Clean Eating for Beginners

Clean Eating for Beginners
Clean Eating for Beginners

‘Clean eating’ has become an important element in the natural health food movement. Although the concept of clean eating for beginners may seem overwhelming, it is on the contrary quite a simple concept: consume food in its purest state, or as close as possible to the way nature delivered it.

This approach is neither a diet nor a fad, but rather a lifestyle change. It involves choosing whole foods, avoiding processed foods, and developing a conscientious, healthier approach to the foods you choose to eat.


Food is your big ticket to optimal health. If your diet consists mainly of refined and processed foods, your body will show it, if not now, then in the future. Instead, if you choose healthy, fresh foods, your body will glow with health.

In my opinion, ‘eating clean’ is very similar to the Mediterranean standards of food consumption, in that it focuses on incorporating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins and fats in our daily diets. This approach has long been the deciding factor in confirming that the Mediterranean diet is much healthier than the North American one.

Clean eating for beginners can be particularly intimidating for those who are accustomed to the flavours of processed foods, and who consequently have a lot of changes to make. However, making these changes to your diet is easier than you might think.

My advice is to start by making small changes and taking it one day at a time. Have faith in me when I say that your taste buds WILL change and you will eventually embrace (and even crave) the natural flavours of real food.

These simple, easy to follow tips will help make the transition to health for clean eating beginners easier:

1) Limit or avoid processed, packaged, and refined foods
2) Increase your daily veggie and fruit consumption
3) Eat more plant-based proteins and less red meat
4) Avoid products high in saturated fat
5) Watch out for hidden and refined sugars
6) Choose whole grains
7) Drink at least two litres of water a day to flush out toxins from your body
8) Consume healthy fats from foods such as avocados, salmon, and nuts.

Last but not least, if revolutionizing your diet has you concerned, then try following the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy, unprocessed foods 80% of the time and the not-so healthy foods you love 20% of the time. Follow this approach until you are fully able to embrace eating whole, fresh foods 100% of the time!

Make your clean eating journey easier by including these healthy items on your weekly grocery list.  Click here to download a printable PDF file.


61 thoughts on “Clean Eating for Beginners”

  • Monica 8 years ago

    It’s really scary that the US FDA allows so much crap in our food. We all try to eat clean, but occasionally slip up. This is such a great and informative post Lisa.

  • Brianna 8 years ago

    I need to get back to clean eating. I felt so good when I was eating this way. What a great list for the beginner. My weakness is chocolate.

  • This is such a helpful post! I have been really trying to eat more cleanly or healthily now and I need all the tips i can get. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • I’ve been eating clean for the past few months and it has been the best decision I’ve ever made! I haven’t gotten sick, I don’t take any medicines, it’s true that your health comes from being nice to your gut. What you put in, is what you’ll get out! Great post.

  • Dina 8 years ago

    This is awesome advice! I have been trying to clean up what I eat so that I can feel better overall.

  • Kristy 8 years ago

    I have found that the more fresh foods I eat, the more I crave them. And the same goes from the processed stuff, if I start to eat it, I crave it. These are great tips — and thank you for the visual printout!

  • Jason Nail 8 years ago

    great advice. i don’t pay as much attention to my diet health as I should and your article is a real eye opener. gracias.

  • Gwen Mulholland 8 years ago

    These are great tips as I am working on slowly revamping my eating habits. Right now I am working on reducing the amount of processed carbs and sugars. I just need to start drinking more water which is so hard for me.

  • These are great tips. We recently stared making changes to more clean eating in our house. Our teenage daughter has been building good habits for about a year now. She’s been a good influence on us. We’re working to be more healthy as a family.

    • Sometimes I find that the younger generation is more informed about clean eating and healthier lifestyle choices. Kudos to her, and for you taking on the challenge.

  • I seriously need to get on this clean eating! I think it would improve my skin and overall health. I need to add more veggies to my diet. Thanks for the printable.

  • Ashley Morton 8 years ago

    I’m pretty good at clean eating but I could be better. Especially in the area of drinking more water. 🙁

  • MrsMuffinTop © 8 years ago

    I’m forwarding this to a lot of family. It’s the way I try to eat (and feed the kids), but they laugh at me.
    I *really* love the image. It makes it easy to refer to. Printing and taping it to my fridge.

