My Beginning of Eating a Plant Based Whole Food Diet
About three years ago I decided to try eating a plant based diet. After all, my youngest Daughter was Vegan and I ate a mostly vegetarian diet, how hard could it be? I decided I would try to stick to it for a month and see how I felt. I was doing this mainly for health reasons. I was seeing a lot of people around me close to my age, 45 at the time, suffering from health ailments and taking numerous medications. So I wanted to improve my odds even though I was fairly healthy myself.
My First Step
I went online and did some research and grabbed a few recipes. Then I went to the food store! I'm going to admit I bought all kinds of stuff just out of curiosity. Vegan cheeses, milks and meats. The fabulous nutritional yeast which I call Magic dust. This is not all necessary but I was curious. Mainly I bought veggies and fruits. When I first started I was still making Non-vegan meals for my Son, which was way too much work. This does not happen anymore. I ate a lot of salads and fruit smoothies and was not experimenting too much yet.
In the first couple of weeks I felt great and lost about 8 pounds. I had tons of energy and just felt clearer in every way. I am a runner and couldn't believe how much more energy I had. I was definitely hooked and thought however I needed to work on some variety. I was definitely bored with the maybe four meals I was feeding myself and I missed eggs. This is when I started my venture into tofu scramble which I love and is different every time I make it! My recipe below which I encourage you to change with your favorite veggies.
Extra firm tofu (1 serving=palm of hand) with excess water drained out.
Onion, however much you like
Clove of garlic chopped
Half cup of broccoli chopped
A couple handfuls of spinach or kale
Half a red pepper chopped
Salt and Pepper
I start by sauteing all veggies on medium heat except spinach/kale in a tablespoon of coconut oil until slightly softened. Then add spinach/kale. Then I take tofu and crumble it with my hands over the veggies and stir. Then I'll add the turmeric until I like the color (really I don't measure anything) salt and pepper to taste and if I want some spicy I add a few shakes of cayenne.
There are so many other veggies you can add, its endless!
Mushrooms, tomatoes,sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini!!!
I have this for breakfast, lunch , and even sometimes dinner!
The Pantry/Fridge Clean Out
Now that I was hooked and had a system in place I decided to clean out my pantry and fridge and rid myself of any unhealthy, processed, and animal based foods. This was hard for me because I'm pretty frugal with my money. I'm a single Mom with three kids, two living at home. My rule of thumb was if it was healthy and not plant based, Mike could eat it. Everything else I tossed! Like ripping the band-aid off! Gradually my plant based whole food kitchen was created. If you plan on doing this I recommend doing it gradually and don't be so hard on yourself. You're going to make mistakes and you may find there are some things you don't want to give up or add.
My Kitchen Today
My kitchen is constantly evolving. Still plant based whole food. I have expanded my vegan recipe collection and I'm fascinated with the positive impact food has on our health, environment, and personal relationships. I have been inspired to continue to add to my knowledge by studying to become a Health Coach, get certified in plant based nutrition, and become a certified plant based cook. I'll also be taking a class on plant based fueling and recovery for athletes. I look forward to sharing my journey!