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clean healthy eating guide

I know that a lot of you have trouble sticking to a healthy diet and knowing what to eat to be healthy. And I get it! Eating healthy can be tricky when you’re not sure where to start!

So, I’m going to show you what’s the best way to start eating healthy and how to actually STICK to a healthy diet.

A good way to start eating healthy is to try clean eating! Clean eating is typically eating food in its most natural state and not eating any processed foods. I try to eat as clean as I can, but I do occasionally eat dairy free yoghurt and whole grains such as oats and bread.

These clean eating guidelines should provide you with information you need to start eating a healthy diet (without being too extreme) and give you a few meal ideas.

BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING

WHAT FOOD SHOULD I BE EATING? 

The old food pyramid has got it kind of right. With more current research though, we now recognise that eating a higher fat diet can actually be very beneficial for fat loss, and we do not need as many carbohydrates as previously thought!

Traditional Food Pyramid

My recommendations for daily servings (Modified Food Pyramid):

HEALTHY MEAL IDEAS 

BREAKFAST 

  • Omelette with vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and tomato;
  • Whole meal toast with poached eggs and avocado;
  • Bacon, scrambled eggs and avocado;
  • Oats with low-fat milk and honey;
  • Overnight oats (soak oats overnight in milk and in the morning add berries and yoghurt);
  • Smoothie made with fruit, low fat or dairy free milk (almond milk is my favourite), greens and protein powder.

LUNCH 

  • Chicken and brown rice salad;
  • Tuna / salmon and lentil salad;
  • Whole meal wrap with chicken or turkey, avocado and salad;
  • Toasted sandwich made with whole meal bread, chicken or turkey, avocado and salad;
  • Brown rice sushi; and
  • Egg sandwich made with whole meal bread.

DINNER 

  • Chicken or beef stir fry with quinoa or brown rice;
  • Roast (chicken, beef, lamb, etc) with roast vegetables (go easy on the white potato);
  • Salmon with salad or vegetables;
  • Homemade curries and soups (pumpkin and curried cauliflower are my favourites);
  • Zucchini pasta with homemade turkey meat balls and pesto;
  • Cauliflower crust pizza
  • Chicken crumbed in LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds, almond meal) and roast vegetables.

SNACKS 

  • Carrot sticks and healthy dip such as hummus, spinach, avocado;
  • Whole fruit (not dried);
  • Yoghurt;
  • Raw, unsalted nuts;
  • Omelette or boiled eggs;
  • Popcorn; and
  • Protein shakes.

FAQ ON HEALTHY EATING

WHAT’S YOUR BEST TIP ON STICKING TO A HEALTHY DIET?

If you really want to start eat healthy and actually stick to it, I would advise you to choose 10-15 healthy foods you like and make your weekly eating schedule according to that list. 

If you know in advance what are you going to eat that week, it will be so much easier to make your own healthy meals and stick to your meal plan.

I love having variety in my diet and I don’t eat the same thing every day, but there are certain healthy foods that I do actually eat on most days. 

Eating similar foods and sticking to a similar eating schedule helps me stay on track and it will help you too. 

Here are the 10 foods that I usually eat everyday. You don’t have t stick to the same foods as I do, but this might help you create your own list.

10 Foods I Eat Every Day

  1. Banana
  2. Strawberries, blueberries or other berries (but mostly strawberries)
  3. Almond milk
  4. Chia seeds
  5. Protein powder
  6. Raw nuts
  7. Broccoli
  8. Sweet potato
  9. Eggs
  10. Chicken

WHAT FOODS SHOULD I LIMIT? 

I don’t think you should cut out any food groups completely. But there are definitely some foods you shouldn’t consume every single day. 

Here are some of the those foods:

  • Junk food such as chocolate, biscuits, cakes, ice cream, chips, lollies and all the regular ones;
  • Other processed foods such as sugary cereals, muesli bars, bottled sauces and pretty much anything that comes in a packet;
  • Deep fried food, hot chips, pizza, sausage rolls;
  • Take away foods such as McDonalds;
  • Fatty meat such as chorizo and sausages;
  • Soft drink, energy drinks, flavoured milk, refined fruit juice; and
  • Alcohol

I also have a free 7 Day Slim Down meal plan that will help you lose weight in a healthy way. It’s gluten, dairy and processed sugar free and you can download it below :)

CAN I HAVE CHEAT DAYS?

Back when I first started eating healthy, I thought that cheat days sounded like a really great idea. Eat healthy all week and then eat bad foods on a Saturday or Sunday without feeling guilty! 

However, when you start thinking of certain foods as forbidden, you tend to crave them more. That’s why I said you don’t have to cut out certain types of food completely.

If you are sticking to a balanced diet, no foods are off-limits. Instead, I recommend allowing yourself to eat treats 2-3 times per week. If you really feel like having pasta for dinner, eat it and don’t feel bad about it! You shouldn’t restrict yourself too much.

I like to stick to the 80:20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and then allow yourself treats 20% of the time. It has honestly been a much better approach for me, and I actually stick to healthy eating better this way, rather than having designated cheat meals.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I EAT? 

Lots of people say that you should eat 5-6 small meals per day, and eat every 2-3 hours. But it actually doesn’t really matter. As long as you are eating the right type of foods and the right amount of calories, you are on track. However, I like to eat smaller regular meals as eating regularly prevents me from getting hungry and over eating. If I don’t eat for longer than this, I get so hungry that when I do eat, I often over eat.

CAN I EAT HEALTHY WHEN DINING OUT?

Just because you eat healthy, doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a meal with friends. At most cafes and restaurants, there are usually healthy options. Here are some ideas for eating out:

  • Breakfast: healthy porridge, poached eggs and avocado on toast, tea or fresh juice;
  • Lunch: chicken/turkey salad or wrap (limit the creamy sauce and cheese);
  • Dinner: stir-fry, healthy curries (no white rice), small steak (200g), salmon or chicken with roast vegetables.

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?

Your organs and tissues are made up of 70-90% water, and even your bones are 20% water. Your body NEEDS water to function correctly! Make sure you’re drinking at least 2L of water per day (can be in the form of other drinks such as tea). Plus this may also prevent you from drinking unnecessary calories from things like soft drink.

My daily diet plan can be found here and here x

If you really want to eat healthy and change your lifestyle, it is best to have a proper plan to follow. You will be much more likely to stick to it and be consistent if you are able to follow a guide.

I have a complete nutrition and workout program that will help you eat healthy while you also train. You can find more information about my program below :)

Love,

Rachael xx

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

17 comments on “Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Eating: Clean Eating Guidelines”

    Anna says:

    When you say 1-2 servings, what is a serving? For example with the fruit, is one piece of fruit equivalent to 1 serving? :)

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      A serving size or portion size is the amount of a food that you eat in one sitting. A serving is a measured amount of food or drink, such as one slice of bread or 1 cup of milk, a plateful of rice or a handful of raisins, etc. One piece of fruit would be equivalent to one serving! :)

      Love,
      Diana xx

    Jackieline lebajan says:

    its so inspiring…

      Rachael Attard says:

      Thank you! :) x

      JASMINE HABR says:

      This is so helpful thank you so much!

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