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  • Writer's pictureKatie Wright

4 Ways to Eat Clean with In My Bowl’s Aley Dawson

I have some really exciting plans for upcoming posts! For my magazine class I am working on a semester-long project about plant-based eating, inclusive diets, and whole food eating (all kind similar, but also have their differences). What this means for birdfriends is a lot of exclusive content from really interesting experts! The first of which is self-proclaimed wellness warrior, passionate vegan and anatomy nerd, Aley Dawson of . Aley is AWESOME and a huge inspiration to my ventures into plant-based eating, her daily foodstagrams have me #drooling and itching to run into my kitchen and whip up one of her amazing and delicious recipes. An exclusive profile with Aley is currently in the works but I couldn’t wait to share some of her top tips to making clean eating accessible for all. Here goes!

1. Think of Every Meal as a New Opportunity

“People get so caught up in that or the concept of ‘Oh, I’ve cheated on whatever diet or resolution I’ve done, or I’ve strayed and I’ll start back up tomorrow. The weekend’s my freebie and health will start Monday.’ It shouldn’t be about that and we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Every meal is a new opportunity to start over. Sure, you may have had meatballs or Shake Shack yesterday but the world isn’t ending and your body is resilient. There is always the next meal to add more greens or re-center and refocus without getting so nervous or stressed. Sometimes it can feel like so much, but you go to sleep and wake up and it’s a new day. You need to appreciate that. You can have these moments of celebration and not let food dictate how you’re feeling. It’s just part of the experience. Not the whole experience.”

2. Eat All the Colors

“I feel like this is apparent through my photographs, but I try and eat all the colors. It’s partly because it’s aesthetically pleasing, but also because there are so many nutrients that are valuable in each one. As we’re walking through the farmer’s market and even Whole Foods, whatever colors speak to me are what I try and incorporate into that week’s meal. I follow some food photography on Instagram and if things look really yummy, I’ll try and emulate something similar. But mostly I am inspired by what’s in season and their colors.”

3. Cook in Advance

“[On cooking every Sunday] No, it’s fun! I’ll have the same thing for lunch so I’ll make bulk stir-fry or a big sauce that you can put on pasta or greens or something and bring that to work. Or I’ll make sushi and have that for the week or a big stew. So much what I eat is dictated by budget. I’m a 25-year-old full time student, and it’s things I can afford to make that are also really nourishing. Finding that balance is important.”

4. Spread Knowledge

“I think part of the issue is lack of food education. There are canned vegetables; there are food stamps that can be used at farmer’s markets. I think that there are a lot of people who don’t know the health benefits that can be found within a can of black beans or substituting brown rice. You can get brown rice for $1.50 a pound and it has protein and fiber. It has all these different things. You can feed a whole family on a few cups of it. It’s just learning how to utilize ingredients and I guess that requires learning about all the different options are out there and what your dollar can buy.”

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