The How, Why and What of going plant based
What does “plant-based” even mean?
"Plant-based” typically refers to one who eats a diet based primarily on plant foods, with limited to no animal-derived products."
My journey started about 6 years ago when I stopped eating pork.
Why pork? Several reasons.
I always (especially) loved pigs
They have the IQ of a 3-year-old child
And they, alongside with chickens, are being held in the most horrible conditions of animal farming
Shortly after that, I stopped consuming milk and switched over to almond milk, which anyways tastes way better. Today, I can't stand the smell of milk.
Then, about 2 years ago, I just decided to stop eating commercial meat. A thought that had been with me for a while. I honestly thought I would miss it, but I really don't. There are so many delicious plant-based options and I think that is important to know. So many people seem to think that being plant based is either way expensive, disgusting or time consuming. It's none of the above. Once I cook plant based for people, they usually really fall in love with it and tell me they that would have never thought it would taste so good.
Okay, if you are going to buy vegan substitutes for cheese etc, yes, your budget might go up but you can also just do without. I can't wait to share some of my favorite recipes with you to show you how easy and tasty plant-based cooking can be.
Why I went plant-based?
Besides the fact that I love animals and I feel that the meat industries way of holding animals is no way to live for any living creature, it is also a proven fact that stopping the consumption of commercial meat is one of the easiest ways to do right by our planet. At the rate that we are going in the destruction of mother earth we really need to do something.
I also feel it's important to say that what you can do depends on you. You might be a true carnivore and can't see yourself going without, so start by skipping meat once a week and then twice etc. We can all do our bit and that looks different for everyone, we shouldn't judge each other but embrace each other. That is the only way we are going to make a change.
Start with small steps and constantly work on evolving, for yourself first and then for mother earth.
How to go plant-based?
If you can't do with a drastic change, start small like I did. Buy yourself a plant-based cookbook and start cutting out certain things that seem easiest to you. That might be cheese, or milk, or chicken. You also need to give your body some time to adjust to the change.
It is important to include the nutrition that you will not receive anymore from meat or animal products like for example Omega 3 or Vit b. We will soon be sharing some tips and tricks about this :) It's easy and tasty.
I for example am not "yet" fully plant based, first of all I suffer from vit b deficiency, so my doctors advised against it. I am currently working on replacing all my vit b needs with plant-based options but until then I still consume yogurt and eggs. I also once a week eat game meat as I personally believe there is a purpose to ethical harvesting but more to that in a different post.
Going plant based is really easy and your body will thank you for it. I love the feeling of knowing that my meal is nutritious and what benefits I get from eating a sweet potato or broccoli for example.
Humans are supposed to eat 8 portions of Veg and fruit on a daily basis and going plant based definitely makes this easier. You will live longer, feel and definitely look better.
My journey starts a couple years ago when I went vegetarian for a whole year as an experiment. I wanted to try it out and see how I feel. I knew pretty early that eating meat is not the healthiest. After this year I started eating meat again though because my Persian family thought I would die lol. “You need protein!”, they said.
Then in January 2018 I joined the Veganuary movement. I ate sooo much during christmas time and felt so heavy that I wanted to detox a little. So Veganuary means that you eat a vegan/plant-based diet in January. I didn’t want to go plant-based permanently, I just wanted to eat really healthy for 30 days. I like this kind of challenges. But what then happened was just beautiful:
I felt sooo good after this 30 days, guys! I felt so light and energized. My digestion was much better and my skin cleared up. So I sticked to it!
Since 1st January 2018 I’ve never eaten a single bite of meat or fish ever again. I managed to stay plant-based except for a few exceptions. I want to live a sustainable plant-based lifestyle. So I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. For example when I go out with my friends to a restaurant and they don’t have vegan options, then I also eat meals prepared with milk, cheese or eggs without feeling guilty. Or during my Turkey vacation I also ate cheese, eggs and honey from local farmers because otherwise I would have eaten only lentil soup for 3 weeks lol (Turkey has a very meat heavy cuisine).
Why I went plant-based?
For me it all started from a health perspective. I was always very interested in this topic. I guess my digestion problems played a huge role. Not gonna lie, I still struggle with constipation from time to time but it definitely got much much better since I went plant-based. So I began to research more and read about all the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Honestly, I was a shocked that I only learned with 25 about nutrition and a healthy way of eating. Why is this not a subject in school?
The more I educated myself, the clearer I got. I can definitely recommend the podcast from nutritionist Simon Hill “Plant Proof”. There are also amazing documentaries on Netflix such as “What the Health”, “Cowspiracy”, “Forks over Knives”, “The Game Changers” and “Down to Earth” by Zac Efron.
The most powerful documentary was “Dominion” though. I was not sure if I could watch it all because it was so brutal, but I thought I can’t just close my eyes. I can’t imagine anyone eating meat after watching this documentary. This was the moment when I realised the animal and environmental aspect to all of it. Eating animal products is not only bad for your own health, it’s horrible for the animals and mother earth too.
How to go plant-based?
I used to be a girl that wanted to change her life overnight but that is not sustainable in the most cases. Also from the health perspective it’s better for your gut if you change your diet gradually.
So take it easy and don’t be hard on yourself. Our brains love to fly on autopilot and be in the comfort zone, so every change is naturally difficult. Try cutting out meat and fish first or eat 1-2 a week. The same with eggs. Then I think swapping cow’s milk is one of the easiest things to do. There are so many better tasting nut milks such as soy, oat, almond, cashew or coconut milk to name a few. Cheese is the hardest for everyone I think. There are vegan cheeses to buy, but I’m also a big fan of nutritional yeast. We will show you in another blogpost/recipe what that is all about.
For me one of the biggest hurdle was also the people around me, looking at my plate and observing me. Judging me whenever I ate a piece of cheese “Huh, but I thought you went vegan, Aryana? So, you’re not a REAL vegan.”, said Karen, who eats animals everyday.
Don’t let people put you in boxes! Do YOU! Go at your own pace. Every step (or bite) in the right direction is helping your health, animals and the environment!