Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard.

Don’t let eating healthy, and eating right, be intimidating.

A lot of people I have talked to always say that they don’t know where to start, they don’t have time, or it’s too expensive. Let’s start crossing the excuses off of the list. Right now.

First off, I always send everyone who has expressed an interest in eating clean to cleaneatingmag.com. Their magazine is what got me started on the path more than a decade ago and it’s an amazing tool. There, they break down just what clean eating is in the simplest, easiest to understand form. They have a bevvy of recipes, grocery lists for each week, and are extremely budget friendly.

Next, you always have time. So take that damn black Sharpie and cross that excuse right off of your list immediately. No one is ever too busy to make time for their health. A healthy body is a happy body. Meal prep and cooking doesn’t have to take hours upon hours. The greatest thing about almost all of the clean eating recipes is one thing: It can all be prepared ahead of time. Set aside a Sunday afternoon and cook all of your lunches for the week. Also take that time to either prep dinner for cooking the day you plan to eat, or cook it after you prep it that Sunday so all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and reheat it or just eat it as is. Meal prep shouldn’t really take more than four hours for an entire week’s worth of dinners and lunches. Then not only do you have a stocked fridge, full of healthy foods, but you also save time in the mornings getting lunch together before work, and time is also saved on dinner. Think of meal prep as creating instant-microwavable meals. Not to mention, it saves you money. No more running out to grab a lunch from somewhere because you forgot yours, or you didn’t have time to make something because you were running late. Meal prep is a win all the way around.

Finally, the cost. Yes, eating healthy can be expensive. It’s the biggest reason why people fail in changing permanently their eating habits. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When I started, I was a freshman in college with bills up to my eyeballs. We all know what it’s like, college students are poor no matter which way you spin it. I wasn’t able to go to the grocery store and buy all fresh produce, and my meats needed to be bought on sale. The luxuries I have today with a much more flexible budget, were not there over a decade ago. So what did I do? I hit the frozen food aisle. Frozen veggies are ten-times better for you than canned. Canned veggies have sodium and other additives (that aren’t good for you) to keep them preserved, whereas frozen doesn’t. Same with fruit. And both are considerably cheaper than buying fresh. Frozen chicken and turkey (with no breading, fancy marinades, etc) is a lot cheaper than buying from the meat counter as well. As for things like quinoa, rice, etc? Hit up your local health food store for that stuff. The chain grocery stores don’t tend to really push a lot of products like that, so their prices are often insanely high. Your health food store will almost always be cheaper for those items, because that’s their specialty. Not only will the product be better, but you’ll save money too.

In the end, you have to adapt. It’s always a learning experience, eating healthy. But it’s definitely worth it. You’ll feel better, your body will thank you, and so won’t your health.

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