I became a vegetarian almost four years ago. I thought it would be the answer to eating healthy but deleting meat doesn’t necessarily mean you are deleting crap and processed foods out of your diet. (Insert eating mac and cheese, potato chips, loaded baked potatoes and pizza here.) But I will say it was very hard to figure all this out in the beginning.  I had no idea what to cook or how to get around my old habit of cooking chicken almost every night. Something had to substitute as my protein (which had become heavy starches and too much processed food) but I did not know what, and I certainly wasn’t one of the tofu eating hippies….or was I?

After a year of being a unhealthy vegetarian eating predominately potatoes, pizza and chips I realized that this was not the answer to becoming healthy. Luckily, a good friend of mine who is also a vegetarian taught me how to eat clean and make better choices when eating out and cooking at home. For two years now my diet is 90% clean. I’ve cut out most gluten, substituted dairy for alternatives like almond milk and eliminated sugar. My 10% “bad” is occasionally eating cheese ( I just love it!) and I will occasionally have a cupcake or something similar, but having eliminated sugar it nearly hurts my teeth every time because I am not used to it!

Does this mean I am starving? Nope. It means food tastes better and my body thanks me for it. My skin has never looked better, my joints don’t hurt and I feel good; something most Americans complain the most about, feeling like crap. Since eating clean my daily fatigue is gone, my acne has vanished and I look ten years younger…can you say bot-ta bing, bot-a boom!? Are you ready to feel better? Read on!

17 easy ways to cut processed foods from your diet



 What have you done to make changes to your diet? Leave tips in the comments below!