  • I prefer the term healthy to “clean” but otherwise, a very informative article and I appreciate such detailed lists. 😀

  • Terri Lynn Grothe 8 years ago

    Great post. I need to do more clean eating

  • Melissa 8 years ago

    This should really help a lot of people get a better idea of how to get healthy. Eating right is the most important part of our health.

  • Tatanisha Pitts-Worhey 8 years ago

    I love that you really provided a grocery list! Makes things easier for us who are trying to clean eat too.

  • Lynn Dee 8 years ago

    We are trying our best to clean healthy around here. It’s really easy for me to focus on that route, but it is too hard for my picky eaters – husband and son. 🙂

    • I hear you! I am not without challenges! It’s mostly ME who eats clean 100% of the time. I’m still trying to get my kids and my husband on board!

  • I find that when it comes to clean eating, I’m better at it in the summer but really bad in the winter. In the summer I eat more fresh fruits and vegetable but in the winter I tend to go for more junk food. I wonder why that is.

  • The Cubicle Chick – Yolo 8 years ago

    Clean eating is the only way to go these days. Thanks for sharing this starter list. 🙂 I’ll be back on the journey tomorrow.

  • Maggie Branch 8 years ago

    When we decided to eat clean, we thought that it might be the end of the world. That said, it’s actually quite easy and i feel so good fueling my and my family’s bodies with wholesome, yummy food.

  • I really need to work on this when I get back home. Currently on holiday and I’ve been eating so much junk food.

  • This is right on time as I am trying to start a better, healthier lifestyle. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Joann Woolley 8 years ago

    These are great tips! I need to be more mindful about eating less processed foods. The water is one I’m working on right now.

  • I booked marked this so I can print it later. I have been moving more towards clean eating and this post helped a lot.

  • I really need to start eating cleaner. It’s so hard though. I will have to try implementing small changes like you suggested. I just need to choose more wisely what I’m consuming.

  • Ann Bacciaglia 8 years ago

    I have been wanting to try clean eating. I have been eating healthier this year and would like to go to the next level.

  • MamaMommyMom 8 years ago

    When fresh veggies are plentiful in the summer, clean eating is so much easier. I get frustrated by the lack of quality produce available sometimes through the winter.

  • Kathy 8 years ago

    This is such a great post. I’ve been eating healthier, so this was a great post for me to read. I try to avoid all those bad foods as much as I can.

  • Dogvills 8 years ago

    I am so proud of myself because I am eating clean. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with a gallstone, so I totally changed my lifestyle. It was hard in the beginning, but now, I am used to it. I don’t think I will ever go back to the way I used to eat before.

  • CourtneyLynne Storms 8 years ago

    Clean eating is definitely hard to start because you really don’t realize how much crap is in food until you cut it out of your diet. Once you get use to it though it just becomes a way of life!

  • Eating clean can be so hard to get started doing! Love these tips, lots of water is the most important part for me.

  • OurFamilyWorld 8 years ago

    This is a great list. I’ve been doing this for several months now and my weight has dropped dramatically. I also feel healthier.

  • I definitely need to work harder on eating clean, and I love your graphic here. I let my eating get out of control again, and I was doing so good before! Dang!

  • MamaMommyMom 8 years ago

    We certainly don’t eat clean all the time, but I do try to incorporate as many whole foods as I realistically can. Working full time makes it hard some nights, and we do admittly fall back on processed things for convenience.

  • WhispersInspire 8 years ago

    What a great guide for beginners. I have fell of the wagon for a while now so, it would be like beginning again. Thanks for this, I need to drink more water.

  • This is such a great resource. I’ve stopped eating junk food, but I know that’s only part of it. There are so many “healthy” foods that aren’t exactly clean.

  • Jeanette 8 years ago

    I am halfway there I think. I cannot eat most processed food because I do not have the stomach in the world and you know what I’m OK with that. It helps me to eat healthier although I do have quite the sweet tooth. This is very informative thank you for sharing this.

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