I’m Going Planet-Based
If you know me, I can hear you laughing now. Tanisha…the foodie…giving up meat? I am. For the month of February, I decided to go vegan. I knew on this Year of Healthy journey that I wanted to dedicate at least one month to food (to understand why read this post). I had a good friend go vegan late last year, and her testimony has been so inspirational that I figured I would give it a go. I’ll be honest, I expect this to be hard, so I picked the shortest month. 😂 Jokes on me because 2020 is a leap year, so it’s not as short as I expected.
What Is Vegan?
I’m including a quick definition because when I share with people that I am doing this, they make it seem like I can’t eat anything. According to Webster, a vegan is “a strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals.” That’s it. What’s a vegetarian? Back to Webster. “A person who does not eat meat: someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products.” That leaves A LOT of options for me to eat.
Now, I have spent some time watching YoutTube videos and reading blog posts and man, the community really gets up in arms about vegan vs. plant-based. Honestly, the difference seems to be that vegan means a lifestyle. So you don’t wear anything from an animal, buy anything that came from an animal, etc. But I also see that vegan means you still can eat processed foods. Oreos are considered vegan. While plant-based means you are eliminating animal products AND processed foods. As of right now, I have no plans on changing my whole life around behind this. I mean, I think the only animal things I own “may” be leather purses, but I’m not even sure if that is the case. But for right now, my only change will be with food. I may continue to learn more that may change this. The purpose of me picking a topic for a month is to learn what I can and create healthy habits.
I’ve been working on my relationship with food for a couple of years now. I’ve done Whole30 plenty of times, which is when you eliminate dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and soy for 30 days. We live a Whole30 lifestyle 95% of the time because I can’t consume sugar and dairy without having some major stomach issues. I’ve also gone without meat a couple of times during different fasts that I have done. My goal is to get the inside of my body healthy. While I understand medicines are beneficial, I would love to control my different health concerns with food. I would prefer that I get my vitamins and nutrients from what I eat and drink. And since the holidays, I have done a horrible job at cooking and eating my vegetables. It also doesn’t hurt that my husband hates vegetables, and it gets pretty annoying to prepare them and him not eat them. So going plant-based and trying out different recipes allows me to increase my vegetable intake. I’m also hoping that a side benefit is that I can show my husband healthy food made only from plants isn’t a bad thing.
How I’m Getting Started
Planning and Preparation. Those are seriously my two most significant tools for this journey. I created a vegan section under my food board on Pinterest. I eat very little processed food day-to-day, and I cook most of my meals at home. So I will continue doing that. Because I am cooking with even more fresh produce, I was advised to continue to go to the grocery store multiple times a week to prevent food waste. I started on Friday by planning enough meals to get me through the weekend. I hit the store Saturday since I had enough food to get through breakfast and lunch (oatmeal, grits, smoothies…I have options). I made a grocery list for 2-3 days worth of meals and then picked up what I needed from the store and got to cooking. I’ve had a fantastic time and experience so far, and a certain someone has even enjoyed the food. Keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook stories to see how this goes! I’ve already created a story highlight just for this journey. Are you plant-based or have tried vegan before? Please leave me your tips below in the comments.