It has now been 2 months of exclusively plant-based eating. Some of my observations:
It’s fun exploring the plant-based lifestyle. It’s fun to go to vegan festivals or other meet-ups where everyone is as excited as you are about all of this, because let’s face it – it’s not a diet, it is a lifestyle. As with any lifestyle, here you will find your hard-core extremists who chastise you for eating things that even resemble meat, to the other extreme, folks who exalt restaurants like Doomies that recreate a vegan version of the Big Mac, fries on the side. There’s a Facebook group called WHAT F.A.T. VEGANS EAT that features a lot of familiar comfort food that they’ve “veganized”. (F.A.T. means Fanastic, Amazing, Terrific by the way). In this dish below, king mushrooms stand in for scallops. I put them on a bed of stir-fried garlic kale with a little mango salad on the side. Delicious!
The plant-based lifestyle has been touted for a long-time, even though it’s just starting to become chi chi in the mainstream. Over the past few years, I have watched many documentaries and purchased many a cookbook to inspire. Two good ones are Forks Over Knives (plant-based, no oil diet) and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead which focuses on juicing for good health.
Inspiration. I have always loved cookbooks as literature. Reading them, poring over the photos, imagining the recipes on my table. Vegan cookbooks are just as lovely as any other. Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows and the Thug Kitchen are recent favourites. I also follow several plant-based blogs and Instagram accounts, which never fail to inspire with gorgeous photos of beautiful, colourful, healthy plant-based meals. Not only that, but who knew you could make plant-based meringue from aquafaba, aka bean water? My favourites at the
moment are the Minimalist Baker, Chef Chloe, Vegan Richa and Manjula’s Kitchen, which is not fully vegan, but has many fabulous plant-based Indian recipes.
Beginning to look at meat with sadness. Unlike many vegetarians and vegans, I have enjoyed cooking and eating meat. I love animals, but have always considered them a necessary part of the food chain. I chose to go plant-based primarily for health reasons. As I progress with this vegan journey, I’m feeling more empathy and compassion for animals than ever before. There is no excuse for the horrific treatment of animals marked for slaughter in factory farms. None. I respect the work of people who try to help and locally for me, it is Happily Ever Esther animal sanctuary. Esther’s Facebook and Instagram feeds are so much fun — highly recommended.
Health benefits After two months eating only plant-based meals, I am noticing small improvements in health thus far. First of all (and I don’t mean to overshare here) but both the quality and quantity of bathroom visits have increased and it’s fantastic! I have also lost approximately 10 lbs. and this is with zero exercise since I tore the miniscus in my left knee. I feel as if my digestive system has calmed and for the first time in I can’t even tell you how long, no heartburn. My stomach does makes very strange and loud noises from this plant-based diet, but it doesn’t hurt.