There isn’t much to eating a clean diet; no regimen, program, or supplements. After all these years of being faced with processed and refined — easy — choices your memory might be vague. Whole, clean, real food has been hidden behind your baked goods and frozen meals.

Clean Shopping for Clean Eating

Avoiding junk food or processed items is difficult if you push your trolley down every aisle at the grocery store. The trick is to miss out the middle and stick with the outsides. Parents often argue this is the best way to overlook chocolate cereal and animal-shaped crackers all loaded with refined sugar and flour. That same policy is helpful to clean shoppers. Most grocery stores present basic food on the outside aisles: foods like fruit, vegetables, tofu, kefir, yogurt, nuts, and eggs.

Clean Eating from the Grocery Trolley

Nothing kills nutrients faster than a fry-up. How much of the food you brought home can be consumed almost straight from the bag after a rinse under the tap? If you can eat a food raw, it’s probably clean food: vegetables, grapes, carrots, and nut butters, for instance.

Yogurt and tofu are also great: they don’t require preparation, although most people would argue that tofu tastes better when it’s been marinated or mixed with vegetables; perhaps in a stir fry. It’s okay to cook food but select a healthy method. Steam vegetables or just lightly stir fry them. Consider baking items, if possible, rather than frying to eliminate or at least reduce the amount of oil you need. Some foods just have to be cooked like potatoes and yams but certain foods also taste better when cooked because that’s what you like best.

Cleaner Food

Although whole food (barley, oats, quinoa, lentils, beans, produce, etc.) is good for you overall, it’s even better if you can buy organic or home grown items. Organic, non-GMO foods have not been protected by pesticides; deadly toxins that get into the soil around food and also onto the food itself. Always wash food thoroughly.

A Greener World

How can your eating habits protect the planet? Learn more about how food is grown and raised. Meat can be raised in a clean way without feeding chemicals to livestock, but raising animals is hard on the environment overall. Cows, in particular, release a lot of methane. They also live on land which could otherwise be used to grow crops for humans. Some food crops are diverted to animals too. Consider cutting back on meat and poultry or cutting them out entirely.

Simple Meals

You don’t have to cook fancy meals to be clean. Salads and soups are potentially perfect if you’re not loading them with salt, sugar, and fat. Jazz up a simple green salad with fresh herbs and give it some color by mixing in unexpected ingredients such as berries.

Consider eating produce grown locally because it will be in season and full of the nutrients your body needs in that season. Local produce is also better for your economy and for the environment. It doesn’t have to travel far, so fewer emissions go into the environment. Certain foods like local honey are also helpful to your immune system as they potentially help you fight equally local allergens.

If you are overweight, a clean diet is ideal. It contains good fats and is filling, thanks to the fiber content of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. There are so many reasons to come clean. You will be doing a good thing for the earth and for your body.