My husband and I recentlyーand surprisinglyーadopted a plant-based diet. Over the past two years we used the Paleo diet to guide our food choices (i.e. lots of meat and very few carbs). This summer, a series of events encouraged us to change our eating habits and I am excited to share with you what happened and why it led us on this path!
It all started in June when a “documentary” called What the Health popped up in my Netflix feed. If you haven’t watched the film, you might be surprised to hear that this documentary is a one-sided, sensationalist account claiming that all animal products will send you to an early grave. I was infuriated by this documentary, but felt like I should spend some time learning about other diets from more reputable sources.
I started with Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead with Joe Cross, which sparked an interest in fresh fruit and vegetable juices that are now a staple of our breakfasts. After watching this documentary (and enjoying many delicious juices), Netflix stepped in and guided me through the following films, reshaping the way I think about food and my dietary needs:
- Fed Up with Katie Couric
- Food Matters
- Hungry for Change
- Forks Over Knives
- Food Choices with Michal Siewierski
- In Defense of Food with Michael Pollan
The timing for this Netflix binge could not have been better. My husband and I had long been talking about eating a more plant-based diet, but worried that we would not be able to adjust to (or be happy with) all those meatless meals. But then I started thinking… if these people were able to make the switch, why can’t we? With my husband on board, here’s how we started:
Step 1: I needed to collect vegan/vegetarian recipes that would get us excited for this new dietary change. Pinterest and Instagram were the perfect platforms to help me find people who had also adopted a plant-based lifestyle. I have learned so much from this expansive community, and continue to do so.
Step 2: We restructured our pantry staples. Our carb-free shelves were replaced with beans, lentils, chickpeas, and whole grain (more on this later) rice, pasta, and bread. Our weekly grocery runs started to consist of spinach, bananas, snap peas, zucchini, squash, cabbage, eggplant, pears, apples, tomatoes, clementines, avocados, ginger, peppers, radishes, and more. It is so refreshing to open our fridge and have it stocked with so many wonderful fruits and vegetables! My husband is especially excited because our grocery budget has been slashed in half since going plant-based.
Step 3: I started regularly listening to podcasts and reading books about intuitive eating and plant-based diets. Some of my favorite podcasts are No Meat Athlete, Nutrition Matters, and A Sustainable Mind. I am also currently reading Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and will give you a full review when I’m done!
And that’s it! Since we cut out animal products from our weekly meals and replaced them with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, we have both seen positive changes in our digestion, energy levels, and mood. We are not calling ourselves vegans or vegetarians because we still eat meat and cheese occasionally, but this has been a huge lifestyle change for us that took a very little amount of effort to make. I am excited to continue to share this journey with all of you and the delicious plant-based recipes that come with it!
As always, thank you for your continuous support,