Real talk — we all know that healthy eating is a key part of supporting wellness and helping us reach our health goals, but it’s not always that easy. Healthy eating takes commitment and preparation, making sure we always have healthy food on hand. We totally hear that, and that’s why we’ve come up with 10 super-simple clean eating hacks that make healthy eating simplified, proving that clean eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
And, as a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, I’m sharing a balanced approach to cleaner eating, because if we’re being honest, balance is key to long-term success.
So, dive in because we’re showing you how eating clean doesn’t have to be as challenging as many of us may think.
10 Super-Simple Clean Eating Hacks (Nutritionist Approved)
#1 Start Your Day With a Tall Glass of Water
First thing when you wake up, pour yourself a tall glass of water, and if you’re feeling like jazzing things up a bit, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. After all night of fasting, we have to start our day out by focusing on rehydrating before we even talk about food.
Having a glass of H2O in the AM not only helps rehydrate the body, but studies suggest that staying hydrated may even help reduce total daily calorie intake, making it easier for us to stick to healthy portions throughout the day.
So, set the tone for a healthy day by getting hydrated first thing and keep that water bottle handy to refill throughout the day.
#2 Squeeze Protein Into Your Healthy Breakfast
Once you’ve rehydrated, another clean eating hack is all about a healthy breakfast. While it’s easy to just pour a bowl of cereal or grab a muffin on the go, we want to start the day off on a healthy note and fuel the body with what it needs for stable blood sugar and energy levels.
The good news is that a healthy breakfast can be put together in less than ten minutes (for reals). Or, you could even prep some overnight oats the night before to just grab and go — it truly doesn’t get much easier than that.
Here are some other healthy breakfast picks to kickstart your day for healthy eating success.
- One cup of rolled oats with one tablespoon of raw almonds, one cup of blueberries, one tablespoon of flaxseeds, and a drizzle of raw honey.
- Two hard boiled eggs with ½ sliced avocado, and ½ grapefruit.
- Smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, berries, a tablespoon of almond butter, and a scoop of JS Health X FitOn protein powder.
#3 Snack (Healthy) When Needed
This is one of those clean eating hacks that often comes with some confusion. While some diets don’t believe in snacking, long-term, sustainable healthy eating is really all about balance.
And, if you’re struggling to get to your next meal without feeling the need to reach for something sugary just to sustain you, then chances are, a nutritious snack may do you some good.
The key here is to steer clear of the processed, packaged, and sugary foods. You want to eat as clean as possible and aim for something nutrient-dense that will actually do your body some good.
Here are some yummy and filling healthy snack options:
- 10 almonds with 1 cup of blueberries.
- 1 cup of full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt with 1 cup of strawberries, 8 pecan halves, and a drizzle of raw honey (sub with unsweetened coconut or almond yogurt for a dairy-free option).
- 1 sliced banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and sprinkle of hemp seeds.
- Half of an avocado with a drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of pink himalayan sea salt.
#4 Become a Portion Control Pro
After all this food talk, let’s talk portion control for a sec. The truth is that it’s easy to overdo portions even with the cleanest diet. Too much of a good thing isn’t always good, so we want to be mindful of portions.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when portioning out your food:
- Pre-portion your snacks instead of eating directly from the bag — look at the bag for a serving size and then portion out that exact amount.
- For a quick visual guide when portioning out fats like butter, ghee, and coconut oil, use about the size of your thumb for a serving reference.
- For complex (healthy) carbs like quinoa and oats, use about the size of one cupped-hand for portion reference.
- Use the palm of your hand as a quick guide for protein serving size (like meat, fish, poultry).
- Use smaller serving plates — many of us are eating much larger portions than we may be aware of simply because we’re serving our meals on a big plate. Try using smaller dinnerware. While a simple hack, it often makes a difference in how much we consume in one sitting.
#5 Focus on Balanced Meals
Balanced meals are also huge when it comes to keeping our healthy eating in check. A meal too high in carbs may send our blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride, and a meal that’s lacking protein or healthy fat may not be filling enough to keep us full until our next meal.
This is where balance comes in. Aim to include a healthy complex carb, protein, and fat in each meal.
Here are some delicious healthy options that you can mix and match to create a nutrient-dense meal that will leave you full and nourished.
