Congratulations… you decided to “eat clean.” What happens on day 4 when the cravings hit (and they will?) How about when the fun of new recipes wears off? You start to miss your favorite processed foods (cake, anyone?). Packing a lunch is hard when making sandwiches isn’t an option. And how are you supposed to go without your favorite pasta dish?
Not to worry. I’ve got your back. Here are some of my favorite clean eating substitutions.
Eating clean usually cuts out any and all pasta. Quinoa is a quick substitute, and so is spaghetti squash. I throw spaghetti squash in the crockpot in the morning so its ready for dinner. I also use zucchini as a pasta replacement. Use a spiralizer, a veggie peeler or just a knife to form pasta-like shapes. You can eat it raw, or cook it in a dry skillet until your mock pasta is al dente (sometimes I add some olive oil and salt/pepper). Serve with your favorite clean pasta sauce or top it with some tomatoes cooked in olive oil and garlic.
Lettuce wraps can definitely replace sandwiches, but what about all the other bread? First of all, in my opinion (some will disagree) I think that there are some bread options that aren’t totally out of the clean diet. Sprouted breads offer some benefits, and the very occasional tortilla probably isn’t too terrible.
The truth though, is that being breadless takes some getting used to, especially if you are like me and used to bread with basically every meal. I have noticed that after not eating much bread for quite a while, I don’t have much interest in it most if the time, and my stomach doesn’t settle well when eating it.
If you gravitate to cereal every morning, this can be a tough adjustment. I have found that starting my day with eggs and fruit means that I stay full longer and am often able to to eat a salad or some fruits and veggies at lunch without feeling starved.
Other breakfast options could include oatmeal, overnight oats, fruit salad, hasb browns, even bacon (look for nitrate and sugar free options).
Did you know that you can make pizza crust from cauliflower? It’s a bit of work and slightly messy to eat, but boy does it hit the spot when you’re craving a piece of pie.
Depending on what you’re eating on your personal version of clean eating, corn tortillas may be a good gluten-free option. They make perfect individual sized pizzas.
Any time a craving hits or you feel like throwing in the towel because you’re missing some of your old favorites, do a search. Clean eating is a challenge when you’re first starting, but there are some great substitutes out there. It will all seem worth it when you are feeling better, have more energy, and even possibly losing weight (I lost 40 lbs through clean eating and my favorite weight loss system).
Read more about Clean Living here and here.
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