One month ago, Bob and I decided to eat only plant-based foods. As a sometimes hit-and-miss vegetarian – often very long on the misses – I would have expected to feel deprived – especially contemplating a cheese-less life. Instead, food has been exciting!
I spend a lot of my screen time now browsing Pinterest for vegan recipes. Bob and I both cook, and we’re both interested in healthy living. That helps a lot. Between us, we’ve discovered and enjoyed a whole new batch of recipes that we’ve tweaked to our tastes. With very few flops.
Why vegan? The reason is 3-fold: health, ethics & our planet.
Health: I have had stomach troubles since I was 12. Over the years, I’ve experimented with behaviours and foods, to see if I could find the culprit(s). I could pretty much stay well-ish if I avoided fatty and sugary foods (especially the latter). And stress was always a huge trigger. A couple of months ago I had a terrible bout; maybe the worst yet. Likely caused by lazy eating habits over the summer and concern over a family member languishing in hospital for weeks. Within the first week of eating only plant-based foods I felt immediate benefits. My mid-section felt ‘lighter’, I was full between meals (that was a surprise!), and I was loving what we were eating. As for Bob, he has been taking a daily prescribed drug for heart-burn for a couple of years. He has virtually eliminated the need for the medication (he took it 3 times in a month, and that was ‘just in case’). A month later, we both feel fantastic! We don’t miss anything, not even cheese. As for nutritional balance, we’ll be getting our blood tested in another month to see if that is working out. We take a B12 supplement, but otherwise hope to get everything from our food.
Ethics: The older I get, the more ways I discover myself to be a hypocrite. Now I am living with one less. A little more joy uncovered! Eating flesh seemed barbaric to me since I was a teenager; yet I ate it. Even dairy and eggs requires that we treat animals as slaves. There is a lot being done to treat farm animals morally, to reduce harm to them. And that’s great. But, how much of the meat and dairy in our supermarkets comes from those more humane sources?
Planet: There’s a lot out there about the effects of raising animals for food and the effect on the planet. This one is difficult for me to discuss, because I’m not even remotely close to a scientist. However, a growing amount of research is suggesting it’s a problem. So, I get to add it to my list of reasons I feel good about eating only plant-based foods!
(Update: We focused on strictly plant-based for about a year and now include ethically sourced local eggs, honey, and wild fish in our diet).