- Rolled oats
- Brown rice
- Chickpea pasta
- Grass-fed beef
- Wild-caught salmon
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)
- Seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia, hemp)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
#6 Support The Gut
The status of our gut health sets the foundation for the overall health of our body, so it makes sense that we need to focus on supporting a healthy digestive system.
Wondering why this falls on our list of clean eating hacks? Well, studies suggest that gut bacteria may, in fact, play a role in appetite control, and may even influence what foods we gravitate towards.
With trillions of bacteria residing in the gut, we have to make sure that we are keeping all those friendly bacteria happy to help keep the harmful ones at bay.
The good news is that we have control over the foods we eat, and we can easily pack in some gut-loving foods.
Here are some delicious options to consider.
Note that while these are all amazingly nutritious foods, we also have to steer clear of the sugary, processed, and artificial foods to help support gut health as well.
Oh! And don’t forget about daily self-care and stress reduction because stress can do a number on the gut — even a ten to fifteen-minute workout counts as self-care, so find time to squeeze it in!
#7 Become a Hidden Sugar Detective
Speaking of sugar, becoming a hidden sugar detective in one of the best clean eating hacks you can have up your sleeve. Why? Because sugar is found in almost everything (seriously!) It’s hard to look at the back of a food label without seeing some sort of sweetener. And, it may not be glaringly obvious as just “sugar” being listed on the back of a box of snacks.
So, a great way to avoid those pesky added sugars is to become familiar with the names sugar goes by and to take a close look at the label before adding that box of crackers to your shopping cart.
Here are some names sugar disguises itself as on food labels:
Hint: Basically, anything ending in “ose”= sugar and should be a no-go.
- Barley malt syrup
- Invert sugar
- Brown sugar
- Cane sugar
- White sugar
- Turbinado sugar
So, what does this mean? You can’t have any sugar at all? No at all — life’s about balance, and of course, there are going to be times where you consume some added sugar. The key is to stick to as many whole foods free from any sugars first and choose natural sweeteners over refined sugar as often as you possibly can.
Over time, with less sugar consumption, you may start to be turned off by the taste of refined sugar anyways!
Some great natural sugar alternatives include:
- Pure maple syrup
- Raw honey
- Stevia and monk fruit (lower carb options)
#8 Don’t Drink Your Calories
We know, we know, drinking plain old water can get boring, but ditching the sugary beverages is one of the easiest clean eating hacks. You’ll eliminate those empty calories, while also cutting back on your sugar intake.
Try eliminating the sodas, fruit juices, and those pre-bottled smoothies you find at the store that often contain added sugars.
Need something a bit more flavorful than water to sip throughout the day? Here are a few ways to add a little pizazz to your reusable water bottle.
- Add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
- Freeze pureed fruit in an ice cube tray and add some fruit-infused ice cubes to your water.
- If you’re really craving that fizzy drink, try plain old sparkling water without the added sweeteners.
- Trying sipping on some herbal tea when you need something a bit more flavorful.
#9 Make Premade Smoothie Packs
We love us some smoothies — you can load them up with all the nutritional goodness the body craves, and you don’t have to worry about long cook or clean up times. Just toss and blend.
And to simplify things even more, try making premade smoothie packs. You can add some berries, frozen sliced bananas, and dark leafy greens to a freezer-safe bag, and then you’ll have a quick and easy healthy snack or breakfast sitting and waiting for you when hunger strikes.
Here’s a simple smoothie pack recipe to get you started:
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 tbsp flaxseeds
#10 Find Healthy Alternatives For Your Favorite Treats
Clean eating doesn’t mean that we can’t have our favorite treats — it’s all about getting creative in the kitchen, and it can seriously be easy and totally delicious.
Here are some mouthwatering ways to enjoy that treat without the guilt.
- Blend up two frozen bananas and top with raw cacao nibs.
- Enjoy a few pitted Medjool dates with a tablespoon of almond butter.
- Try one of these super simple healthier baking recipes.
Take Your Clean Eating Game to the Next Level
Clean eating is often viewed as being depriving and time-consuming. Here’s the thing — it totally doesn’t have to be.
With these ten clean eating hacks, you can take your healthy eating game to the next level and start eating to fuel your body with exactly what it needs, especially after all that hard work you’re putting into your FitOn workouts.
So go on and get your clean eating on — we’re here cheering you on!