Tacos aren’t just for Tuesday anymore. Nor are they an occasional, guilty indulgence. Done right, tacos can actually be healthy. That’s the reasoning behind the newest dietary cleanse referred to as the taco cleanse.
Can replacing one, two or three meals a day with tacos be healthy? It’s called the taco cleanse, and it’s doctor-approved. There is a catch, however, so before you go out and hit up all the taco trucks you can find, let's go over the ground rules.
Tacos are not generally thought of as a health food, which is why the four authors of The Taco Cleanse diet took a humorous approach when unveiling their self-proclaimed tortilla-based diet. But once you get underneath the shock and humor of it all, you start to realize that tacos can actually be healthy. And we're definitely ready for that.
First, only vegan tacos are allowed on the diet. Second, the cleanse has a handful of rules regarding serving size and what qualifies as a taco. For example, you can only use a flat tortilla that folds once and fits in one hand. No burritos allowed! All of this prompts an important cut down on portion size and maximizes the chances that it'll be a healthy choice you're making. Then there are the vegan ingredients. The best part? It's still tacos. And tacos are just plain fun and it's hard to feel deprived even if you are experimenting with a vegan diet.
The Taco Cleanse may take vegan ideas to new heights. The diet’s healthy tacos do not contain meat or cheese — but if done right, you won't even miss it. In fact, they do not contain any dairy or eggs whatsoever — yeah, that means no sour cream. Fish and shrimp tacos are also off-limits. The tacos on this cleanse also should not come wrapped in processed tortillas and deep-fried shells. Rather, the cleanse asks users to utilize whole-grain and/or veggie-based tortillas. Tortillas can be flat or pita-like, but they should not be bready and never ever fried. Warm them in the oven or microwave instead.
The tortilla is only the conduit anyway; it’s what’s inside that really matters. So, what all goes into a healthy taco? In addition to any veggie a taco lover could want — tomatoes, lettuce, kale, olives, carrots, avocados, onions, cucumbers and more — you can add beans, tofu and other legumes. And to top it off, you can add soy or nut cheeses or sour cream, but take it easy, these add extra calories. The key is to choose only healthy, vegan, and whole-food ingredients. As you can imagine, the combinations and possibilities are endless.
As you may have already surmised, this diet is not a lifestyle — it's a fin way to kick off a healthy vegan lifestyle. It’s not meant to be a long-term diet plan but instead to show that vegan food can be fun and interesting and even compete with old favorites. However, pursuing the concept for one day a week or even five, seven or 10 days in a row can help the vegan-curious to discover new foods and flavors to incorporate into a healthy, vegan, daily diet.
If you do decide to do a taco cleanse, pay attention to what products you’re choosing and how you’re preparing them. Not all vegan ingredients are healthy and processed foods that are vegan can be just as unhealthy as those that aren't vegan. Some processed vegan foods contain a lot of sodium, or sugars, or other additives. It's also really easy to make healthy foods unhealthy with frying or sauteeing them in heavy oil.
Vegan tacos can be a tasty, healthy addition to any diet. What’s more, healthy tacos are a great way to curb cravings while staying on track. And, with so many ingredients and combinations to choose from, you will never get bored with your tacos.