I promote moving toward a plant based-diet because I believe that it is the healthiest way to eat. I am not vegetarian for ethical reasons, though if you are, that is perfectly fine. It does not offend me to see people eating meat, I have simply made the choice to stop. It is completely possible to eat totally vegan but still be very unhealthy by eating a diet high in processed foods. That is where “plan-based” comes in. Eating real food created by real people cuts out much of the dangerous artificial stuff that Americans eat today. According to what I have learned, changing to a plant-based diet can bring very real health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. For some people it has led to a reduction of their diabetes issues and for others it has treated their heart disease. It can even be one of the tools used to fight cancer. To learn more about what it could do for you watch “Forks Over Knives.”
I began moving toward healthy, mostly vegetarian and vegan eating when I was in my late 20’s and closing in on another birthday. I was 45lbs overweight, totally out of shape, and felt stuck in my life. That year I decided to do two things: lose weight and start getting a college degree. That started me down a path of totally reinventing myself. I originally planned to do a “to my health” month, counting calories and eating better. That turned into a slow but sure life change. I lost 40-45 lbs, started running and biking, and began a slow transition in my eating habits. About a year into the process I watched the movie “Forks Over Knives,” which opened my eyes to the power and practicality of plant based eating. Though I have never gone completely plant based I did cut meat from my diet and limited the milk and oil products in my diet. I have maintained a healthy weight by eating generous portions of low calorie plant-based foods. I still count calories on MyFittnessPal because even on the best of foods, over eating still leads to weight gain. The difference is that instead of tiny portions I get to eat tummy satisfying plates of food.
One major health perk I attribute to mostly going vegetarian was a major reduction in the number of painful, long lasting migraine headaches I experienced. The number went from multiple each month to less than six a year. I will often go months without experiencing a migraine, and when I do get one it responds to simple otc pain pills. This alone has kept me from returning to meat consumption. My dad also went vegetarian around the same time and he saw an almost complete reduction in crippling muscular back pain episodes that confined him to bed several days at a time.
My Husband’s Journey
My husband and I met online in my last semester of college. He was a happy, carnivore but he fully supported the fact that I was vegetarian. He happily ate meals that I made without meat and encouraged me to try making meals without cheese because he is lactose intolerant. There are pills to allow him to consume dairy products but it is better if he doesn’t eat them at all. This has started me on a road to almost completely vegan dinners. Since our marriage he has stopped eating meat at home and only occasionally eats it elsewhere and I have (almost) stopped using dairy and eggs at home, though I do eat cheese and ice cream elsewhere… I’m kinda addicted. Over the short time we have been married (7 months at the time this is written) he has lost 30 lbs, going from borderline obese to now within a normal weight on the BMI scale. His blood pressure dropped 15-20 points in that period, making his doctor very happy! We have become very active, training first for a half marathon in the spring and now for a full marathon in January.
Where does your journey start?
The meals on this site are for everyone and can be customized to your preference. If you still want to eat meat simply cook it as a side. If you want to eat cheese just add it on top. These recipes can be made cane sugar free or even gluten free by simply changing a few key ingredients. However you make them, they are a step toward a healthier you, and they taste so gooooood!