Honestly, I was a little scared to put the words “clean up” in this title. I don’t judge anybody for what/how they eat, even if it’s different from mine. Although I am happily a vegan, I don’t judge anyone for choosing to eat meat. Everyone is different, and everyone has different dietary needs and preferences.
That being said, I have taken it upon myself to improve my diet as I’ve gotten older. And that doesn’t just pertain to veganism- you don’t have to be a vegan or even a vegetarian to clean up your diet. This is just what I have done in the past, and what works best for me. My goal isn’t to lose weight- my goal is simply to be the happiest, healthiest version of myself possible.
I probably sound like a broken record saying this, but drinking plenty of water is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The first thing I do when I wake up is have some sips of water, especially if I wake up feeling groggy tired. Water is obviously not an adequate replacement for breakfast, but it can help subdue your hunger and make you feel full until you’re able to get food in your system. Because I usually don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast in the mornings, water is crucial for keeping me feeling satisfied and “full” in the morning (at least, until I can grab some real food).
As I said, I’m not here to force my vegan ideals on anyone, but I do absolutely think it has made me a healthier person overall. Because I have cut out dairy, cheese, eggs, and meat, I am now much more reliant on getting my protein from fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Peanut butter, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, potatoes, and broccoli are just a few of my favorite protein sources, and all of them are overall very healthy. I have definitely lost a bit of belly fat since becoming vegan, but like I said, weight-loss is not my goal. Most importantly, I feel overall happier, healthier, and more energetic than ever. I’ve also noticed that my skin has improved, and my nails are growing stronger, so those are definitely good signs.
I’ve learned over the years that there is almost always a healthier alternative for every dish you can think of. It’s certainly nice to indulge sometimes, and I’m not discouraging against treating yourself occasionally, but self-control is really important. Whenever possible, I like to swap out fattier ingredients for lighter, healthier options, especially in my homemade dishes. My favorite vegan macaroni salad uses apple cider vinegar instead of vegan mayo, which cuts out quite a bit of fat in the recipe. For foods that are healthy, but on the blander side, I like to spice it up a bit with natural sweeteners and other sources of flavor. Everything bagel seasoning goes great on avocado toast, and kale is a fantastic addition to any fruit smoothie. When you find ways to sneak healthy ingredients into dishes, you’re going to ultimately feel much better about what you’re eating, and how it makes your body feel. And, a majority of the time, you won’t even be able to taste the “healthy.”
Again, I hope my advice doesn’t come off as judgy or preachy. Do whatever makes you happy and whatever is best for your health, because all bodies are designed to be different! These are the tips and tricks that work for me, and like I said, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my health and my energy. If you decide to go vegan, make sure you take the adequate supplements and vitamins to meet your daily requirements, like iron and B-complex. What are your favorite recipes and food tips? Let me know below!
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