The holidays are over and the new year has begun — a special and exciting time where we make  plans for our next twelve months and dream of the possibilities.
The most popular resolution is improving health, and we usually are quite ready after the holidays. As tasty as the holiday tidings are, they leave us feeling a little less on track with our goals than we’d like.

Those new healthy resolutions don’t have to be complicated, and they don’t have to end before February even arrives. The key to looking and feeling your best is to keep it simple and focus on clean eating.
In case you’ve heard the term “clean eating” but haven’t quite understood what it means — clean eating is all about consuming healthy, whole foods and cutting out the processed junk and chemicals. Whether you’re ready to jump-start your clean eating now or you’re just wondering what it takes to get started, I have some super-simple steps for a no-fail start into clean eating.

1. Focus on your inner motivation

Whether its because you’re determined to race in the Boston Marathon next year, or because you have seen  the damages done by not eating healthy with relatives or friends, use that motivation to eat clean!
Bring it into your direct focus so you will be more successful in sticking to your clean eating plan.

2. Reevaluate what you’re currently eating

Before you begin your clean eating journey, it helps to journal about what you’re eating now. This way, you can truly see what your habits and patterns actually are.
After a stressful week at work, you might notice you’re more likely to order pizza, and you can take steps to head that off at the early rather than fall into the same pitfall time and time again.

3. Set realistic, measurable and specific goals

When people make changes to things in their lives such as a change to their eating habits, they can set themselves up for significant failures if they don’t take it step by step.
That means that if you want to be successful in the long-term, you should tackle one or two new things every 1-2 weeks. This way you have a better chance of sticking to it.
Don’t just say you’ll stop eating desserts forever! That would be awful.
Instead, set a goal of only eating one small dessert per week, or to exchange a sugar laden favorite with a fresh fruit version instead. This makes it measurable and very specific.

4. Clean out your pantry

Sadly, most American pantries are filled with processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to cut out anything that contains more than five ingredients on the label, and anything unnatural should go. If you have a lot of unopened junk food items, donate them to a shelter.

5. Refocus your grocery shopping strategy

We’re creatures of habit, every one of us. When we go to the supermarket, we usually follow the same path every time. Shake things up and head straight for the produce section.
You really should be avoiding almost all of the middle aisles of your supermarket anyway because that’s where those processed food pitfalls lurk!

6. Master meal prep

One of the easiest ways to dive right into clean eating is to prep your meals. You’ll find tons of healthy meal prep plans online that even give you shopping lists to use.
If time is a factor, look for crockpot recipes that require you to dump in the whole foods in the morning and come home to a hot, delicious, clean and healthy meal every night!
As you can tell, it only takes small changes over time to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way, hit reply and let me know how you are feeling, and what you’d like to accomplish as your first step. I’d love to hear your plans.

Yours in Wellness,

Theresa Sailor

Integrative Lifestyle Coach

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