Following up on my plans for the future post, I’ve decided to compile everything revolving around the changes in my diet this year and for all the other years to come. There’s quite a bit of things that have changed with my diet since I’ve started the blog, and I haven’t been addressing them explicitly since it would take forever. That’s what this post is for, after all! There is a LOT that I have to get too and I am pretty sure that there is so much that I’ll forget a few things that I wanted to talk about, get upset for forgetting, and have to reply in the comments if I get asked anything or make more follow-ups to this post! But enough with the rambling, let’s get on with it!
- What do I eat now? Pretty much anything that comes from the Earth and is chock full of nutrients that we’re meant to absorb for vitality! The majority of my diet comprises of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, seeds, legumes, eggs, seafood, and poultry. I make sure that a lot of my food is clean, organic if possible, ethically raised, and if in packaged form, contains minimal to no additives or refined sugars. Lately I’ve been trying to have a little more fun with my food and loosen up a bit, as explained in the sixth question.
- What have I cut out/reduced? Yes, there were a few foods that I had to say farewell to for numerous circumstances. One, I no longer eat any forms of red meat because I find they haven’t been tasting very good and they have the biggest carbon footprint out of all meat products, especially lamb (which I’ve never liked to begin with). Two, I’ve no longer been eating Greek yogurt or any forms of yogurt as staples because I would get the worst stomachaches and bloating problems after eating them. If I find that Greek yogurt is one of my only options for protein in a meal, I will eat it in a reasonable amount. I still have to eat a few whey protein samples I got from Natural Products Expo West, hence why dairy is not entirely out of my diet just yet. However, when I do finish those off and review them, dairy will be 99% out of my diet. Lastly, it seems like that I have drastically reduced fruit from my diet according to my Instagram photos, but that is due to two circumstances: berries are extremely expensive where we go grocery shopping, and the weather here is flaky AF–on the days where I make cooked, heated meals, it’s scorching hot, and when I want raw foods, it’s freezing to death. I usually listen to my body in these cases and see what would work best for me.
- What have I started incorporating? A lot more plant-based proteins, such as brown rice protein powders, legumes, different kinds of tofu, legume-based pastas, and mock meats every now and then. I find that my body feels amazing after these protein sources–even more than animal proteins! But the main plant-based protein I’ve lately been ADORING is TVP. It keeps me extremely full, it’s delicious, and it’s adaptable to any seasoning you add to it. I have eaten TVP before on the blog, but as of now I’ve been obsessed with it, which is really bad given that I’m generally against GMOs and the way soy is processed. I always try to get organic TVP whenever possible. I know that Bob’s Red Mill carries organic TVP in ten-ounce bags, as well as NOW foods and various grocery stores. I’ve been eating a lot more cooked meals simply because my body–digestion and energy–thrives off of them. I feel more rejuvenated, satiated, happy and cognitively sharp afterwards, if that makes sense. It explains why I always have curries and stews!
- Do you follow any specific diets/eating styles? I don’t have a label, but if I really had to define my diet, it would definitely be a clean, whole foods-based diet with mostly plants. Even when I start cutting out more meat and incorporating more plant-based foods, I will never label myself as a vegan or a plant-based blogger because of one reason: life. Things may change–things will change, and as much as I will educate myself on the good and ugly of veganism, NOBODY can ever guarantee that things will stick forever. And I personally don’t like living under a label. I want to be defined by everything about me and my authenticity, not solely because I am now a vegan. You find that a lot of people in these different “diet” groups are the same, and it’s hard to remain interested when you have everybody eating/promoting the same general food styles. It’s hard to be your true self and allow yourself to explore new areas if you label yourself underneath a bigger diet approach and start to revolve your platform all around it.
- When will I start transitioning to a plant-based diet? I’ve never really set a specific date, but I find that the most appropriate time to start making small differences and changes is after the day of my graduation, such as eating plant-based whenever I cook for myself and just eat whatever my family makes for me, and if I ever go out, I will stick to eggs, poultry or seafood dishes if I can’t find a healthy plant-based menu item. For now, I don’t want to start closing off relationships and make others accommodate me when it’s really difficult and not in their culture (ESPECIALLY when you have Vietnamese relatives who think that seafood is vegetarian). Once I step foot on university, however, my plant-based regimen will be a lot more well asserted since I will have a lot more independence over my diet. If I do ever come back home, I will inform my family of my new dietary decisions, but if I find that my parents have cooked a really nice meal for me that happens to have animal products in it, I probably won’t hesitate to eat it because I know that what they did came from a place of pure love. Just because people use animal products and eat them doesn’t make them bad people. They are just uninformed or on their own personal journeys but at a much slower pace than others, and that is something that more people have to accept.
- Has anything changed with my diet since I’ve started the blog? Lately I have been trying to find a more balanced approach to food. Looking back, i feel as if I was a bit too rigid upon getting really REALLY into this lifestyle, and while that’s not entirely a bad thing, it mad life really hard for me. I felt so guilty having to drag my family around to places that I knew had good options and confine myself in these dietary boundaries that turned out to be totally bogus. For instance, I used to be SO strict with my food timing. I needed to have my meals at least 2-4 hours in between each other, and now I can go hours and hours in between my main meals without fear. I discovered that it doesn’t matter what time you eat your meals. It only matters what you eat and how much you eat that will affect you in your journey, and science has proven that so many times! Anyways, this is one of the harder parts of my journey, but if i ever find that I accidentally bit into a white potato, ate a protein bar that had sucralose in it, or just had something is seemingly “unhealthy”, then I try not to beat myself up for it. Eating these foods give ms me horrible memories about my past, which is something I too have to embrace as a part of my growth and my journey, so these are two goals I’m working towards: moderation and acceptance of the past. And a little story to finish it off: I did just recently have the teensiest sip of butterbeer when my friend and I went to Harry Potter World at Universal yesterday! It tasted like melted vanilla ice cream and it wasn’t too bad–I didn’t gain ten pounds, I felt perfectly fine, I’m still alive, and guess what? I further bonded with my friend by sharing how amazing it was!
- How do you structure every meal? Every time I eat, I try to incorporate a fairly even balance of carbs, protein and fats. In general, I don’t have smoothies completely comprised of fruit because I find the sugar buildup in my stomach feels way too acidic, plus unsatisfying. This is why I add protein and fats into my smoothies such as powdered peanut butter or protein powder, or alternatively I have a protein/fat source on the side of the smoothie. However, if I have a super low-carb meal that’s 80-90% fat/protein or more, then I feel really foggy and sluggish within a couple of hours. I’ve been trying to add more high-fiber and/or starchy vegetables and whole grains, such as peas, quinoa, beans, and pumpkin, squash or sweet potatoes, which are obviously my favorites if you haven’t seen already! I think the extremes of HFLC and HCLF look appealing from afar, but do not fit me personally.
- What are your ultimate goals with your diet? I want to start using a more balanced and reasonable approach to my diet that incorporates more plant foods to hopefully cut out some animal-based foods in a timely manner. I will still live according to my own rules and decisions rather than external obligations that people have to follow, but start exposing myself to new angles of nutrition that may benefit me in the future.
This pretty much sums up the majority of the future plans I have for my diet! If there is anything that I possibly missed, please comment your question below and I will definitely address it in a response! Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to working closer towards these goals!