1. Rely on Quick-Cooking Whole Grains:
You have two options: a) cook a big batch of grains like barley, brown rice or wheat berries ahead to use throughout the week; or b) familiarize yourself with some quick-cooking varieties like quinoa, bulgur or faro. They’re all ready in less than 30 minutes.
2. Choose Your Veggies Wisely
Eating clean is easy when you cram as many vegetables as possible into your meal. Try using veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach and snap peas during the week. They have very little prep time and cook in just a few minutes.
3. Add Flavor with Herbs and Citrus
To make your food really flavorful when you cut back on salt, you need to rely on healthy flavor-packed ingredients, such as herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.
4. Use Fruit Instead of Sugar to Sweeten Dishes
If you’re eating clean, you want to avoid foods with added sugars, so when it comes to dessert choose foods that are naturally sweet, such as fruit.
5. Make a Simple Salad
To keep your salad quick and “clean,” stick to fresh, whole foods, keep toppings to a minimum and make your own salad dressing. It sounds time-consuming, but DIY salad dressing needs only a few components: vinegar, oil, dried herbs of some sort, and a pinch of salt. Start with a recipe of 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. If it’s too tart for you, don’t add more oil: try whisking in water to mellow the flavor.
6. Know what you are Getting with Convenience Foods
Read ingredients and choose products with short lists. Check sodium numbers and choose products that have little or no added salt.
7. Cut Back on Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is found in meat and full-fat dairy products. You don’t have to avoid it completely, but cutting back on saturated fat is easy. Opt for low-fat dairy products and cook with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter. Replace some of the meat in your diet with seafood. Salmon and shrimp are good options as they cook quickly.