Confession: I hate cooking.
So my clean eating plan is super simple. It’s also quick. It has to be because I work crazy hours, care for my grandson, maintain a country property (I spent many hours just clearing my driveway last week), and run a fitness business. Oh, and I blog too. I don’t have a lot of time to cook, even if I did want to. Which I don’t.
People think clean eating has to be complicated though. I hear it from my patients, coaching clients, and even in my clean eating challenges. New recipes, different items on the shopping list, and trying to eat new things can seem daunting.
Thankfully, it’s much simpler than all that.
The Simplicity of Clean Eating
Here’s how a crazy-busy woman who hates cooking gets it done:
The Slow Cooker is my Best Friend
It’s almost wrong how easy it is to toss some stuff in the slow cooker. One of my go-tos is to throw in some frozen chicken breasts, dump a can of tomatoes over them, tomato paste and pile on the salt-free seasonings. When I get home hours later, I serve it with salad for a filling, clean meal.
Eat What You Know
Clean eating doesn’t mean having to source new recipes with obscure ingredients every week. Eat what you know. If you eat chicken, beef, and fish normally, keep that up. If you normally eat brown rice, eggs, sweet potatoes… those are all fine.
Basically clean eating means avoiding processed foods. So certain breads, white enriched pastas, chicken fingers and boxed pizzas are things to avoid. Replace them with whole grains, vegetables, and clean proteins.
Wondering what to make? I am planning to add recipes to this blog – simple ones. Click here if you’d like me to zip them to your inbox. In the meantime, check out my 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge that runs monthly HERE.
Stock up on Staples (And I don’t mean office supplies)
If I have a few specific things on hand, I can toss together a day of clean eating in under five minutes. This is a big help for making lunch for work, especially on those days when I haven’t had time for much food prep.
Some of the things I make sure to have on hand are 0% plain Greek yogurt, raw unsalted nuts, cottage cheese, fruit and veggies, bags of mixed salad. These are grab-and-go items. I also keep on hand some basic food items like chicken breasts, canned tomatoes and eggs. I can grab any of these items – or even leftovers from my slow cooker supper – toss them in my lunch, and I’m good for the day.
A Little Pre-Made Goes a Long Way
Sometimes I’ll pre-cook a pot of quinoa or rice to last the week. It’s a great grab-and-go accompaniment to slow cooker meals. My lunches sometimes include a boiled egg or two, so boiling them ahead of time helps me pack with speed in the mornings.
I’ll also pre-cut veggies, maybe even pre-bagging them for lunches. I’ll also buy a variety of raw unsalted nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashews – and mix them together. Then I put them in little baggies and I’m set up for the week for grab-and-go lunch items.
Plan For Success
When I have a day off – and they can be hard to come by at times – I’ll take the opportunity to plan protein source meals for until my next day off. I’ve never been one to plan weeks ahead. One week is plenty for me.
I’ll make the very basic plan, make sure I have ingredients, and add to the shopping list. The plan will inevitably include fast and easy things I can toss in the slow cooker or make into goulash. Because that’s how I roll.
Clean eating really is simple. I suppose it could be more complicated if you wanted it to be. If you love cooking perhaps, or are a foodie who adores trying new recipes, go for it! No one’s stopping you from making Pork and Spinach Stuffed Kabocha Squash or Bacon and Guacamolie Sammies.
If you’re a beginner or, like me, a straight forward keep-it-simple kind of eater, clean eats can be very simple.
For more tips, ideas, recipes and motivation, check out my Clean Eating Community Facebook group or just say the word and I’ll inbox you upcoming posts with tips and recipes for your clean eating journey.