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About this challenge

Clean eating is the perfect way to improve your diet and overall wellbeing. Some of the benefits include improving your energy levels, quality of sleep, skin health and your mood.

Remember that clean eating isn’t just another fad diet, it’s a sustainable diet choice. With a little planning, clean eating is actually quite easy and will soon become second nature to you. We’ll show you how to change your eating habits and improve your lifestyle in just one week.

This challenge will provide you with a daily meal plan, tips and advice on introducing the concept into your life as well as explaining more about some of the benefits of clean eating.   

beginner Training Plan

Entry requirements: beginner

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
Anytime
Duration:
1 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Task

What exactly is clean eating?

Clean eating essentially involves following a diet of unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods that are as close to their natural state as possible (the way Mother Nature intended them). So for example, you would choose to eat an orange in its natural form - which will be full of vital nutrients, rather than an orange juice drink - which will include additives and preservatives not found in the fruit alone.

By eating clean, you give processed and heavily pre-packaged foods a wide berth and instead eat foods that are whole and fresh - think fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean cuts of meat and lots of water. Clean eating also involves keeping ingredients simple and eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day.

We’re probably not the first to tell you that what you eat has a major bearing on how you feel. Fuel your body with the right foods and you’ll soon notice major improvements to your health.  

Suggested meal plan

 

Breakfast - Mixed berry and flaxseed smoothie

Lunch - Spinach and feta flatbread

Dinner - Beef and vegetable stir fry

Snack One - Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus

Snack Two - Mango chia seed pudding

Tuesday
Task

Avoid processed foods

Pre-packaged and processed foods go against the principle of clean eating as they have been modified from their natural state. Foods are processed for a number of reasons, which include extending the shelf life, decreasing the cost of buying and to make cooking more convenient. But as a result of these chemical modifications, the foods end up containing added sugars, artificial ingredients and are typically low in fibre.

Processed foods such as pizzas, chips, canned soups and packaged pasta meals all contain high levels of sodium, which can cause weight gain, high blood pressure and increase your chances of developing heart disease.

One easy rule to follow is to try and steer clear of ingredients you can’t pronounce. The next time you are in the supermarket, take a close look at the ingredient label. If you struggle to read or pronounce one or more of the ingredients, put it back on the shelf.

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Sweet potato pancakes

Lunch - Tomato and carrot soup

Dinner - Lemon herb chicken breast and cauliflower mash

Snack One - Handful of mixed nuts and seeds

Snack Two -  Brown rice crackers with guacamole

Wednesday
Task

The importance of food preparation  

It can seem a lot easier and more convenient to buy a ready meal or order a takeaway rather than cook a meal from scratch, which is why food preparation and smart shopping are so important when it comes to clean eating.

Some people find it useful to set aside a few hours on a Sunday to plan their meals and prepare things ready for the week ahead. That way, when it comes to cooking an evening meal later on in the week, it will take a fraction of the time and you’ll be more likely to stick to your clean eating plan.

You can also batch prepare clean eating meals and then freeze individual portions, that way, you’ve got your own healthy, ready meal that you can enjoy after work.

When it comes to shopping, make sure you head to the supermarket with a list - and stick to it! Now is not the time to cave in and buy a bar of your favourite chocolate just because it’s on offer. Also, make sure you don’t head to the supermarket when your hungry as you’ll be much more likely to buy on impulse.

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Peanut butter and banana muffins

Lunch - Quinoa taco salad

Dinner -  Herb crusted salmon and vegetables

Snack One - Apple chips

Snack Two - One hard-boiled egg

Thursday
Task

Cut added sugars from your diet

Too much sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, liver damage, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease among other things. And many of us intake high amounts of added sugar in our diets, without even realising it.

Although sugars naturally occur in foods such as fruit and vegetables, these can stay in your diet as they also contain fibre, water and other nutrients.

Always check the ingredient list of any food you’re going to eat to see how much added sugar it contains. Even foods that you think are healthy, sometimes contain a lot of added sugar, so it’s always worth checking. For example, some yoghurts contain high amounts of added sugar. To avoid this, stick to plain varieties and then add your own fruit toppings. That way you know exactly what your eating.

If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, check out the article below for some helpful tips on beating them.

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Overnight oats with blueberries and almonds

Lunch - Wholemeal pitta bread with chicken, hummus, tomato and cucumber

Dinner - Broccoli frittata

Snack One - Apple with peanut butter

Snack Two - Kale chips

Friday
Task

Drink more water -

Water makes up around 60% of our body so it’s important to keep these levels topped up. By doing so you’ll feel more alert, improve your mood, feel fuller, improve your concentration levels and ensure the correct functioning of your body.

To increase the amount of water you drink, make sure you carry a water bottle wherever you go. Also, try writing reminders to yourself and put them in places you’ll see them a lot, such as your fridge or on your desk at work. You could also infuse your water with different fruit and herb combinations to give it some flavour.

Eating foods that are rich in water also count towards upping your water intake. So melon, cucumber and celery all make good clean eating snacks.

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Roast vegetable frittata

Lunch - Lentil soup

Dinner - One pot chicken, quinoa and broccoli

Snack One - No-bake granola bars

Snack Two - Fruit kebabs

Saturday
Task

Enjoy your meals -

How many diets have you been on where you’ve dreaded the thought of the next meal? Another boring salad that neither satisfies your appetite or your taste buds. This is one of the many benefits of eating clean - you can actually enjoy the food that your eating!

You don’t have to cut out all of your favourite things from your diet, there are ways to enjoy foods like pizza, pancakes and dessert. If you put some thought in, you can make almost any recipe ‘clean’. Replace unhealthy ingredients with like for like healthy alternatives. For example, white flour can be replaced with alternatives such as spelt or coconut flour, rice can be replaced with quinoa and sugar can be replaced with vanilla extract for some recipes.

Take some time to sit and enjoy your food, and appreciate the effort you’ve put into you preparing and cooking your meals. Knowing the benefits eating clean has on your health is sure to put a smile on your face.

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Omelette with fresh herbs    

Lunch - Baked bell pepper tacos

Dinner - Spinach and sweet potato tortilla

Snack One - Plain Greek yoghurt with homemade berry sauce

Snack Two - Two rice cakes topped with nut butter

Sunday
Task

Put it into practice -

Congratulations for making it to day 7 of the challenge! By now we trust that you’re well on your way towards becoming a clean eating machine.

Hopefully with our help, introducing the concept of clean eating into your life has been a little easier, and this week you’ve certainly laid good foundations for continuing this habit into the future.

If you haven’t already noticed changes to your overall health and wellbeing, then these benefits will soon be coming your way. Going forward, you can mix and match the meals and snacks that you’ve eaten this week and start to experiment with your own ideas. Good luck!

Suggested meal plan 

 

Breakfast - Poached egg and avocado on wholemeal toast

Lunch - Raspberry, avocado and mango salad

Dinner - Sweet potato and chicken fajitas

Snack One - Oatmeal raisin bars with hemp and chia seeds

Snack Two - Homemade fruit ice lolly

Week 1
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