Many of us have heard about a plant-based diet. Probably somewhere on TV or have read in the newspaper or somewhere another Youtuber or influencer have been showing off perfectly shaped bodies saying – I am on the plant-based diet.
I am going to admit, for a very long time I thought this is the same thing as veganism, raw foods diet or just another trend that is passing by and probably not going to return any time soon. Most of the influencers that kind of “screams” the hardest on their social media accounts about being vegans or on the plant-based diet, I would associate them with people that look tired, have dark circles under their eyes, in general skinny and really looked like their souls have been taken away. However, me, spending most of my life being on the completely opposite side of the scale – those images are always shocking. I wanted to lose weight, but I never wanted to look like those people. Therefore, such an idea was for a very long time in my head. I guess most of it has to do with probably not having anyone around me being vegan at the time of growing up. My family table was always mostly based on dairy products and moderate amounts of meat. The good thing is that I remember growing up that my grandma was always getting rid of animal fat whenever cooking and would substitute it with olive oil. Thanks, grandma!
Over the last months of studying about the plant-based diet, I learnt that images I had in my head of people who became weak and skinny have nothing to do with the definition of a plant-based diet. Most people who become like that, actually having unsolved mental issues that lead to different eating disorders and have nothing to do with a balanced, rich in fibre, protein, fat & unrefined carbs diet that is designed to be. Those people that are going around for maybe two years screaming that salary juice is enough to live on or eating only fruit throughout the entire day. After that, they switch back to eating meat & dairy saying that: I tried veganism and it did not work for me. Well, of course, it did not work for you because you did not eat properly. Your nutrient levels were almost non-existing. Guys, stay away from others that give advice like that. Do not fall into traps of somebody having an amazing body and just promoting juice cleanse as the ultimate diet. Either they are lying straight to your faces or after some time their bodies will not be looking as great as they are now.
Alright, a plant-based diet is a diet which is based on plants. Voila! By plants, I mean everything such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts & seeds. It eliminates products such as meat, fish, dairy products, processed foods that usually come in colourful packages such as cookies, chips and anything else that can stay on the shelves forever. Therefore, most of the people might mix this with vegan diet & lifestyle but veganism is a different subject. As I am in favour of the veganism idea, which of course helps us to reduce the CO2 footprint in the world as well as saves the lives of the animals. But if I would go on eating processed wheat bread, pasta, vegan ice-cream, cookies and stuff like that, oh boy, my health would probably be worse than if I would stick to a traditional diet & try to have moderate amounts of it. Of course, there are plenty of vegans out there who mostly eat clean and whole foods.
This brings me to my own experiences. I kind of think that both worlds combined are a great choice for me. For example, I am totally in favour that we do not need animal products to sustain our lifestyle and overall be generally healthy. I eliminated that. I don’t consume meat, fish or dairy products and that is already for over two months now and I am still here, making the videos, writing blog posts. However, I am not going to say that I eat completely clean because once or twice every two weeks I grab at the supermarket a meat replacement package, for example, vegan sausages or vegan minced meat if I try to recreate some of the original recipes that used to be with meat before and I just add the meat replacement. Also, occasionally, I would enjoy and treat myself to some nice vegan/gluten-free pastries. Yes, that’s other things for me personally, I am not friends with wheat products as it makes me bloated, stuffed, causes fatigue and increases inflammation in my body that starts a chain reaction of causing psoriasis. But these topics are for another time. And I find it perfectly fine that I can balance it out on such a diet that helps me to keep healthy, fit & full of energy throughout the day. Plus, the “side effect” I am still losing weight.
People might enter the plant-based diet in different ways. For example, if you want to introduce more whole foods and greens into your diet as you might only be used to eating steak and fries, you can start slowly, such as cutting half the portion of your fries by adding homemade salads. Just don’t add those fatty dressing because that is not going to help you. Instead of googling a couple of simple herbs such as dill, chives or any other as you wish and learn about them, you can find them in any supermarket nowadays, you will be surprised how much nicer your salads become if you only dress them with herbs and olive oil. If you are a bit advanced, and your diet already includes veggies every day, maybe try cooking once or twice a week dishes without meat. And slowly step by step you guys can also transition to maybe only eating once or twice per week portion of meat or fish. Or hopefully, you will dish it at all in the future.
Any change takes time. Especially in regards to something we are so used to by growing up and all of that publicity about where do you get your protein from and cow’s milk provides you with calcium. But no matter that, even making small steps, will help you achieve big results in the long run. Remember, this is not about a couple of months challenges, it is about years and years of journey. I never liked fish, for me, it was not difficult to dish it in the first place. When I moved to the Netherlands all the dairy choices got limited here to only cheese and cow’s milk. Milk was gone very soon from my diet, and I dished the cheese only like a year ago. I was never a big fan of red meat, so only chicken and turkey was left to kind of get rid of. So, this year I tried a water-fasting challenge for five days, you can watch it here you haven’t seen it yet. And since then which is like over two months now, I completely gave up dairy, meat & fish.
I will do more videos in the future about plant-based diet and if you guys want to know more and how my journey is going with that, please subscribe to my Youtube channel. Please also follow me on the Instagram, where I share daily plant-based foods that I am eating and how I am making them.
Thanks for reading!