Post disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional and so this is not meant to be any sort of medical advice. Also, I am in no way trying to convince anyone of the right way to eat or live, nor am I asking for opinions. I’m sharing our story and would be more than happy to answer questions, but you ultimately do what’s right for you and your family!
In the beginning of April this year we made the decision to switch to a vegan diet, and we have stuck with it since then. Since having Elijah and then my getting pregnant again, we just didn’t have a whole lot of time to make it to the gym which was always our big way of staying fit and healthy. We tried to eat healthy, but definitely could use some improvements in that area. So, we started looking into our diet and even discussed using a nutritionist or meal planning service to jump start a healthier lifestyle and diet.
One night, we just happened to watch a documentary called What the Health, and this pretty much made the decision. I have really never been much of a meat eater, and had already been trying to cut this out of our diets at least a couple days a weeks for a while. I also already knew some of the facts from the documentary from my time studying nutrition, but I had no idea how bad it actually was, or really, I just had never thought about it.
It’s so common in our American society to eat animal products. We grow up thinking this is just what you do and there’s no other way to get the nutrients we need. However, when you really start looking at it, there isn’t really anything(other than maybe B12) that you can’t get from plants. The nutrients you are getting from animal products? Those animals are eating plants to live and make those proteins. The fat and cholesterol are just not worth it for protein when you can get plenty of it from plant sources like beans, lentils, veggies, etc.
Anyway, we went vegan cold turkey. We threw everything away and went grocery shopping and that was it. I had to do a lot of Pinterest recipe searching to start, but we did it and we haven’t turned back.
So how’s it going 8 months later?
Honestly, it’s awesome. We really don’t miss much of anything at all, and feel so much healthier. I was pregnant most of the time and had low blood pressure the whole pregnancy, no swelling at all, and gained 20 less lbs than I did with Elijah. It’s hard to compare things like energy level with this one, because I am chasing a 2 year old which is a task itself, so the gym just hasn’t happened like it did the first time around. But for the most part I feel great and have also had no nausea and minimal heartburn!
I don’t think this is specific to being vegan, but we have noticed we get into ruts of eating the same things over and over. It’s just too easy to make the same things that we know we like. But, a lot of those things are new to us as vegans, and we do try to incorporate new things all the time.
Some favorite Meals
Spaghetti and bean balls
Buffalo cauliflower wraps
Cottage Pie (Shepard’s Pie, but with lentils instead of beef)
Soups – chickpea noodle, 3 bean chili, thai coconut curry (find this in my Pinterest board below – it’s soo good!)
Vegan Mac – with butternut squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin instead of cheese
Brands or Products
Gardein- faux chicken strips are perfect for picky toddlers, meat balls are great for quick dinners,
Beyond vegan makes an awesome veggie burger
Earth balance for vegan butter
Follow your heart ranch, Caesar, mayo, and cheese (not exactly healthy though so we don’t use these often)
Sweet Earth makes some pretty decent frozen dinners
Sprouts Market brand almond milk (has a good amount of Vitamin b12), and veggie burgers (cost efficient and delicious!)
Produce department!!! Not a brand I guess but this is the most important place to start your shopping!
Books and other resources I’ve used:
Peta – great product resource and good place to go if you want info on the activist side of veganism more than just the health side
Pinterest – Link is to my vegan board which has a lot of recipes I’ve tried
Recipes really aren’t my thing – even the ones above I most likely only loosely followed. I don’t really measure, and I make my own cooking rules. I would be a terrible chef or food blogger so you probably won’t see too many vegan recipes from me, but I will maybe post a few here and there because it really has been so much fun to come up with them and really feel good about what we’re eating!