Making the move to eating healthier and fewer processed foods can be one of the best decisions you ever make. Unfortunately, eating “clean” can conjure ideas of a life of endless salads, brown rice and bland baked salmon. This mental roadblock can detour many. Eating out can seem especially daunting when you’ve decided to make the change to eating clean, but it doesn’t have to be. The good news is many of the foods you already eat can be made whole and healthy with just a few tweaks.
Flame Grilled Chicken from El Pollo Loco, CA
- Bacon over Buns – The idea of the bun-less burger is nothing new. But instead of thinking of it as a sacrifice, think of it as a reason to fill up on more flavorful toppings. I love bacon. It’s delicious and magical and amazing. In additional to bacon, add mushrooms, peppers, onions, whatever you like with abandon. As a side note, I’ll admit, lettuce is no replacement for a bun when it comes to the ability to actually hold all the insides of a burger together, but who cares if you have to use a fork and knife when you get to enjoy such an awesome meal?
- Load up on your Veggies – When ordering Chinese takeout, noodles and rice can normally be a huge portion of whatever you’re eating. Although tasty, they offer little in the way of nutrients and health benefits. Most restaurants will offer to replace these with mixed vegetables. If you’re afraid you’ll miss carbo-loading, try doing a half order of noodles and half vegetables. Your waistline and digestive system will thank you!
- Toss the Tortillas – The quickest way to make your Mexican meal more wholesome is to decline the offer of tortillas. When asked, “Corn or flour?”, just say, “Neither.” The amazing flavors Mexican food has to offer can easily stand alone and be incredibly satisfying. Think marinated chicken, carne asada and carnitas, just eaten with a fork. You’ll still have all the mouth-watering flavors of meat, vegetables and beans, and will love every bite.
Eating clean means eliminating simple carbohydrates from your diet. I know the idea of a burger without a bun, Chinese without noodles and Mexican without tortillas seems insane, but trust me, you get used to it. Not only that, you begin to find new and creative ways to continue enjoying your favorite foods in a healthier light.
Ashley Howe is a working mother of 2, back-to-schooler and food enthusiast. Short on extra time, the meals she makes for her family have to be fast, simple, but also nutritious. Through her blog, she wants to show others how easy it can be to prepare quick, healthy, and delicious meals the whole family will enjoy. You can see her recipes and tips on AshleyRightNow.wordpress.com. Be sure to follow Ashley on Twitter @Ashley_RightNow
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