Gina Racioppo, today's Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook guest blogger, shares her story of recovering from junk food vegetarianism. It's a problem that plagues many new/uneducated vegetarians. We discuss it in the cookbook, but please take a moment to read how Gina gave up the junk.
|Gina gave up junk for peppers and more!|
When I left home to attend university, I was away from my mom's well-stocked crisper drawer and fruit bowl. I became a junk-food vegetarian who subsisted on bagels, french fries, cup o' noodles... all of which are meatless, and technically, vegetarian. By the time I graduated, I weighed 200 pounds.
With the weight gain came the reappearance of chronic stomach problems that had plagued me when I was a teenager, leaving me in constant pain. I eventually managed to lose some of the weight through extreme calorie cutting, but still relied heavily on processed foods. I was taking prescription medication for my stomach, but still felt lousy.
About four years ago, a friend and I decided to train for a fitness competition. I became an avid reader of Oxygen magazine, and it was here that I first learned of Tosca Reno's Eat-Clean Diet. 23 years later, I finally get it! I am no longer competing, but I have continued to follow Tosca's principles of Eating Clean to maintain a nutritionally-sound vegetarian diet centred around fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, tofu, and unrefined grains.
My clean vegetarian diet is a very important part of my lifestyle. Eating this way gives me energy to fuel my workouts, allows me to maintain my 65-pound weight loss, and best of all, helps to keep my stomach problems to a minimum.
I enjoy the challenge of cooking interesting, clean vegetarian meals for my (non-vegetarian) husband, and sharing delicious, health-giving foods with friends and family.