Today I’m pleased to feature a special guest blogger, Bridgette Sandorford, a culinary research and writer for cullinaryschools.org. Bridgette offered to share tips for transitioning to a clean eating lifestyle.
I’m particularly pleased to share this during Vegan MoFo, because it’s really easy to eat junk as a vegan. You can read here about how I had a steady diet of canned green beans, Twizzlers, and raisins when I first became vegan (Yikes!). Being intentional about plant-based, non-processed, clean eats is the best way to go about any diet, but especially a vegan one! If, as vegans, we are committed to making ethical food choices, we should practice compassion for not only animal bodies, but also our bodies, right?
Without further ado, here’s Bridgette!
Top 5 Ways to Start Eating Clean Today
Eating clean is the first step toward a healthier diet and a healthier lifestyle. Eating clean can improve your energy, reduce your risk of illness, and help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
To eat clean simply means to eat foods in their whole, natural form. That means no fried foods, no fatty foods, no sugary foods, and no processed foods. Think fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you can buy it in a package, it’s probably not in its natural state.
If you’re not sure how to get started, here are the top 5 ways that you can start eating clean today:
Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
You can never go wrong eating fruits and vegetables (so long as they’re not covered in fatty cheeses and sauces or sugary syrups). Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can ensure that you are eating more fresh, natural foods and have less opportunity to eat fatty, sugary, or processed foods.
Add a serving or more of fruits and/or vegetables to every meal and snack to ensure you are getting lots of these nutritious foods.
Choose Whole Grains
An easy swap for many processed foods is to choose the version made with whole grains. Instead of white bread, pasta, and rice, choose the whole grain version instead.
Not all “whole grain” versions are healthy choices. Read labels and avoid products that include added sugar, chemicals and preservatives.
Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
The time between meals can lead to boredom, hunger, or temptation — all of which can sabotage healthy eating. Keep a cooler full of healthy snacks so you are not tempted to reach for quick fixes like chips or cookies from the vending machine.
Chopped veggies, fruits, crackers, and nuts all make excellent snacks that you can keep in your cooler. Reach for these whenever you have the urge to snack.
Make Meals in Batches
At the end of a long day, it can be easier to stop at a drive-thru or pick up some takeout than to make a hot meal from scratch. You can ensure you have healthy meals throughout the week without having to cook each night by making your meals in batches.
Pick a day on the weekend and make several meals at once. Stews, soups, casseroles, and grain dishes are all good choices to prepare ahead of time. You can freeze meals as necessary and then just heat them up during the week.
Drink Plenty of Water
By drinking plenty of water, you keep your body hydrated, control your appetite, and keep cravings under control. Water also helps you to flush out toxins to improve your health and your energy levels.
Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of pure water — more if you are active. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, as thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated and healthy.
Eating clean is a great way to stay healthy and to maintain your weight. While it may seem like a lot of changes to make at first, you can start to eat clean by making these simple changes for a healthy makeover.
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for Culinaryschools.org, where recently she’s been researching culinary art colleges. Bridget enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.
Do you follow any/all of these tips? Have any clean eating tips to add? Did you eat a lot of junk when you first became a vegan?