Going to a whole food, plant-based, vegan diet, was the single-most important decision I ever made for my health. My decision to go completely plant-based has made me feel lighter and more vibrant. I’ve never experienced maintaining my weight with such ease. I’ve never enjoyed my life more.
And even when I have a day when I’m not feeling “quite so vibrant” it’s only for about a day, and then I bounce right back. And it’s generally because I just needed a solid night’s sleep of about 7 hours which is perfect for me. Learning about the wide-range of health benefits, as well as environmental benefits of a plant-based diet has been extremely eye-opening. It has led me to move away not only from all the hidden sugars but also from the majority of processed foods which have so many unhealthy additives that our bodies are not meant to have in our system and try and process on a daily basis. It never means feeling deprived or unsatisfied. It means feeling totally in control.
As your body adjusts to your feeling satisfied and full from plant-based foods, it will begin to recognize a new feeling of satisfaction from foods that aren’t causing damage. Be sure to prepare your meals with tasty herbs, spices and other seasonings. When you cut out meat, there are wonderful protein sources like tempeh or seitan or tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Beans and lentils are packed with protein. Nuts and seeds and nut butters are wonderful as well as many dark green veggies like spinach and broccoli. Don’t get hung up on protein, women only need about 46 grams per day and men about 56 grams. You will be fine.
Remember that whole grains are wonderful and should be an essential part of your daily diet – at every meal. They contain energy and will keep you balanced and energized and are also packed with protein.
No matter what kinds of foods you eat you can get stuck in a rut. Be creative. When planning your meals, just recreate the dishes you love. I do this all the time. Pulling out favorite dishes that my grandma and mom used to make. You can still have all the foods you enjoy.
On the weekends I fix a big soup, chili, or stew to enjoy during the week. I freeze extra servings for those busy weeknights when I’m short on time. Then all I need to do is fix up a quick side like couscous, quinoa, or brown rice. It’s very satisfying.
Remember, no matter where you are at in your journey toward good health it is all about choices, and we can have bumps and curves and a few roadblocks along that journey. You might be invited to a family barbecue and indulge in a burger cooked by Uncle Bob and your Granny’s favorite potato salad. That’s pretty normal. Just get right back on track. You’ll be so glad you did. I did. I’ve never regretted my decision . . . I never looked back. I just feel too good!