Yes, there are processed food substitutions that are easy and can make clean eating totally doable for most people. Whether you love pasta or have a hankering for pizza, there are substitutions that are simple to find and prepare. You just have to know what to look for!
What is clean eating?
For those who have decided to “eat clean” the first few days tend to be the easiest. You are focused and motivated. Often, you’re doing well for a while and enjoying new recipes.
Then, you may start to miss your favorite processed foods. Packing a lunch may become hard when making sandwiches isn’t an option. You may feel like you don’t know what to do without your favorite pasta dish. Don’t worry! You can make it! Below you’ll find easy processed food substitutions to make clean eating possible.
1. Processed Food Substitutions: Bread
Wraps and sandwiches make the perfect portable lunch, but they aren’t exactly clean. If you’re wondering what you’re supposed to be doing without them, look no further than a leaf of lettuce or cabbage. They make great wraps and hold your favorite clean sandwich ingredients very well.
Of course, you can also bake (or buy) some delicious gluten-free baked treats using eggs and either flaxseed or almond meal. Before you think that you can’t live without bread, do a quick Google search for all sorts of quick and easy recipes to try.
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2. Processed Food Substitutions: Breakfast Cereal
If cold cereal is your breakfast of choice, look no further than a bowl of fruit and chopped nuts topped with a little almond milk. You’ll agree that it is much better than that same old bowl of soggy corn flakes. Keep the ingredients chopped and ready in the refrigerator for a quick and easy breakfast.
If you get tired of that substitute, then give eggs a try. They are great for breakfast and will keep you full for hours. Add in some cooked vegetables and fresh herbs and you can have a delicious morning meal.
3. Processed Food Substitutions: Pizza
Did you know that you can have pizza when you are following a clean eating diet? Yes! I love eating pizza bowls which are basically crustless pizzas. You take all the ingredients you love like fresh tomatoes, grilled onions and peppers, mozzarella and herbs like basil and oregano and throw them into a bowl!
You can also 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 pizza pie. There are also several companies that are now offering frozen pizzas with a cauliflower crust that can work with this eating program.
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. They are especially good if you like a crisp, crunchy crust.
4. Processed Food Substitutions: Pasta
Eating clean usually cuts out any and all pasta. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any carbs! You totally can! Rice is a quick substitute as is spaghetti squash. There are also “miracle noodles” available for purchase online and in some health food stores. They are mushroom-based and usually come packed in water. To be honest, they are a bit of an acquired taste.
By far the best and most versatile option is to use squash and zucchini as a pasta replacement. And it tastes amazing! Use a spiralizer, a veggie peeler or just a knife to cut pasta shapes forms from the squash. You can eat these “noodles” raw, or cook them in a dry skillet until your mock pasta is al dente. Serve this pasta with our favorite clean sauce or top it off with some tomatoes cooked in olive oil and garlic. Yum!
You Can Eat Clean!
Yes! It might seem overwhelming but you can do this clean eating thing! Anytime a craving hits or you feel like throwing in the towel because you’re missing some of your old favorites, take a breath and think of these easy substitutions. There are some amazingly delicious clean foods out there for just about anyone.
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.