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So You Want To Start Eating Healthy. 10 tips that will get you started and keep you on the right path.

 10 Tips that will get you started and keep you on the right path to HEALTHY EATING

Make a lifelong commitment to clean eating so that you can enjoy the magnitude of health benefits.

Anytime you can incorporate more whole foods and eliminate refined and processed foods, you are doing a great service to your body. But if you want to experience life changing health benefits, avoid sickness and disease, be at your ideal body weight and enjoy a lot of all day energy, it’s best to make a lifelong commitment to healthy eating. Making this big commitment can seem like such an overwhelming task and you might not know where to start. These are the tips that I came up with that I wish I knew about when I began my transition into the healthy eating lifestyle.

 1.) Go through your entire kitchen and get rid of ALL processed foods, refined sugars and any foods containing gluten.

I know what you are thinking right now – “But, that’s a lot of money being thrown away!” Yes, it is, but I firmly believe that you will not succeed if there is still food in the house that is not healthy. You can always donate the food to a shelter or a neighbor in need. This is my #1 tip because I didn’t start fully committing to healthy eating until my kitchen was cleaned out of all processed foods. When I first wanted to eat clean, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw all that food away so I held on to some items. I am a type A personality and have a stronger willpower than most, and guess what I ate when I had a long day, was hungry, and didn’t feel like cooking? You guessed it. I went straight to the box of organic granola bars that I didn’t throw away that were loaded with wheat and sugar. Fail. After that happened a few times, I put on my big girl panties and went through my entire kitchen and got rid of everything that was processed, refined and contained gluten. This was the biggest step I made in being successful at this lifestyle.

2.) You need to restock your pantry with clean eating items.

This can be the expensive part, but you are making a commitment to your health and it will be worth it and save you so much money in the long run, I promise. No more (or far less) doctor bills (I haven’t been to the doctor in years), co-pays, over the counter cold medicines, etc. Sounds good, right? Just remember that when you are buying these new items for your pantry!

Fats and Oils: Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sesame Oil are good oils to have on hand. Grass-Fed Butter and Bacon Fat are also a staple in my home.

Sweeteners and Baking items: Almond and Coconut Flours, Pure Maple Syrup, Raw Honey, Molassas, Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate, unsweetened coconut flakes, dried unsweetened fruits, Almond Butter

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, Walnuts,Macadamias, Pecans, Pistachio, etc. **Peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes and should be avoided** Sesame, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Canned whole food items, such as: diced tomatoes, tomato paste, etc,     canned pumpkin, tuna, salmon, capers

Sauces (read labels carefully and make sure they are all natural and contain no gluten): tamari or coconut aminos (a soy sauce replacement without wheat), fish sauce, hot sauce, mustards, and vinegars

Plenty of spices and sea salt

Beef Jerky

Frozen fruits and vegetables

On the go, quality packaged items such as: Steve’s Original Beef Jerky Packets, Larabars, etc.

 3.) Locate farms and farmer’s markets in your area.

Locate a farm or farmer’s market in your area to get the freshest and healthiest foods.

www.localharvest.org is a good site if you are not familiar with the organic farms and farmer’s markets in your area. There are numerous farms that are not on this website, so if you know of a farm near you, call or stop in to visit the farms and talk to the people there. All of the farms I’ve dealt with are super friendly and helpful and enjoy talking about their farm. If they can’t provide what you need, most are more than helpful to point you to another farm who can help you. You will need to find a farm to provide you grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs and chemical free produce. Most farms can provide everything, but not always. If there are absolutely no farms in your area, visit: www.uswellnessmeats.com for great quality meats and service.

 4.) Pretend that grocery stores don’t exist.

People always look at me like I have two heads when I tell them this one. It’s very rare that I step foot into a grocery store. When you are eating clean, you are doing the majority of your grocery shopping at a farm or at the local farmers market. I only have to go to a regular grocery store when I run out of olive oil or mustard, or something like that. When you do have to stop into the grocery store, only shop the perimeter and avoid the center aisles, which contain mostly processed foods (exception: when you have to buy canned, whole food items).

5.) Plant a garden.

Planting your own garden is the best way to get inexpensive, organic fruits and vegetables.

This is a great way to get chemical free produce and herbs. You can’t beat the price and high yields of quality, organic vegetables and fruit when you grow your own. If you don’t have the land to plant a garden, grow herbs and other vegetables in containers. If this is not possible, join a community garden or just support your local organic producers.

 

6.) Have a weekly meal plan.

Creating a meal plan a week in advance makes eating right so much easier and is the only way I found that I can stick to eating healthy.

You will be most successful with healthy eating when you plan your meals out at least weekly. I write a meal plan every Sunday night for the following weeks worth of meals. I take into consideration my family’s plans and activities and plan my menu accordingly. Most of the time, I head to the farmer’s market on Monday and get everything I need to cook for the week. This works very well for me and the only way I can stay organized and be committed to eating healthy.

