How I Discovered My Passion for Clean Eating

Morena Escardo is a Holistic Health Coach, and the author of Detox Juicing: 3-Day, 7-Day, and 14-Day Cleanses for your Health and Wellbeing, and The Everything Peruvian Cookbook. She writes the health and wellness blog, and co-created the Peruvian food blog along with her mother. She lives in New York City.

My first encounter with an "alternative" way of eating happened when I was a little girl and decided to become a vegetarian. My mother put the Christmas turkey on the dinner table, and I was immediately hit with a wave of compassion and promised myself never to eat a dead animal again. Apparently I really know how to keep a promise, because I’m 33, and still don’t eat meat.

With vegetarianism came a natural interest in food and health, mostly motivated by the fact that this way of eating was not a big trend in Peru, so I really had to go out of my way to create a varied and exciting diet.

Not eating meat was even looked down on a bit, and the constant comments from everyone around me telling me that vegetarianism was not a healthy diet made me extra cautious about being properly nourished and inspired me to learn as much as I could about nutrition. That’s why I started reading through all of the diet and nutrition books in my mom’s personal library, and how I ended up visiting several dietitians in town to learn how to balance my diet.

My interest was such, that for a split second I thought about studying nutrition in college. What I studied instead was philosophy, although saying I studied philosophy is questionable, as all I did those years was plan what I was going to eat, scroll through cookbooks and magazines marking all the healthy vegetarian recipes I could find, and visiting the grocery store on an almost daily basis. All I thought I was doing was trying to avoid eating like a student, but what I was really doing was finding my passion for healthy eating.

I could talk forever about how my healthy eating habits evolved into a completely holistic lifestyle, and into my career as a holistic health coach. I could also talk about how I got started very early on in juicing, meditation, yoga, alternative healing methods, and the like. But instead, I would like to share with you some tips for a wholesome life. Here you have my top 5 lifestyle recommendations, in no particular order:

1. Have a salad with every meal. We all know we need to eat more vegetables, but it’s not an easy thing to do for most people. Prep a quick salad (or order a salad as an appetizer if you eat out) with every meal to help add in those veggies.

2. Enjoy natural sweeteners such as fruit, raw honey, and maple syrup.

3. Drink more water. Many people eat all day long because they think they are hungry. In most cases, what they really are is thirsty, but they don’t know it. Seventy percent of our body is water. We are water. We need water. Water heals and nourishes us better than anything else. Make it a priority. The closer you get to 8 glasses a day, the better you will feel.

4. Eat a nutritious breakfast every single day of your life. Grandma knew it: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I don’t know about you, but when I have a good, nourishing breakfast, my day goes completely different (in a good way) than when I don’t. Try to make this a daily habit, and you can change your life.

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