Plant-based eating, which is all about eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts (and few animal products), has become popular these past few years - and for good reason.
Why More Plants?
At my best, I was attracted to and fascinated by healthy eating. I was a vegetarian in my college days drinking smoothies and juicing. At my worst, you might find me trying an Atkins diet eating more meat like it's no one's business.
As I reached a certain age, my mission was to live a strong, fit, sexy life until I am 80 and beyond. Although I exercised regularly, my diet had left me feeling sluggish. I became intrigued by the flexitarian, vegan, plant-based way of eating.
Studies had shown, that a predominantly plant-based lifestyle can improve your heart health, slow down cognitive decline, lower your risk for diabetes and support optimal gut health. Some would say it is the best diet for the planet. These benefits motivated me.
I decided to commit to the lifestyle over 10 years ago because so many things about my health felt off.
I was always googling the health benefits of the food I was eating. In the beginning it was about adding more servings of vegetables and fruit. Again, I had been a vegetarian in my younger life. This time I was determined it would be a life changing commitment.
First Year - Not Bad
Not looking to be perfect was great for me. The biggest challenge was the reaction of people around me who did not know what to do with the new choices I was making. To make the transition to plant-based eating easier, I did not go cold turkey. And I did not mind parting with meat, but giving up Greek yogurt was a different story.
I have to admit I did not focus on the grocery bill. I just purchased what fit in my budget for the week and eliminated the things that were not considered healthy.
I noticed I spent a lot longer preparing meals than usual. Typically, I’d pop a piece of protein and some vegetables in the oven and have dinner ready in 20 minutes. Now, I spent that much time just chopping vegetables!
Alas, it all proved worthwhile. I found myself energetic and productive and feeling lighter. I started to really enjoy the challenge of preparing meals leading me to complete my studies as a Culinary Nutrition Expert.
Another quick and rewarding change took place in my stomach when I gave up dairy. I used to feel heavy and slightly uncomfortable after most meals. As I went vegan and introduced more vegetables , that feeling started to dissipate.
It took some effort, but I managed to continue this whole food plant based journey for years. I truly enjoy eating out, traveling, socializing with no issues. I will admit I randomly scarf down an unhealthy food. We can talk about that another time.
In the end, my eating at least 90 percent plant based most days. I could not believe how good I feel. I was not about to give up my great energy, beautiful skin, and bloat free belly. I committed to living a mostly plant based life. I may have a meat protein a couple time a month. I will continue to enjoy all the vegan dishes that I discovered. I am obsessed with Banana Oat Blender Pancake and Delicious Chickpea Scramble.
For more essential health tips and inspiration, visit my website or follow me on social media. My 30 Day Whole Food Plant Based Transformation is coming soon. Check the website in a few weeks. Or sign up to be on the website's email address. This is a beta launch so the cost will be good.
Are you interested in being more plant-based, if so, hit reply and let me know!
In the meantime, enjoy your healthy life,
Teri Sewell Huff Integrative Nutrition Health Coach More About Me