Ready to overhaul your diet without breaking the bank?
Clean Eating Alice, otherwise known as Alice Liveing, is a qualified personal trainer and a veritable Instagram sensation, having racked up almost 300,000 followers with her daily diet and exercise posts – and we’ve managed to get her to spill the beans on her eating habits and share some delicious recipes with us too!
Clean eating, to Alice, isn’t about spending a fortune or forking out for bizarre ingredients – in her own words, ‘it is simple: it is about eating nutrient-dense, whole foods to create, nourish and fuel a healthy mind and body.’
Here, Alice tells us the top 9 kitchen essentials to get you started on your journey, and shares 3 delicious ideas to try at home…
We often find ourselves under the impression that eating healthily involves spending a lot of money, but I am here to hopefully prove to you that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to have a nutritious, balanced diet.
Having begun my clean eating journey whilst at university, it simply wasn’t an option for me to spend a large amount of money on my food shop. If planned and prepped right, eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive. The list below gives you some pointers by which you can build your shopping trolley with essential items that will allow you to create a healthy, balanced and nutritious week of eating.
Investing a little money into your health will only see you reap the rewards both physically and mentally, and with a few top tips you can begin to make small changes and simple swaps that will have lasting effects.
For instance, spinach or kale. You can buy these frozen or fresh, with frozen being slightly cheaper, but either way I always like to have a packet of leafy greens to hand. They’re packed full of phytochemicals which are proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, and are rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron, making them the perfect addition to any breakfast, lunch, smoothie or salad.
I also always buy some form of brassica vegetable, like broccoli or cauliflower, in my weekly shop, to ensure I’m getting a decent dose of vitamin C, whilst also being a brilliant source of soluble fibre.
My final choice from the veggie aisle would be something like sweet potato, which is a perfect staple to build any meal around. They’re usually loved by all, so are perfect for fussy eaters, and are a great source complex carbohydrate to fuel the body too.
One of the cheapest and easiest breakfasts, there are so many variations that you can try with oats. I like them with all sorts of toppings, like nuts, seeds and dried or fresh fruit, but if you’re on a really tight budget, simply having oats with a chopped banana is the perfect fuel for a busy day ahead.
I always like to stock up on tinned goods when I’m shopping on a budget. I’ll often have something like tuna, tinned mackerel or chickpeas, with sweet potato or rice for lunch, which can be dressed up with herbs and spices to make a packed lunch to take to work. This means I can save money on my lunches and spend a little extra on good quality meat and fish for my dinner.
Meat and fish
Protein is the building block of our body and is essential to our diet. I always stock up on a good balance of lean proteins such as chicken or turkey, and fish to make simple, wholesome dinners. I’ll also buy a packet of beef mince which I’ll usually making into a big chilli that I can portion up and freeze for as and when I need it – leftovers should never go to waste!
I absolutely love fruit, and although it can be extortionately expensive I do always allocate some money to buying a combination of fresh and frozen fruit that I eat throughout the week (frozen is particularly good for pricer fruits like berries). Fruit is a brilliant source of vitamins, minerals and fibre and I usually eat mine with oats, or as snacks throughout the day.
I am always encouraging people to include a variety of fats in their diet. Gone are the days where people believed low fat diets were optimal for health and so I’ll always spend a little money buying things like cheese, chorizo, avocados or greek yogurt to ensure I’m getting a good daily dose of fats.
I snack on all sorts, but some good cheap favourites for me are rice cakes, greek yogurt and fruit. Try rice cakes with peanut butter, or homemade fruity muffins like banana and blueberry.
Convinced? Try three of Alice’s easy, affordable recipes from her book, The Body Bible
Super-green Breakfast Smoothie
1 large kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks 1/2 ripe avocado, stone removed and flesh cut into chunks 1tbsp Greek yogurt 1 handful of fresh spinach
Juice of 1 lime 1/4 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks 100ml unsweeted almond milk
1. Blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Goat’s Cheese, Pesto and Rocket
1tsp coconut oil 4 large portobello mushrooms 200g goat’s cheese, cut into 1-2cm slices Grated zest of 1/4 lemon 50g rocket
2tbsp pesto Toasted rye bread (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the grill.
2. Melt the coconut oil until it is a liquid then coat the mushrooms in the oil and season. Place them onto a foil-lined tray and cook under the grill for about 10 minutes or until softened.
3. Slice your goat’s cheese into 1-2cm slices, top with a pinch of lemon zest then place on the cooked mushrooms. Put them back under the grill for a few minutes.
4. Remove the mushrooms and plate them up, topping with a handful of rocket and a good drizzle of pesto.
5. Serve with some toasted rye bread, if using.
Cashew and Goji Berry Energy Balls
Makes about 12 balls
3tbsp chopped unsalted cashew nuts 3tbsp goji berries, roughly chopped 2tbsp sunflower seeds 2tbsp agave nectar 3tbsp milled flaxeed 1tbsp desiccated coconut
1. Pulse all the ingredients except the coconut in a blender until well combined.
2. Using your hands, form about 12 small balls with the mixture and cover in a light coating of dessicated coconut. Transfer to a plate to chill for about 30 minutes.
See more from Alice in the new issue of Essentials magazine, on shelves 2nd June