Maintaining a Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet

In June of 2017 I committed to a fully vegan diet, after being mostly vegetarian since 2012.  Recently I had my first appointment with a new doctor. It was a checkup. He told me the best way to maintain weight loss is a high fat, high protein diet- which he assumed I did not, or could not, do on a vegan diet.

When we further discussed exactly what I eat every day, he agreed I was on a healthy path and that I’d made the best choices for myself.

The reality is I can, and I do, eat enough healthy fat and protein. But, to be honest, it’s extremely limiting and extremely difficult as a vegan.

Yes, times like this, I question it. It would be so much easier to get more fats and proteins from meat.

Was going vegan worth it? Was it the best choice?

Times like this I remember the other things that motivate and empower me to live a plant based lifestyle.

Animals and the environment.

My goal is to have a voice and empower others. I will use that voice for good because I want to see a sustainable community on our beautiful planet.

Additionally, as I also discussed with my doctor, being on an extremely restricting diet is the best way for me to manage my binge eating disorder because it forces me to be conscious about everything I eat. Eliminating most processed food, all meat,and dairy helps me avoid over eating, especially in social situations and restaurants. 

Binge eating disorder is not something I’m proud of or like to talk about. It is something I’ve battled my whole life and for 35 years I lost every battle.

Being vegan helped me come out strong and WIN THE WAR!

I’m so thankful I made the choice to be vegan.

The number one reason I’ve been able to stick to a plant-based diet this past year is because I took the time to educate myself myself of the benefits of each vegetable, fruit or nut that I eat. I do this for ethical reasons, and health reasons, not for pleasure. Which is where so many people get it wrong, they eat food for pleasure, not health. The pleasure experienced by eating junk food and animal product may feel good in the moment or give you a short-term high, but the pleasure and inner joy experienced from eating foods that may not give you short term gratification, however, give you a sense of health, well-being, and connection, is a lot more valuable. It can only be described as magic. A plant-based diet shows evidence of healing and reversing heart disease, the number 1 killer in America, that’s powerful stuff! 

I think switching to a plant-based diet is hard if you’re expecting everything to taste like rainbows, not saying some meals won’t, but your taste pallet will need time to adjust, for example- oranges taste sweet, however eating one after sugary sweets can make the orange taste bitter. Once your pallet adjusts, you will really start to appreciate the unique taste of each and every fruit and vegetable.

A plant-based diet can also be cheap, some of the cheapest foods are whole food plant-based, such as rice, oats, beans and frozen vegetables. On a plant-based diet, variety is key. Keep things colourful and vibrant. When it comes to getting all your macros and micros I have a core structure I run by. Roughly shown for example. Don’t forget your B12 and iron tablets, and vitamin D if you don’t get much sun.

3 servings of beans (Chick peas, black beans, kidney beans)

1 serve of berries (blue berries, strawberries)

3 serves of fruit (apple, banana, avocado)

1 serve of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower)

2 serves greens (kale, spinach, arugula)

2 serves vegetables (Carrots, Beets, Pumpkin)

1 serve flax seeds (Flax seeds)

1 serve nuts (Almonds, cashews, chia seeds)

1 serve spices (Turmeric, cinnamon, paprika)

3 serve whole grains (Brown rice, buckwheat, oats)