I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater. Even as a kid, I loved veggies of all kinds. I’d say I ate a fairly standard diet until recently. As I got older I became interested in learning more about health and the way diet can impact your day to day life and future. It wasn’t until the last few years that I made some big changes.
About a year and a half ago, I cut out meat entirely. Mostly because of the way it made me feel physically but also because I like animals and our planet. It’s gross the way meat gets into grocery stores and I want no part of it.
During this time, I also started slowly cutting out dairy. At first, I struggled with not eating cheese and it was hard removing food items containing milk products- it seemed to be in everything! It was a slow transition, but it’s been worth it. I’ve found that there are tons of replacements for things that you might miss like grilled cheese, pizza, burgers, and ice cream
Honestly, I’ve never felt better. I feel light on my feet, my mind is clear, I sleep good, and I never wake up in the morning starving like I used to. You’ve probably heard all these things before, but it’s true! These diet changes paired with my workout routine has made me feel on point physically and mentally.
Not only am I feeling great, but I’m saving tons of money on groceries. Veggies, beans, and rice are staples and it’s REAL cheap. There are pricey meat and dairy substitutes, but I only buy these on occasion. This has been a very good thing for the budget!
The term “vegan” is so trendy right now and it gets a bad rap. “how do you get your protein and calcium? Protein: beans, nuts, quinoa, tofu… Calcium: dark greens, nuts/nut milks, oats… Isn’t it expensive to eat that way? No, cutting out meat and dairy costs the same if not less. Meat is expensive! Don’t you need meat to be healthy? Nope, not at all. It’s good that everyone has their own opinion but it’s important to inform yourself and make the decision that’s best for you.
Now on to the food! Here are a few of my favorite meat and dairy free meals:
- Thai coconut curry and slow cooker curry lentils – this makes a giant batch and freezes well
- Falafel with tahini dressing – I make the falafel in bulk and freeze
- Peanut tofu buddha bowl
- Black bean tacos- load up on beans, veggies, and AVOCADO
- Veggie stir fry
- Salad with a black bean patty
- Pad Thai
- Chickpea smash- mix heated chickpeas, mustard, sriracha, and spices. I like salt, pepper, and curry powder. Crush it all up and put it over toast. Add avocado if you’re feeling fancy!
I sometimes find it frustrating going out to eat at restaurants or eating at group gatherings. But, it’s usually not a big deal. I’ve found so many restaurants with delicious options and I’m always able to bring my own stuff to parties. Overall, it’s been simple to eat this way.
If you’re interested in transitioning to a more plant-based diet, check out the book The China Study. It’s an eye-opening book on nutrition and how it’s impacted people around the world. The book examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers. The authors conclude that people who eat a predominantly whole-food, plant-based diet—avoiding animal products as the main source of nutrition, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates—will escape, reduce, or reverse the development of numerous diseases
It’s pretty cool what’s going on with the vegan movement right now. Companies are changing the way they are making products and creating more meat & dairy free options. I’m excited to see what it all goes from here.
Thanks for Reading,