My food choices and I have not been getting along lately. I quit Weight Watchers, and started to try to count Macros (protein, carbs, and fat). I cannot tell you how well it works, because I could never figure out what ratio I was supposed to eat. Every article or website said something different. I was getting frustrated, and then Derek and I went on vacation. On vacation, I ate as much and whatever I wanted. The first two days, no problem. By day 3 and 4, I felt like garbage. I was bloated, my skin was breaking out, and I could not get any energy. So I decided, I needed to change something.
I have been considering going meatless for awhile. I have been watching some food documentaries on Netflix, and several kept talking about a plant based diet. It sparked my interest, so I started watching more documentaries and reading. I instated meatless Monday in my house, and was really enjoying these plant based meals. So the thought came to me a few days after we got back from vacation, what if I do this full time?
When I was in high school and college, I tried to be a vegetarian but really I was a lacto ovo vegetarian (I ate chicken, eggs, and fish). I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t know how to defend my food choices to people who didn’t agree with that life choice. I didn’t eat a good deal of vegetables, so I lived off of fried food, popcorn, and smoothies. Not very healthy. This time I knew if this was the path I wanted to take, I needed to be healthy about it. I needed to make sure I was eating enough nutrients. I needed to continue to stay away from the processed and fried stuff. And I also needed to educate myself on why this could be a good choice.
I jumped deeper into some more research (via documentaries and then looking up the references from the documentaries). I will admit, I have an obsessive personality. Once I start doing something, it’s all I can focus on when I have free time. Poor Derek has had to hear about this for weeks, and unfortunately will probably have to for awhile. Thankfully, he listens and is always supportive of whatever new thing I want to try. So far he has even enjoyed my vegan/vegetarian dinners.
I am still learning and forming my opinions. But overall I feel like I have a solid foundation to start this lifestyle change. Last Monday, I started eating a plant based diet that is mostly vegan. What I would like to change my lifestyle to is mostly vegan. Some eggs and cheese, but no more meat. I have had a few sauces that had milk and eggs in them, and on Monday I had feta cheese on a salad. I also have had a cupcake… or two. Baby steps people, I’m still learning what I can and cannot eat. I’m not worried about nutrients, because so many plants have all the nutrients our body need. Honestly, look it up. And because plant based/whole foods are in a less processed/basic form, our bodies can metabolize their nutrients better. Just incase I’m not getting everything I need, I’m trying to pre plan all meals and snacks to ensure I have a variety. I’m also documenting my food, and I’m journaling about how I feel (mood, energy, health).
Like I said, I am forming my opinions on why this lifestyle will be best for me. First, my main goal is to become healthier. There has been many studies that show that plant based eating prevents disease and helps your cells repair themselves. Win win to me. And I made myself unhealthy eating everything but whole fruits and vegetables. Why not give this lifestyle a try. Second, I honestly don’t love meat. I’ve said it. There it is. I don’t care for the texture, and I would rather just have “side dishes” instead. Giving up something that I don’t love, isn’t going to be that hard. Now giving up cheese will be my largest challenge if I do decide to become fully vegan. Third, ethically I just don’t like the way factory farms treat their animals. Yes, this is a hippie statement that may offend people, but this is my blog so my opinion matters most here. I am a huge animal lover. I love my dogs more than anything else on this planet (well with Derbear), and I full heartedly believe they have a personality, a mind, opinions, and a soul. Yes when I die, I do believe my dogs will be waiting for me in heaven. So how can I not believe that other animals are not the same? They deserve happy lives where they are free to move around, see sunlight, mother their babies, and eat the types of food that they are supposed to (ex cows should eat grass, not a fully corn based diet). I know that there are small family farms that are wonderful to their animals, and maybe one day if I can assure myself that is where my meat is coming from I will have no problem eating it. But today is not that day. Today I don’t want to eat it. I don’t want to buy it. And I don’t want to pretend like it doesn’t happen.
I could continue, but I’m not one to get political and rattle off my opinion to those who do not directly ask for it. I also am not an activist who wants to demonize anyone who doesn’t agree with me. I have my opinion, and lord knows other people have theirs. I have not shared my new way of eating with many people other than close friends and family. I’ve had both supportive and unsupportive responses, which is fine. I expected this, and will accept it because we do not have to agree. I still love them, and I know they still love me.
So to finally end this, I would like to share that I am extremely excited to go down their path. I am on day 3, and honestly I have no complaints.
Sidebar: Netflix has lots of great documentaries on healthy eating. Here are five to get you started, but there are plenty more. Take the time to watch a few of them.
- Forks Over Knives
- Hungry For Change
- Fed Up
- Food Inc