It’s been a little while since my first plant based post where I guess I kind of “announced” (for like of a better word) that I was going to be making some changes to my diet. So, that said, I wanted to provide an update on a few things I’ve learned in the past few months.
I’ve been interested in plant based foods and recipes for a while now, but I always just kind of watched from afar, thinking it would be too difficult to actually do. That all changed around the beginning of September. I dove in head first instead of baby stepping it, which wasn’t necessarily a mistake, but it did lead me to feeling like I was failing at some points. Regardless, here’s where I’m at now!
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far (and the most frustrating), is the lack of options when going out to eat at restaurants. I can usually find something vegetarian on the menu, but nine times out of ten it includes some kind of cheese loaded sandwich, pasta, or pizza. I feel like I’m not necessarily eating any healthier because previously I might have ordered a salad with grilled chicken, but without chicken a salad just doesn’t seem filling enough, so I’d order a quesadilla instead. Anyway, so when going out to eat, I try to stick to vegetarian options, but I really want to find ways to enjoy salads (or other healthy options) without feeling like they need animal protein.
Diary is in EVERYTHING
Even the things I really didn’t think had dairy them—do. It has proved much, much more difficult to cut out dairy than it has meat. Meat has honestly been pretty easy peasy. The only time I’ve felt the need to eat meat is when I’m with friends or family and they’ve made a meal that contains meat. Speaking of that, though, I recently hosted Thanksgiving and officially survived my first family event where I didn’t cave to the pressures of eating meat. And guess what?! Thanksgiving was still amazing! Because I made most of the food, I was actually able to make a lot of it plant based and no one even realized it because it still tasted SO good!
Baby Steps are Key
Most, if not all, of the plant based bloggers I follow talk about taking baby steps. I mean I didn’t try to overhaul my life or anything, but food is a big deal. If you’re anything like me, you spend most of your day thinking about food, so you can imagine trying to make changes to your diet. IT’S HARD. I loooove going out to eat, too, so that has proved especially difficult.
Ultimately, how I feel right now is, I eat what I think my body will respond well to. That’s what this whole journey is really about for me. Sometimes I feel like I’ve put myself in a box and if someone sees me eating dairy or meat, all they’re thinking is “omg, what a hypocrite.” Ok, that might be my own paranoia, but I do reserve the right to always eat whatever the hell I want. 😉
I really enjoy being in the kitchen and taking a recipe and trying to make it plant based. I’ve discovered some really great foods, products and substitutions that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Anyone who likes cooking probably finds a challenge in the kitchen fun every once in a while, so even if you couldn’t care less about eliminating animal products from your diet, give it a try! You might be surprised! Who knows, you could find your new favorite meal!
Has anyone tried something plant based and been pleasantly surprised? Share your experience (and your recipe) in the comments!