Santos, June 20, 2015
When you hear the word “vegan”, do you want to put your hands over your ears, close your eyes and run away? Maybe you have tried vegan food before and it tasted gross or upset your stomach. Well just like there are hundreds of ways to prepare meat, dairy, and eggs, there are hundreds of ways to prepare fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These days, the phrase “plant-based” is becoming a more popular term to accurately describe the dietary choices of somebody who is no longer choosing meat, dairy, and eggs as staple foods. Whole food, plant-based eating is all about adding in as many whole vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and a seeds until you are satisfied at every meal.
There is a way of eating plant based that works for everybody; whether you want to eat gourmet vegan cheeses and tofu, or if you want to take it back to the basics and eat a simple diet of rice and beans. There are so many reasons to transition to a plant-based diet including for health and for your wallet. Yes, contrary to popular belief, eating whole foods does not have to be expensive. For example, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, and bananas are some of the cheapest foods in the grocery store, especially when comparing those foods with steak and eggs.
People who transition to a plant based diet for health reasons often find that they can effortlessly maintain a healthy weight due to the elimination of processed junk food from their diet. When eating whole plant foods, there is no reason to be afraid of carbs or calories. Fruits provide a ton of sweet calories that are packed with the vitamins and anti-oxidants to keep you satisfied and energized all day. Vegetables provide a boost of minerals to keep you healthy from the inside out. Protein can easily come from plant sources like beans and lentils, and healthy fats can be incorporated as whole food options like avocados, nuts, and seeds. A meat and dairy free lifestyle is all about tasting the rainbow and getting away from those microwave dinners that are packed in toxic chemicals and drowned in salt.
A day in the life of somebody enjoying a plant based lifestyle might look something like this.
Breakfast: Large bowl of oatmeal made with almond milk and some chia seeds sprinkled on top with a huge side of delicious ripe fruit.
Snack: Eat fruit as your are hungry throughout the morning
Lunch: Vegetable soup with bread sticks and a huge salad filled with sweet peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and chucks of avocado.
Snack: Fruit and nut trail mix
Dinner: A delicious sweet potato and lentil stew with as many delicious vegetables as you want to add.
Dessert: Ice cream made from almond or coconut milk, or some more delicious sweet fruit.
Variety is the spice of life, and there are so many ways to personalize the plant based diet to your taste and budget. It’s time to stop feeling guilty for eating carbs like fruit, pasta, and rice and instead eat in abundance knowing you are changing your health and saving so many animals lives. These days there are so many alternative products to meat and dairy that anyone can do it! It can help in the beginning of your journey to swap some animal products for healthier alternatives and start adding in as many fruits and veggies as you can. Eventually you will start to feel like there is no room for junk food in your life anymore and you will be on your way to plant based living.