Or, should I say, plant-based diet curious?
In December of last year I decided to try eating vegan meals after watching Forks Over Knives. I knew it would be hard for a number of reasons:
- My husband has done all the cooking for the past twenty years so my cooking skills are a little lackluster at best.
- I grew up in the country eating grass-fed beef from the farmer next door, so I have a well-developed meat-eating habit.
- My husband is a hunter and fisherman and we have freezers (yes, that’s plural) of elk, venison, and salmon just waiting to be eaten.
On the other hand, I had already given up dairy, wheat and eggs due to allergies, what was one more thing?
“Why would you turn down all that protein-rich food?” a friend of my husband’s asked the other day. “You’re in shape, it’s not like you need to lose weight,” he continued. True, but I wanted to see if I could squeak a little more speed out of my swimming if I changed my diet, and it’s good for the environment.* Really, the bottom line is I feel great.
My two-week experiment has expanded more than three months and counting. At the beginning it was hard. It felt like I was shopping and chopping constantly. But, now that I have a number of good online resources for vegan recipes (below) and my cooking has improved enough that my husband enjoys whatever I make as a side dish to go along with his meal.
Here are some online food blogs worth reading:
Blow Your Friends’ Minds
Eating a plant-based diet is easy once you get going. I think the biggest challenge is changing how we think about breakfast/lunch/dinner. Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal or eggs, lunch doesn’t have to be a sandwich or salad and dinner doesn’t have to be meat/veggie/starch.
Last weekend, I served beet soup in acorn squash cups and a spinach salad with pears, pecans and quinoa to a friend of mine for dinner. She was shocked – just vegetables for dinner. “That was really good,” she said, still in a state of disbelief at the end of the meal. Vegetables – go figure!
* “According to a 2006 University of Chicago study, the average American diet derives 47% of its calories from animal products. This amounts to a carbon footprint of 2.52 tons of CO2 emissions per person per year.” — Forks of Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health