still keep finding better alternatives each time I shop.
Finally don't beat yourself up. Do the kids always have muesli bars in their lunches and you can't think of an alternative just yet? Buy the muesli bars/ fruit roll ups /dippers/ tiny teddies and think about other things they can take next week or the week after. As much as I try I can't convince my two to give up their yoghurts in their lunches - they used to always have a yoplait light or something similar.
They do like a dollop of Barambah Vanilla bean yoghurt- which has sugar in it but we use it as a treat
Ingredients : Certified Organic Unhomogenised Milk, Certified Organic Non-Fat Milk Solids, Certified Organic Vanilla Bean, Certified Organic Vanilla Essence, Certified Organic Sugar, Certified Organic Cinnamon, Live Cultures.
It's expensive so they aren't getting that in their lunches. Instead we have compromised and they have Tamar Valley fruit yoghurts - I don't love their ingredient list.
Ingredients: Milk, Milk Solids, Mango (15%), Sucrose, Water, Thickeners (406,440,1442), Flavour, Acidity Regulator (330), Colour (160b), Live Cultures with Acidophilus, Bifidus and Casei
This means I have one less thing to think about with lunch boxes. I'm trying to convince them to eat plain yoghurt with stewed or fresh fruit and a dash of honey. But I'm not havign much luck. We buy the plain and greek style ones as bases for baking/ sauces dips etc. I prefer this brand over others that we used to use so in our house it is ok.
Really it's all about making it work for you. Set your rules. Decide what priority you want to place on different things and reap the nutritional benefit clean eating brings.
Enjoy the shopping - make sure you come and tell me how you got on!