5 PANTRY ESSENTIALS FOR CLEAN EATING + A FEW CLEAN EATING TIPS

I've been eating clean for 5 years now.  I'm not perfect about it and I cheat (mostly with pizza) every so often... most especially since I've been pregnant.  That first trimester when nothing sounded good but pizza or mac & cheese and zero energy was rough.  But overall, I do my best do eat clean most of the time.  The best tips I have for anyone interested in making this lifestyle change is to a) stop eating out and b) read up.  I know it's nearly impossible to stop eating out completely but if you can do it, you'll save tons of money and you'll KNOW what goes into your food.  If there's one book I'd recommend getting to prepare you for your eating clean journey, it's Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman.  He knows how to break down complex scientific info in a way that isn't overwhelming.  I'd also recommend Tosca Reno's Cookbooks.  Her recipes are easy to follow and delish.  Pinterest is also a great source for recipes, obviously.  Here's my clean-eating food board.

Ok so now that we've established the basics, here are some of the essentials to stock your pantry with to make clean eating way easier.  I find that if I've got this stuff on-hand, it's so much easier to whip up some quick recipes and not be tempted to order pizza or crappy Thai food.



1. Black Beans -- check out my tried & true recipe for black beans here. WAY better than canned.
2. Quinoa -- You can whip up a batch of quinoa in about 30 minutes that'll last you a week or so and can be used in all kinds of different dishes, including my staple meal: black bean + veggie bowls.
3. Brown Rice Pasta -- I keep this on hand but since it's a bit processed, I try to use it pretty sparingly.  When I need a quick easy meal, adding some pesto, tomatoes and a bit of organic mozzarella to brown rice pasta couldn't be easier.
4. Gluten Free Oatmeal -- This is my go-to breaky.  I usually use this combo but I'll substitute bananas for strawberries or raisins.  Sometimes you've got to mix it up!  I also pair this with a homemade smoothie or juice.
5. Sweet Potatoes -- These are easy to buy in bulk and if left in a dark pantry can last for a few weeks.  I just found big bags of organic sweet potatoes at my Costco and those lasted us a month.  SO good to have on hand!  You can stuff them with black beans & salsa and twice bake them or dice them and roast them and add them to anything.

Of course you'll also want to hit the market every week to load up on fresh fruits and veggies -- lettuce, kale, tomatoes and avocados are always on my list.  For fruit I usually buy whatever is fresh, organic and whenever possible -- local!

I don't eat meat but I do eat dairy so that's the other half of my shopping list.  I use that pretty sparingly and only buy organic, non-hormone-treated dairy.

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