Clean, organic, plant-based…these words are pretty buzzy right now, right?
Anywhere you look, you can find food and other health products labeled with them. And that’s a good thing! I know they’re some of MY favorite words, especially when it comes to nutrition.
I’m Lisa Danielson, also known as Veggie Lisa. I’m an ISSA certified fitness nutrition specialist, a certified personal trainer, and a 30-year vegetarian.
I’ve eaten a plant-based diet the majority of my life, but I didn’t always know the cleanest, healthiest foods I should eat to look good and feel even better.
I’ve always been active, and I got away with eating pretty much whatever I wanted for many years. But as I gained more weight through my college years and pregnancies, I found it harder and harder to lose.
It wasn’t until after I gave birth to all of my children and had about 30 pounds to lose, that I really learned how to feed and fuel my body.
I hired a trainer who helped me figure out the best macronutrient mix for me, meaning how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat I needed.
So many vegetarians and vegans rely on carbohydrates as the bulk of their fuel and it often keeps them from getting proper nutrition, and can also hinder weight loss.
Here are a few of the main struggles and complaints people have when trying to eat a clean, plant-based diet, but have a hard time getting the proper nutrition to feel great and lose weight:
You don’t get enough! You assume because you are only eating plants and maybe some dairy, that it’s too hard to eat protein or that it isn’t important.
Wrong and wrong!
There are plenty of ways to get in enough protein as a vegetarian and even a vegan. You just need to learn the best sources and be sure to have a serving of it at every meal.
Protein is probably the MOST important macronutrient we require. Most everything in our bodies are made of is made from protein—muscle, skin, hair, bones, nails…the list goes on!
So when we’re deficient in protein, our body just can’t do the jobs it needs to do. You are more satiated by eating protein, and protein takes more work (read: burns more calories) for our bodies to digest.
Also, protein will help us build muscle, which will boost metabolism, which will help us burn fat. It’s a beautiful cycle!
So if you think protein isn’t important, whether you eat exclusively plant-based or not, think again!
It’s a necessity and worth spending the time figuring out what works for you in getting the right amount.
2. Not All Calories are Created Equal
Just because a “food” is vegetarian or vegan, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Often times people will search for vegetarian or vegan “friendly” foods that satisfy their sweet tooth, salt cravings, or mimic foods that they wouldn’t otherwise eat because they have ingredients in them that aren’t vegetarian or vegan.
These food products are often filled with garbage that just isn’t good for our bodies—loads of sugar, artificial ingredients, unhealthy fats, refined flours, etc.
So learning how to read a food label is crucial when you are trying to eat a clean, plant-based diet; both to ensure what you’re eating is indeed vegetarian/vegan and that you are getting the best possible nutrition from what you eat.
And don’t forget—real food is best!
You don’t have to read the food label of an apple or a zucchini because the only ingredient is that food. And we know real food is full of the good stuff our bodies require.
3. Vegetables are Boring…or Gross!
Of course, I don’t believe this at all! But I know so many people do.
When you think of eating lots of vegetables, you might think of lots of dry, boring salads, plain, raw, or steamed veggies with not much flavor, that are hard to swallow.
Eating lots of veggies doesn’t have to be boring.
Some of the best flavors occur naturally in our foods; you just need to know how to prepare and combine them to make them delicious…and even make them something you crave!
If you’re willing to spend some time preparing and experimenting, I promise that vegetables can be one of your favorite parts of your diet!
4. Eating Clean, Plant-Based Foods is Too Expensive
This really is a myth.
Sure, you can shop a certain chain grocery store that is known for their clean, healthy, whole foods, and your bill may be pretty dang expensive. This is especially true when it comes to the processed, “healthy” stuff.
And yes, there can be a time and place for some of those things—for example, when you want ice cream, you can choose the lower calorie ice cream with healthier ingredients. But you make a sacrifice by spending $6 per pint on it!
When you focus on buying clean, whole foods, and use a few tricks I’ll teach you, you can certainly save money—and prevent potential visits to the doctor by keeping your body in tip-top shape.
Remember—animal protein is pricey! Just by not buying it you’ll save money.
Also, buying fruits and veggies in-season, and even frozen (they are as nutritious as buying fresh!) will save you money.
So, no, eating clean doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need to know the best ways to save money!
5. Eating A Clean, Plant-Based Diet is Too Much Work
Nope! I can help you with this too.
I’m busy. I have a family with four busy kids and I work, and the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen every day. So I’ve definitely perfected the art of “prep once, eat two or three times.”
Even though I do eat a lot of foods that require preparation of some sort, rather than popping open a can or opening a box, I’ve learned how to minimize the time it takes to do so.
And the methods I use are ones ANYONE can do.
If you have any of these concerns, I am here to lay them to rest!
I have developed a thorough, seven-day program that will walk you through simple and affordable ways to begin eating a healthy, clean, plant-based diet.
Each day I will help you through the roadblocks and problems I mentioned above, and even more. I also created an amazing, not boring, meal plan to follow for the seven days.
Think yogurt parfaits, tasty curry, fun salads with lots of variety, sweet and filling smoothies made with IdealRaw Protein, and burrito bowls.
This will help get you comfortable in the land of clean-eating and give you a great starting point to be able to make healthy, whole, plant-based foods your lifestyle.
My 7 Days of Clean Eating program will give you all the tools you need to clean up your diet and start making your nutrition work for you, in a simple and affordable way.
You will have more energy, less bloating, likely some weight loss, and an overall happier body as you give it the nutrients it NEEDS.
So don’t wait, sign up for my program today—I can’t wait to help you begin!!