What I learned from eating vegan for a day

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Yesterday I decided to eat vegan for the day. This is something I’d thought about doing, eating vegan for a day or a meal, but I didn’t have the tools I needed to get started. I had some inspiration over the weekend after watching a video on YouTube, where one young woman talked about the kinds of plant-based foods she kept in the house. She also talked about how she planned her meals for the week, and based her grocery shopping off of that.

Lastly, she said she would make her meals in bulk so that they would last for a few days. This video really clicked with me, and so the next day, I decided to eat vegan for the day. I had made a list of groceries for breakfast, lunch/dinner, and snacks to really get an idea of what should be on my plate. And that morning I planned out my meals in my journal before I went to get breakfast (Food is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning 🙂 ).

So how did this experiment go for me? Was I able to do it? I did! All my meals and snacks were vegan. I started my day with fruit and peanut butter. For lunch I had brown rice, lettuce, tomatoes, lime, and vegan meatballs from Trader Joe’s. (It helps that I’m a vegetarian, so I already had these things in the house.) For dinner I made tacos with similar ingredients to what I had for lunch. And for a snack I had raisins.

I was aware of the foods that I couldn’t include in this meal plan, like cheese, sour cream, Little Debbie snack cakes, the sliced bread and English muffins we happened to have, honey, and butter. I especially noticed excluding some of these things in my tacos. A part of me was a little bummed out, but another part of me was glad to be eating more raw, fresh food.

I did find myself eating much healthier. I ate more fruits and veggies. Being a vegetarian, usually if a meal has protein, then I feel like I’m all set. But this made me realize I want to include more fruits and veggies in my meals!

Eating vegan certainly doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favorite foods, because there’s veg-friendly substitutes for everything, like cashew cheese, almond milk, etc… However, if you want to try eating vegan for a meal, a day, or longer, I think it’s good to substitute things not only for flavors, but for nutrients. Like if you’re not getting calcium from cheese, be sure to eat lots of dark, leafy greens like collard greens and kale. (For a list of awesome protein sources, see my previous post 🙂 ).

I also recommend planning your meals for the day, it’s super helpful. I think all in all though, be gentle with your relationship with food. You don’t have to be perfect. Just remember that it’s all about taking small steps to take care of yourself. Celebrate those small steps, and love yourself. You are good enough!!

So what are my take-aways from all of this? Do I plan on going vegan anytime soon? Probably not. But I do want to plan out my meals some days. I already planned mine for today. This is about progress, not perfection. I also want to add more fruits and veggies to my meals for sure. And I want to include more plant-based foods in my diet. This was a nice, little experiment.

Just to reiterate, always educate yourself before making changes to your diet, whether it’s for a day, a week, a few months, or longer. The key is to have balance and to show your body some love by giving it the proper nutrients it needs ❤

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day, Lovelies. This girl’s gonna go eat!! 🙂

xoxo.

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Plant-based diet

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I want to incorporate more plant-based meals into my lifestyle. I’m already a vegetarian, but I want to eat more organic, fresh foods. Right now my ideal meal plan for breakfast includes fruit, like bananas, plums, peaches, and cherries, oatmeal, cashews and mixed nuts, peanut and almond butters, and maybe on occasion spinach with apples, berries, and sliced almonds.

For lunch and dinner, I’d like to have healthy grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain bread, muffins, and crackers. I want to include more veggies, like sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and corn, and great sources of protein like chickpeas, red beans, black beans, nuts, seeds, peas, quinoa, chia seeds, and sun-dried tomatoes. For snacks, I wanna keep dried fruit handy, as well as dark chocolate.

Like any lifestyle, I think it’s important to be relaxed and not put too much pressure on yourself to be “perfect.” But educating yourself and making small choices each day makes a big difference over time. I find that planning my meals for the day, and maybe even for the week, especially when it’s time to buy groceries, can be a great way to achieve small goals.

Life is a journey, and doing small things to take care of yourself along the way tends to feel really good 🙂 Even the things you achieve today are worth celebrating ❤

My Vegetarian Grocery Shopping List

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As a vegetarian, a common question I am asked is, “What do you eat?” Since I eat a number of different things throughout the day, it can be hard to narrow it down and answer that question on the spot. It’s kind of like when someone asks, “What kind of music do you like?” Most of us listen to so many different kinds that it can be hard to choose an answer.

Because asking what vegetarians eat is a common question, I thought it would be helpful to create a sample vegetarian grocery list. As someone who has been eating food at a college campus dining for the past few years, I am still learning what kinds of foods to buy and what kinds of meals to eat at home. Because grocery shopping often requires one to have a budget in mind, I like to organize the items I want by category. My main categories are: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. Here is my sample shopping list:

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal
  • Green Tea
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Almond milk
  • Granola
  • Eggs
  • Raisin Bread

Lunch:

  • Salad
  • Brown Rice
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Veggie Chick’n Patties

Dinner:

  • Spaghetti
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Green Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Corn
  • Chickpeas
  • Cauliflower

Snacks:

  • Rice Cakes
  • Raisins
  • Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pistacios
  • Granola Bars

Naturally, these categories can overlap. I also wouldn’t necessarily get all of these things in one shopping trip. It’s just an idea of the kinds of things I might buy for the week. If you are a vegetarian, or would like to be one, I hope this list is helpful for you.

#Food, vegetarian, food blogs, healthy