I used to be addicted to soda pop. As early as junior high, I saved my babysitting money to buy Diet Orange Sunkist. Fast-forward, this habit continued well into adulthood. At my former job, I ran into meetings double fisted with two Diet Dr. Peppers. I thought I needed the caffeine to replenish my energy and the sweet taste to satisfy my cravings. However, once I dived into researching all the detriments of a diet filled with chemicals in packaged foods and drinks, I quit soda immediately. I still missed the taste, though, so looked for alternatives. I tried to rationalize why buying fun, fizzy and hip drinks were right for me. Though when it came down to it, spring water provided the highest number of benefits including detoxification, hydration and skin beautification without any of the toxic “natural flavors.” So, to make it taste good, I started infusing different fruits and vegetables with my water. I love it so much that I recommended it as a substitute for sugary drinks when I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show.
I’ve been painting the town green the past 3-years. What I mean by this is that I’ve been telling everyone and anyone about my love of plant-based eating, as well as drinking green juices and smoothies. My family has been on board, knowing that I feel vibrant and my health is stable. (So there aren’t many “EWWWWW, that looks gross” comments.) We hit a huge milestone two years ago. Not only did my then, 6-year old, ask to try my green smoothie recipe, but he also wanted seconds. That interested my husband, who has been craving them ever since.
I love going out to eat. Ever since I was a kid, I would spend a part of my allowance on dining out at the local hot spot. In the mid-1980’s, it was Taco Bell and Dairy Queen. When I made some big bucks from babysitting, Davanni’s Pizza was our hot spot. Years later and now that I eat clean, I’ve found ways to enjoy restaurant meals while not compromising my clean-eating ways. Sometimes they even have an item on the menu that is vegan and delicious. My favorite summer salad is an endive avocado salad from our neighborhood bistro, Quattro Pazzi. I order it every time and recently re-created it in my home. It’s simple to make and delicious as a side salad or meal.
I love smoothies. There are so many deliciously nutritious recipes that can fool a kid or even an adult into eating more veggies. Any mom, dad, kid or busy individual can make a smoothie filled with fruits and vegetables. It’s simple and not very time consuming. The fiber from the produce often satisfies cravings and fills you up. It just takes a little trial and error to find the right ingredients .
One of the challenges of eating clean is finding snacks on the run. In a perfect world, I would prepare food on the weekends or spend a few hours a day to cook fresh meals. But, I live in the real world. Regardless of how busy I am (or not), I don’t enjoy hours working in the kitchen for dinners let alone snacks. When I’m in a bind, I can find a Larabar in the grocery or gas station convenient stores. These bars are raw and have few ingredients. The only problem for me is that they are made of nuts. So, if I’m with my son, who has a severe nut allergy, these are a no-no. So, I challenged myself to figure out how to make my own nut-free version.