When I first became vegan, over a year ago, I thought it was a matter of time before I lost a load of weight, had bags of energy and was eating kale by the bucket load. This hasn’t happened. Why, I hear you ask? Well, very simply, it’s easy to follow an unhealthy vegan diet or a vegan diet that includes a lot of processed or unhealthy foods. Lots of people find this quite surprising and some people take a look at me and are surprised to find that I’m vegan as I am carry a few extra pounds. And this is before I eat my own body weight in vegan mince pies and tofurkey over the Christmas period.
I’ve made no secret over the fact that I don’t enjoy cooking. Add to this the fact that I’m a comfort eater and I work a lot and want convenience foods, means that I have spent the first year of my vegan life seeking out all the sfv (suitable for vegans) snack foods, take aways and unhealthy short cuts. While this is not what I wanted, it’s not surprising, considering my unhealthy relationship with food. (As a teenager, I had to go to Weight Watchers!) While I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to be eating, I wasn’t really sure how to correct my diet. Then I watched Food Choices and this confirmed what I already knew – that I should be eating a whole foods plant based diet. On the documentary, they mention a vegan who existed on fizzy drinks and crisps. While what they are consuming might be vegan, it isn’t healthy and I know I want to be eating well. Because I work a lot, I know I need to nourish my body so that I sleep well, manage my stress and have plenty of energy. Eating processed junk foods isn’t going to do that, even if they are sfv. Any dairy products will have been replaced with other equally unhealthy ingredients. Watching Forks over Knives reaffirmed what I already knew – that I had to find a way of making sure my diet consisted of whole food plant based foods, not just vegan foods, as that’s the best thing for my health. While I’m generally pretty healthy, I could stand to lose a few pounds and I want to make sure that I’m eating the best for my body.
In order to eat a more plant based diet, without spending hours in the kitchen, we knew we needed some new recipes that are quick, healthy and easy. Phil bought Keep it Vegan by Aine Carlin and it has a number of simple weekday meals that are easy to put together. We’ve already tried the stir fry and were really pleased that we had a healthy plant based dinner made in under twenty minutes. This is the kind of thing we need. I’ve also bought the Minimalist Baker cookbook, as I love the meals on her blog but want to have everything in one place.
This is not a diet or a ‘new year, new you’ fad. This is a change I feel like l have to make. And yes, there will be times when I get a take away or over eat on some junk food, but this should be much, much less than I’m doing right now. Hopefully, I’ll feel the benefit of a whole foods plant based diet really soon.