Start the new year by nourishing yourself and eating clean for the first two weeks of 2018. Our new Clean-Eating Plan, created by the registered dietitians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh of C&J Nutrition, sets you up for success with easy-to-make recipes and meal-prep directions, plus printable shopping lists and menu plans. We even offer vegetarian options!
The plan focuses on whole foods: fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. To keep it simple, some meals repeat and many of the lunches use leftovers from the night before. It's streamlined — we want you to enjoy cooking for yourself, but we also want you to get out there and enjoy life. You'll eat three meals, a snack, and a treat daily. That's right! Eating clean doesn't mean skipping dessert.
If you're into the numbers, all five daily meals, with snacks and treats included, add up to about 1,600 calories per day. The carb, protein, and fat ratio is close to 50:20:30. The carbs are all whole grains, so they're high in fiber. The protein is lean, and the fats are primarily plant-based. And all the food is tasty. The plan is alcohol-free, but you can have your morning cup of caffeine provided you drink it without cream since the the plan is dairy-free.
How the Plan Works
The 14-day plan is divided into two weeks, with a separate printable shopping list and printable menu calendar for each week. We suggest shopping the day before starting the plan so you have all your healthy ingredients on hand for the first clean breakfast. If you're following the vegetarian version, look for the vegetarian-specific shopping lists.
While you can start the program on any day of the week, you should follow it in sequence since this plan uses leftovers throughout each week. You will do bits of meal prep throughout the week — just look for the prep notes at the top of each recipe for what to use, save, and make ahead.
Tips For Success
- Clean Out Your Fridge: Since you will be buying a bunch of fresh ingredients and then making fabulous meals with all this yummy food, you'll need ample storage for both the ingredients and the leftovers. Take some time to create space in your fridge to make this process easier. Trust us. We learned from experience.
- Shop Early: Plan your grocery shopping day one day ahead of your prep day, if possible, since shopping and cooking all in one day can be a little daunting. And since you are only shopping once each week, you will be freezing some of the meat on the plan. Just make sure to start thawing those items the day before, but don't worry — we remind you about it in the daily rundown.
- Bulk Bins: Shop the bulk bins to save money by ensuring you have just the amount you need and no more. Look for nuts, seeds, spices, dry goods, and even chocolate in the bulk bins of your local grocery store.
- Clear Containers: Store prepped produce and other ingredients in clear containers. The more you can see what's in the fridge, the more likely you are to eat it and not forget about it!
- Hydrate: Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day and even more when you exercise. Some people need more water than others, and the best way to tell if you're dehydrated is to check the color of your urine. It should look pale yellow to almost clear. If it's looking more like apple juice, it's time to drink up! Water and herbal tea are great ways to hydrate.
- Freezing Meat: After shopping, you should freeze any meat that you are using later in the week. You want to protect the meat from air, which can "burn" it. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, and then place in a Ziplock bag. Label the bag with the freezing date and type of meat.
- Thawing Meat: The safest way to thaw meat is in the fridge. The night before you plan on cooking frozen meat, take your cut of meat out of the freezer and place it in the fridge, still wrapped. Small cuts take about 24 hours to thaw. You can also place small cuts of meat in a bowl of lukewarm water.
We're sure you have a few questions, so do check out our frequently asked questions, and hopefully you will find your answers there.