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Clean eating.  Veganism.  Plant-friendly diet.  Vegetarianism.  Unprocessed foods. Everybody who’s working out can pretty much explain the options that each meal plan adopts. But I need to know where to find healthy food.

Finding unhealthy food is easy.  Who isn’t surrounded by some combination of gas stations, convenience stores, fast food/slow food (sit down restaurants), liquor stores, drug stores and neighborhood marts where there’s nothing but salty, fatty, yummy, addictive, chemically altered food and drink? What’s worse, pure food is considerably more expensive than fake food.

I’m a recent semi-convert to a plant-based eating lifestyle; I say semi because (disclosure) I’m from Baltimore and seafood is a staple; we actually have a state crustacean.  I also entertain the occasional mac and cheese craving.  I’ve been reducing my consumption of meat since June 2014 and am meat-free today.  I’ve increased my intake of fruits and vegetables and drastically decreased my use of cooking oils.  My sugar cravings have taken a nose dive to about once a week instead of once a day.

Sometimes I rely on somebody else preparing a meal that all I have to do is pick up or drive to, then pay for.  Sometimes I need somebody to Feed Me! like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors.

For a list of local plant-friendly restaurants, go to happycow.net.  Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Ethiopian, Italian, Thai and Chinese restaurants offer vegan and meatless/dairy-free choices of vegetables cooked in exotic spices.  I want to give a shout out to Joe Squared, a Baltimore-based vegan-option restaurant.  National chains including Chipotle (watch the salt) and Panera offer delicious vegan options.

Clean eating isn’t convenient eating.  You have to keep clean snacks in your car/bag/office/gym bag for when the cravings hit and you’ll eat anything that doesn’t run away. Clean eating requires love, time and care.  You have to shop for it, clean it and cook it (with vegetable broth instead of oils or butter).

Exercise changes the body you have.  Food changes the body you have to shape. High quality nutrition is way more than 50% of the weight loss/fitness equation; according to an article in US News and World Report, “the evidence is clear that diet plays a much bigger role (than exercise) in weight loss. Don’t do all the sit ups in the world and then waste ALL that effort by eating unhealthy, high caloric food.

Eating clean coupled with challenging exercise is the formula for a toned, lean body.  Guarantee the results you want by teaming up with The Boot Camp Girl.