Eating plant-based is not a diet, it is simply how I live my life. I’ve stopped thinking of how and what I am currently eating as a “diet” – thus I have stopped obsessing over food. Eating is not that big of deal now. Sure, I get cravings, sure, I still need to lose a few pounds but now that I’m working out moderately verses in crazy mode I am able to manage my hunger. (Stay tuned to see if those couple of pounds might even go away with this new-found liberation)!
I finally realized that what I eat makes up my body (and not just the love handle part), but the cells, the blood all the stuff that keeps me living and thriving. I don’t need food to fuel my emotional problems I need food simply for fuel. I have to admit after a stressful few days I did spend the day munching on a guilty pleasure (Voortman vanilla wafers – lemon are the best but they didn’t have them) but it was temporary and I didn’t let it send me into a big, negative spiral AND I didn’t beat myself up about. I did recognize that I was stress eating.
A side note: Unfortunately, these wafers have palm oil in them and I couldn’t trace their source to see if the bakery is using sustainable palm oil so that will be the last package of those. If you aren’t familiar with palm oil then you probably haven’t read the ingredients list on anything you purchase. Here is some reading for you on palm oil if you aren’t familiar with the issue.
- Say No to Palm Oil
- World Wildlife Fund
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Health Line – Palm Oil: Good or Bad?
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has an app to help with your sustainable palm oil shopping. You can search product names or do a barcode scan. This leads me down the path of the changing roles of zoos – but I will save this for a separate post. The app is available both on iTunes and Google Play. Click here to read Selva Beat’s review of the app.
Becoming more aware of the ingredients I cook with has led me to become more aware of what I am putting into my body along with where these ingredients come from. I truly believe that these things matter in our personal lives, our community lives and our global lives. We do all live on the same planet after all.
To me adding lots of plants, whole-grains, beans and legumes is a no-brainer. I feel better and have more energy eating this way. This has definitely been a process over the last 15 months. I adopted this lifestyle primarily for my health. I do NOT want to have another stroke. There are differences in a plant-based lifestyle and the vegan lifestyle. Plant-based is a bit more flexible and often there is room for some cheese, an egg or maybe meat and fish. Vegans do not eat, wear or use any animal products. Keep in mind that junk food is junk food no matter if it’s vegan, plant-based or omnivore.
I also adopted this lifestyle because I wanted to ensure that my Herbivore was getting the nutrients she needed. This lifestyle has definitely opened up a whole new world of eating choices and a more mindful way of being. It’s also made me wonder about why our culture eats the way we do. Is it marketing? Is it our busy, time crunched way of life? Is it because that’s how we grew up eating? All food for thought for sure. We should pay attention to our lifestyles and not keep doing things just because that’ how we’ve always done them.
Some additional reading and recipes on plant-based vs vegan:
- Shape Magazine – What’s the Difference Between a Plant-Based Diet and a Vegan Diet?
- Forks Over Knives – Plant Based Primer
- Minimalist Baker
- Thug Kitchen – (warning, if are easily offended by cursing don’t go here)
- Live Planted
- Food Revolution Network – Vegan Statistics: Why the Global Rise in Vegan and Plant-Based Eating Isn’t a Fad
- Sweet Simple Vegan – How to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet and Succeed
- And we need more people like Rob Finley, the Gangsta Gardner
- Check out Rob’s Ted Talk here