Aim For 80/20
Now that you got the basics down, you can see how flexible this philosophy is. But it's even more flexible than you think. Since this isn't a diet but a healthy lifestyle, you should aim to eat clean 80 percent of the time, which gives you 20 percent wiggle room. While you might avoid alcohol on the daily, it's OK to have a glass of wine once in while or dig into an ice cream sundae. But these indulgences are more an exception than the rule. After eating clean for while, you might even find your cravings for sugary, rich treats or fancy cocktails have diminished. Basically, eating clean is all about balance and moderation.
When you practice 80/20, you give yourself the space to enjoy a meal out or a cocktail with friends, but most importantly, it makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run. And that's what you want to do: create a sustainable, healthy way of fueling your body that tastes good and satisfies your nutritional needs.
To jump-start your clean eating, check out this two-week plan with recipes for three meals a day, plus a snack and a treat. We have printable shopping lists so you can stock up on all that you need. This plan teaches you how to cook and eat clean and meal prep, too.