7.) Have a few good quality, packaged food items available to you at all times.

You can plan your menus in advance all day long, but let’s be real: stuff happens and life gets in the way. I am always on the go and sometimes unexpected stuff comes up and I need something to eat in a pinch. Before I carried items with me, I had to make the best choices I could at places like McDonalds, Wendy’s etc. Even though I didn’t want to eat at these places, I needed something quick. Now I don’t have to be forced to eat burgers without buns at fast food places. I make sure I have a baggie of almonds, some beef jerky, Larabars, and my favorite Steve’s Originals Paleokits with me at all times. I have some in my purse and some in my car so I have no excuses. I can still eat healthy even when I’m on the go.

8.) Cook extra for dinner so you have enough for lunch the next day.

Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a great tip and leaves you to only have to plan out your breakfast and dinners from now on.

9.) Find other people who share similar views on health and nutrition.

 

Finding friends who share and support your healthy lifestyle is important so you can help each other stay on the right track. Plus friends make life more fun!

Try to find others in the area who are already eating clean or have the same desire to eat clean and healthy. You can share your favorite recipes, tips, articles, books and resources and maybe even workout together. It’s easier to stay on the right track when you have friends that are supporting you.

10.) Don’t ever give up or feel like a failure if you eat something you know you shouldn’t.

No one out there is perfect and eats perfect 100% of the time – that’s just unrealistic. I like to view my nutrition as a commitment. I am committed to my health and eating clean. Does that mean that I am perfect at it 100% of the time? Heck no. One of my favorite blogs, Health Bent, compares the commitment of eating healthy to the commitment of marriage and I love that comparison. I am committed to my marriage, but that doesn’t mean I am 100% sweet and loving to Zach all the time. At times, I can be mean and a brat. (I thought brat was a nicer term for the other B word that I was really thinking.) But, this never alters our commitment to love and stay with each other for as long as we live. It’s the same way with nutrition – if I screw up and eat something I know I shouldn’t, I am still committed to eating well for the rest of my life. No big deal. I just dust myself off and keep at it. If you are eating well the majority of the time, be proud of that!

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are eating well and practicing a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time, you deserve the I AM AWESOME trophy!

 If you have any other tips that will help us all out, please share by posting a comment here. I’d love to hear what has helped you in becoming a healthier you!

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24 comments

  1. Thank you for posting this! I am trying to stick with the Paleo diet, but am having a hard time. Now, I know why. After reading your #1 tip, I am going to clean house! All of the other tips are really good, too. Thank you.

    • Primally Inspired

      Thank you for the kind words, Diane! At first it was really hard for me, too and I’m glad I could help. Let me know how you are doing with it after you clean house. Good luck!

      • I have been eating paleo for about a year and a half now. After five months I knew I had to do the inevitable….revamp my kitchen/pantry. I cleaned out the kitchen of appliances I would no longer need like a toaster, bought appliances I would now use like a toaster oven. I got rid of four bags of perfectly good groceries and stocked my pantry with paleo staples. Then I bought a freezer to house a butchered grass fed steer. Now a year later, paleo is all I know. Thank you, Kelly, for all your tips, encouragement, and receipes to all the people like me who want to be healthy.

  2. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  3. My brother suggested I may like this blog. This is a great article. I just started eating Primal. Thank you.

  4. Nice writing. I liked reading this.

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips. It makes it seem more do-able.

  6. Thanks for the good information!

  7. I just want to say I really love your web blog. You really come with really good recipes. Thank you for sharing with us your site.

  8. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved browsing your blog posts.

  9. Great tips that I can acutally do! Thank you!

  10. No BS and written well, thanks for the info

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  12. I just started clean eating and am slowly getting the hang of it. It’s nice to read your journey and get good tips! Thanks!

  13. I am new to clean eating, too and these are really helpful to me. Thanks. Question, though about freezers and purchasing beef. About how much beef do you go through a year? I am really interested in purchasing it in bulk and getting a freezer, but wasn’t sure how much to order.

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Randy, Thanks! There are only 2 of us, so I buy a quarter of beef and it lasts almost a whole year for us. Families of 4 usually go with a half cow to last about a year. Of course, this will depend on how much beef you eat. I eat a lot of seafood, chicken, and pork as well, so my beef lasts a little longer than people who eat the majority of beef. Hope that helps!!

  14. Hello first time to come to your blog, I like it very much!

  15. I like your ideas. This tips provided by you is very effective for good planning.

  16. I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting .

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  18. Thanks a lot for applying some time to write “So You Want
    To Start Eating Healthy. 10 tips that will get you started and keep you on
    the right path. | Primally Inspired”. Many thanks once again ,Ellen

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