Vegan Life: A Guide to Clean Eating
I decided to get serious about changing my diet in 2014 when I became a vegetarian. Although I felt great (and lighter) giving up meat, I was still plagued with fluctuating weight gain that became increasingly more difficult to stabilize. But, weight was not the deciding factor on my road to veganism. My grandmother has stressed the importance of reading labels to me since I was a young girl, and it wasn’t until I took this much needed wisdom that I began to see how important this would be to my overall well-being.
My general rule of thumb is that I try to stay away from eating foods with excessive ingredients and names that I can’t pronounce. Natural and organic foods are pretty simple and to the point. It’s like a math equation, what you put in is what you get out of it. If there’s anything that your body needs for nutrition, healing, energy, and even aesthetically, it’s best to look to mother nature for answers.
Change is good! I promised myself that I would be in the best shape of my life this year and that I would seek to feel great both inside and out, and I’ve finally found my lane. Less is more and I have a few “rules” to live by that I continue to embrace. It feels great to know that I’m feeding myself and my family food that was handmade by the creator. Raw and organic dishes don’t have to be boring. I’ve really enjoyed creating recipes, making my own bread, and feeling better. I’m very fortunate to live in a city that really embraces healthy living. There’s matcha and greens on every corner in LA. Here are a few tips to kickstart your switch to clean eating:
- Water– I carry Fiji water with me at all times. It’s the perfect Alkaline level and rich in oxygen to help the body to thrive and stay hydrated. Water is also the key to clear skin. Killing many birds with one stone.
- Starch- I’ve eliminated starch from my diet. I bake bread, pancakes, and pastries with spelt flour instead of traditional flour. It’s an ancient grain that is easily digestible. It does contain gluten (not for people with gluten allergies) but boost the immune system and carries many other beneficial components.
- Juicing- I start my day by juicing fresh fruits and vegetables, and I get really excited about new recipes. I’ve become sort of a green “barista” by trying out different smoothie and juicing concoctions. My favorite is (kale, camu camu powder, strawberry banana, organic peanut butter, and hemp milk.) Thank me later. You can add any assortment that you like, just be sure to pack in your green leafy vegetables to get all of the nutrients that you’ll need for the day.
- Sugar- Sugar is not my friend. I have an insane sweet tooth, but I’ve not had a craving for sweets since I began to eliminate sugar from my diet. In the past, I would read labels and stick to items that had less than 8 grams of sugar. Lately, I don’t eat it at all unless it’s natural. Rocking with Agave and Stevia these days, and I don’t miss artificial sugar at all. In fact, my pastries, cakes, and pies taste amazing and I don’t feel guilty afterwards.
- Explore Organic Restaurants- Even if you have to have your burger fix, make sure that it’s organic and grass fed. I don’t like to impose my eating habits onto others, so I’ve made it a point to find places that I can enjoy with friends who may not be vegan. My father has been raving about ‘the best burger that he’s ever tasted’ since he visited me in LA and took a trip to my favorite place, Malibu Farm. I love this place. because it has a bit of everything for everyone. The food is sourced from local farmers and you can tell by the freshness of the ingredients. And, the backdrop isn’t too shabby. An organic meal by the ocean is an ideal date for me.
Gracias Madre- Favorite Vegan Mexican CuIsine with the best Margaritas!
Erewhon Market – My go-to local market in Calabasas. You’d have to be familiar with the neighborhood to spot this jewel. It’s an organic market tucked away off of Las Virgenes Canyon; and is a neighborhood staple for organic shopping. The hot food bar is great for nights where cooking isn’t an option.
Urth Cafe- A Melrose Avenue Staple for an organic coffee date.