If you are a vegetarian, you might be looking for a way to eat healthier, but also avoid meat and possibly dairy products as well. Luckily, Functional Medicine Burbank offers a plan to help you practice a clean eating diet is one of the easiest to follow and still maintain a meatless lifestyle. Here are some tips for eating clean as a vegetarian.
- Add Plenty of Healthy Fats As you know from your current vegetarian lifestyle, you need to make sure you get protein and fat from food sources not related to meat and seafood. As stated by Functional Medicine Los Angeles, there are still lots of healthy fats that provide good nutrients without anything that isn’t allowed on the clean eating diet. Keep eating plenty of healthy fats like nuts and seeds, flaxseed, avocadoes, olive oil, and canola oil. These oils are better to use instead of butter. Even if you allow yourself dairy on your vegetarian diet, you should avoid dairy on a clean eating diet unless it is from grass-fed cows.
- Eat Lots of Fruits and Veggies Functional Medicine Santa Monica indicates the majority of what you are going to eat on a clean eating diet is fruits and veggies. Try to really pile them on, not skimping at all. You don’t need to worry as much about your macros with clean eating, as long as you know to recognize your body’s hunger signals and stop eating when you are full. Most of your meals should consist of lots of fresh produce, preferably not frozen and never canned. Start picking up produce at health food stores or farmer’s markets for more variety and to save money.
- Go For the Complex Carbs Carbohydrates are okay to have with a clean eating vegetarian diet, but you want to avoid your refined carbs. These tend to be overly processed and include foods like white pasta, white rice, and white bread. Functional Medicine Digestion in Los Angeles advises that If you want to have rice, grains, or pasta, at least go for the complex carb version, including whole grain or sprouted versions. There is also brown rice pasta, which is even better for you than traditional whole wheat pasta. These also happen to be good sources of fiber and some protein as well, which is always important to have with a vegetarian diet. Add in plenty of quinoa and oats as well.
- Avoid Processed ‘Veggie’ Foods The clean eating diet is about eating as many clean, fresh, and whole foods as you can. An easy way to know what to eat or not eat is to look at how it is packaged. If someone is in a package, it probably is processed in some way. So if you were to eat hummus, making it yourself is far less processed than buying a tub of it at your local health food store. However, if the tub is sold behind the deli counter, they might make it right in the store and package it themselves, which doesn’t require processing.
How Clean Eating Cooking is Different
When it comes to a clean eating lifestyle, Functional Medicine Studio city offers suggestions like trying to reduce processed foods, cook more often, and have as many fresh ingredients as you possibly can. This means cooking is a little different, not just in the fact that more cooking is from scratch, but that you are also changing the ingredients you are using. Keep some of these cooking guidelines in mind.
- Cooking Requires More Planning Functional Medicine Toluca Lake established a guide on how to plan your daily meal. The first thing you need to remember is that because you are cooking more, specifically from scratch, you need to plan a little bit better. While not all meals are going to take a lot of time to cook, you may be surprised by the extra groceries, ingredients needed for meals, and the prep work added on. For example, instead of buying a bag of shredded cheese, you want to buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself. This isn’t difficult to do, but it does require a little extra time. Make sure you are really planning ahead of time.
- You Cook Everything From Scratch Functional Medicine Doctors mentioned already, that most of your meals will be cooked from scratch. Even though some convenience foods aren’t too bad as far as fat and calories, they are processed and loaded with salt, which is not approved in the clean eating lifestyle. It is a better idea that you try to make everything from scratch. There are some exceptions, like buying pre-sliced veggies from the produce section, but this sometimes adds to your grocery bill. It is better to do absolutely everything yourself so that you know it is fresh and you are saving money. Stop buying pancake mix, and make them from scratch, for example.
- Making Meals Ahead of Time Becomes Crucial In addition to planning more for your clean eating lifestyle, you might also want to begin making some of your meals ahead of time. When you live a busy lifestyle, this really does help to avoid picking up fast food on the way home, skipping meals, or grabbing unhealthy snacks from the vending machine. Try to give yourself one day a week when you have time to grocery shop and meal plan, possibly preparing some meals ahead of time for the refrigerator or freezer.
- Buying in Bulk Helps to Save Money If you need to save a little money on your grocery bill when switching to clean eating, try to buy in bulk when you can. There is more upfront to spend, but you save money in the long run. Things like meat, rice and grains, beans, and some spices or seasonings can be purchased in larger quantities.
For more helpful advice and tips, Hollywood Functional Medicine is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us! (818) 505-9511
Services Areas Covered
Studio City, CA, Beverly Hills, CA, Burbank, CA, Encino, CA, Glendale, CA, Los Angeles, CA, North Hollywood, CA, San Fernando, CA, Santa Monica, CA, Tarzana, CA, Toluca Lake, CA, Valley Village, CA, Van Nuys, CA, West Hollywood, CA