5 Easy Ways to Eat Cleaner (Without Starting a Trendy Cleanse!)

How to avoid processed, unhealthy food without going on a juice cleanse.

wheat berries filling food

Temptation is everywhere: in the grocery store aisles, at the nearby fast-food joint, and in the kitchen at work. The best way to avoid it is by making small changes. Here are a few ideas so easy you’ll have no trouble sticking to them.

  • Swap in wheat berries for rice: Wheat berries (which actually aren’t berries, they’re whole-wheat kernels) contain one of the highest amounts of protein and fiber per serving of any grain: 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. Protein triggers the hormone ghrelin to tell our brain that we are satisfied, and fiber activates appetite-suppressing gut hormones. Toss them with apples, nuts and other diet-friendly foods to make a tasty salad, or sub for rice or couscous in your favorite dishes.
  • Go for salmon instead of tuna: Substitute canned wild salmon for tuna in sandwiches. Why? Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your heart, and fatty fish such as salmon offer them in spades. On top of that, the fish is low in fat and high in protein.
  • Make smoothies with organic fruit like blueberries: Avoid pesticides by buying organic fruit like blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants as well as fiber. Then blend the berries into a healthy smoothie with milk or yogurt. Because smoothies are blended with air, they tend to make people feel more satiated and eat less at their next meal.
  • Use figs to feed your sweet tooth: Fresh figs have a dense consistency and sweet flesh that's high in fiber (each 37-calorie fig packs about 1 gram). This slows the release of sugar into the blood, preventing the erratic high you'd get from eating cookies or cake. Cut some figs in half and add protein, like almond butter or goat cheese and a walnut.
  • Go nuts:  No matter your nut of choice, the benefits are plenty. Walnuts are full of brain-building omega-3 fatty acids; pistachios help keep eyes healthy. The high level of protein and niacin in peanuts help increase energy and support cell maintenance, while cashews provide magnesium for healthy blood vessels, bones and body tissue. Last but certainly not least, almonds offer lots of vitamin E and calcium for your heart and bones.