As you can see by the title, I can finally do it! Yes, starting next Sunday, I will officially start eating a wholesome plant-based diet. This is, of course, not permanent and will probably end in a week or so, because I will inevitably be around meat to the extent where people will force-feed animal products down my throat. However, I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time and because junior year is over I have more freedom to choose my food! I ended school on May 27th and needed a little air before I could get started. But words cannot describe how excited I am!
Well, except for the fact I can’t have Quest bars and Elli Quark anymore…oh yeah, and bye bye, Greek yogurt!
First of all, here are some of the benefits I heard of eating a plant-based diet–but there’s so many!:
- Nutrient density. I personally believe that the majority of the most nutrient dense foods on this planet fall into the category of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts or seeds. Kale. Spinach. Almonds. Raspberries. Sweet potatoes. Lentils. Quinoa. Hemp. The list goes ON and on. Of course, there is salmon, Greek yogurt, eggs, shellfish, and believe it or not I’ve read that lamb is pretty high in omega-3s (but I personally don’t like the taste of it)! However, with every animal product there is a plant substitution. While Mother Nature put every food we have on this planet for a reason, I would like to see if it’s truly possible to get all nutrients from plants.
- Environmental relief. It’s shocking to discover that meat consumption actually makes a huge impact on our carbon footprint! In fact, meat and animal-byproducts actually make an even bigger difference than factories, transportation, electricity and waste. Did you know it takes 52.8 gallons of water and 74.8 acres of land to produce four ounces of beef? And that’s only for one person! Did you know if all Americans in the world were to incorporate one meatless day in the week, we’d save 100 billion gallons of water, 3 million acres of land and 70 million gallons of gas? I know I alone won’t change the world, but I can at least know that I’m working with another community to save the planet.
- Exploration. There are still so many foods I have yet to experiment with. I’ve never cooked with seitan, never baked black bean brownies and have yet to make vegan burger patties. When I think about it I realize how inexperienced I am in terms of cooking! I’ll be using my Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon much more often and adapt some to my liking! I also rarely use vegan protein powder–then again I don’t use protein powder often at all! I CANNOT wait to try subbing tofu for Greek yogurt and eat tempeh instead of meat!
- Ethics. I promise I won’t be preachy, but think about it. What gives the justification that life requires death? Also, as you know from my Food Inc. Review, I absolutely hate our factory-farming system. Adapting a plant-based diet will definitely help me abstain from supporting them. However, I completely understand that there are humane and completely clean farms that manufacture completely organic, hormone-free and grass-fed dairy and pasture-raised eggs. I’m not anywhere close enough to completely pure sources of those.
- Biochemical experimentation. Also out of curiosity, I’ve always wondered if my body would thrive on a higher-carb and lower-fat diet. In a way I hope my body loves carbs as much as my tastebuds do. So far I’ve noticed I look and feel my best when eating cooked low-FODMAP vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, but bloat so much after eating beans, whey, broccoli, rice, bread, and apples. My digestion doesn’t respond well to certain high carb foods nor certain high protein foods. However, I want to see whether or not the bloating and stomachaches will stop if I switch to macro simplicity. I definitely will have to up my cardio and weight training to HIIT by a few notches to make sure as little as possible of the carbs get stored as fat unless I discover otherwise.
Before you automatically assume that superfitbabe will become a vegan blog, this is not permanent. I could never be a vegan at heart because I hate bugs
and squirrels (ummm, hello?? Spiders. Mosquitoes. Flies. I can kill them as easily as finishing a jar of peanut butter.). As soon as I start feeling overly fatigued, become nutritionally deficient, start binging or encounter any orthorexic moments (which are NOT A JOKE), then it’s a no-go. I’ll continue with clean intuitive eating and be happy.
Dietary-wise, what I’m going to do is different from veganism, because I will allow myself to have honey, and the occasional whey and milk powder in KIND bars, SunLife smoothies or anything else. +90% of my food will be plant-based. I’m definitely not going to follow a specific diet such as raw, 80/10/10, raw till 4, starch solution, hclf, etc. Those are what I call restrictive, and many of you may disagree. First of all, what if it’s 10 am and I want oatmeal for breakfast? Do I ignore that and go for an icy cold, unsatisfying fruit salad? NO. This is about listening to my body. Secondly, I disagree with the notion that certain plant-based foods aren’t healthy (*cough* coconut oil *cough*) This is probably the billionth time I’ve said this but Mother Nature isn’t STUPID. If you think so you’d be the stupid one. Sorry. Just had to say that. Thirdly: PEANUT BUTTER. CHOCOLATE. AVOCADO. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. Whew. That was a mouthful.
I will up my carb intake and track my calories the first three or so days to make sure I eat enough food. Because I won’t be eating as much B12, carnosine, creatine, etc., I will be taking more supplements to make sure I don’t fall to the ground. There might even be a “cheat meal” where I eat an animal product just to be sane. Face it. I’ll want a Quest bar every now and then. While I’m excited I’m also scared about this. What if I gain weight? What if I go three days into it and get sick? However, I’ve researched this to the death and I think I’ll be okay.
Just so you know, the #throwbackthursday is still occurring now, so don’t freak out if there’s a Thursday recipe with meat or eggs! Just know I won’t be eating that 😀 anyways, I probably won’t post WIAT pictures every day, but I want to do a plant-based food/cooking vlog!
GROCERY LIST (*** unofficial)
- Seasonal produce (fruits and vegetables)
- Nuts and seeds (including tons of nut butters!!)
- Dairy free Greek-style yogurt
- Beans and other legumes
- Organic and gluten free tempeh
- Organic tofu
- Raw protein powder*** (but very likely since my fam will be yapping at me for not getting enough…besides, I love the taste of them anyways!)
- Plant milk (almond, cashew, hemp, etc.)
- Coconut water***
- Cacao powder
- Sriracha (EFF YEAH IT’S VEGAN)
- Whole grains (buckwheat***, quinoa, gluten free oats, sprouted whole-grain bread, brown rice, etc.)
- Others: black bean spaghetti, super greens powder, shirataki noodles, lemme knowwww!***
I know that the fact I call it a diet might be a turnoff for you vegan readers, but please understand that my environment isn’t appropriate for a lifestyle. My peers aren’t 100% supportive of this and I’ve had a history with eating disorders and social separation that I don’t want to relive through again (It’s hard enough to be the health nut in your community). Also, I believe that local and organic farms that practice clean and humane farming should be supported. Besides, I do love some pasture-raised eggs.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please comment below if you have any tips on what to do, who or what I should look up, what products I should try and any advice on whether or not you love or hate this idea. Look out for more updates on how I’m doing, what recipes I eat and whether or not you would like to see some full days of eating, cooking, documentary/product reviews and more!
UPDATE: Because of personal and social issues, I’ve decided to eat vegan and plant-based for only a week. I’m sure that because of this I won’t need to go crazy on the grocery list, ha ha! I’ll still post a bunch of vegan recipes, of course, and eat meatless when possible! 😀