WHY plant based?
Why Plant-based/vegan? This is one of the most frequent asked questions I have received this past year. So what does it all mean? What do you eat, what protein do you eat, do you drink milk and eat eggs? The list goes on. To me this past year has been an easy transition, but to others, does the sacrifice suffice the reward?
Why Plant-based/vegan? This is one of the most frequent asked questions I have received this past year. So what does it all mean? What do you eat, what protein do you eat, do you drink milk and eat eggs? The list goes on. To me this past year has been an easy transition, but to others, does the sacrifice suffice the reward? I have always loved eating healthy and this was something I have always wanted to try. How come you might wonder? It was a lifestyle decision and I wanted to see how I would feel cutting out all animal products out of my diet.
I have been drinking soy and almond milk for the past three years, and I could see a significant change in my skin, ulser and all in acid levels. I felt that dairy aided to congestion and heartburn, and since I was dairy free, I actually felt lighter in a way. After visiting my sister in Geneva, where her whole family have been plant-based for the past three years I was seriously motivated to give this a try. So gradually I ate less animal protein and subbed it with chickpeas, beans, homemade falafels, homemade veggie patties etc.
Even though anxiety is something I have always struggled with, drinking less caffeine was also a bonus for me but not something I could maintain since I love the stuff too much. a BIG thing for me, in the beginning, was feeling constantly hungry, and after about a month or so my hormones stabilized and I realized that my fear of carbs had to go. So I added more grains and low GI bread to my diet and boy, how did I ever not see what I was missing here? Freshly baked bread is everything!!
ONE Thing I didn’t expect. I don’t like to talk about (pretty private and you can see in my posts) my CYCLE but this is another thing that was pretty irregular before going plant-based. I’m not saying that it has a direct effect, but this is actually the first time ever that my cycle has been exactly on the dot this past year. BUT every womens cycle is different and some might find that their cycle reacts different to a plant-based diet.
There are some days I feel more hungry, tired and cranky than others. I’m a mom, you know, we feel tired 99% of the time. But apart from that, I feel great! (click on the Link to read more about the benefits of a vegan diet). I have lots of energy, I exercise almost every day, I try to drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Just like all the things you add to your lifestyle to make you feel better, eating no animal products had aided to my all well being.
So do you need supplements? I do think Vitamin B12, read more here.
What about Tofu and GMO? Read more here
If your not keen on soy, there are so many other protein alternatives to looks at.
So key tips for me are eating whole foods 80% and refined foods 20%. This is not always possible since preparation and cost can be an issue, but there are tricks to this lifestyle you got to know.
Pulses are a cheap add on to this diet that is essential to your protein buildup. They can be bought dry, soaked (to activate the enzymes and makes the cooking process easier) overnight and cooked the next day. Even grains are good to be soaked overnight as well. These can be cooked and frozen to be easily whipped out when the occasion calls for it. Sprout when in doubt. This is also an easy way to amp up your health, gut health, and overall digestion. There are easy ways to sprout pulses, seeds, and grains at home.
Make in bulk, falafels, vegan patties ect. is really good to make in bulk. This just simplifies the whole meal prep process. Smoothies are also one of my main ways of getting in all the nutrients I need. Here you can save as well by buying bananas, freezing them in bulk and chukking other fruits, dates, nut milk and, nut butters together. Make it yourself, there are some amazing brands out there that I have worked with so far that make superfoods, nut butter, granola and I would voutch for them 100%. But if you can make it yourself, like your own nut butters, granola, bars, energy balls, hummus ( best high protein vegan spread around) and, the list goes on. Invest in a food processor. I have bought it three years ago and use it almost every day.
Like all things in life, balance is key. Don’t overdo it on fiber front, carb front or even fat front. You have to figure out what works best for you. There are some that lose weight on a vegan lifestyle due to less protein intake and then again there are some that gain weight on a vegan diet. It depends on you. There are various options like KETO vegan (high fat), Raw vegan, raw till four, and High protein vegan diets.
Here are some easy breakfast ideas
Here are some easy snack ideas
Also if you are vegan, plant-based, you are amazing, it’s not always easy. There aren’t always options (sometimes you only eat breadsticks for the conversation) and you’re labeled as the “one with the weird eating habits” and from an Afrikaans speaking family that eats meat with almost every meal, I’ve been mocked more than a couple times. I’ve been there and you know what it gets easier. Just give it some time, the main thing is to be prepared when you go out and about. Do some research and ask for vegan options before booking a restaurant.
Here is an amazing source to kick off this new journey, or if you’d just like to know more.
If you are interested in a more plant-based way of life or just want to eat less animal product as a start, here are a few accounts to check out.
Pick up limes, has an amazing youtube and online following giving useful tips on how to do vegan meals, meal planning, be healthy and stress less.
Deliciously Ella, has a few vegan cookbooks (that I have), an app (that is just as amazing as her cookbooks), podcast, a youtube channel and, her own food line.
Oh she glows, was one of my very first vegan cookbooks I bought five years ago. her recipes are very basic, easy to follow and easy to find the ingredients. She has an app too.
Hippie lane, for the sweet tooth’s out there. If you don’t know about this app or her Instagram, you’re missing out folks!
These are just a few things I had to share with you, if you’d like to know more on what to eat, send me an email and I’ll compose a post on what I eat in a day. Or if you need some tips on how to prepare when you go out, pack lunch, or when you’re invited to a BBQ, dinner or eating out with friends. I can give some useful tips and products that I can’t go without.
Find more meal and snack inspo on my Instagram