**Katie is one of my lovely 2012 brides and one of my very favorite friends! Her and her new hubster are huge fitness buffs! She even writes a blog about it, make sure to check it out here! She has a beautiful story and one of the best personalities of anyone that I know! I am thrilled to have her share her words with ya!**
How To Become a Vegetarian?
Or maybe even Vegan?
And why the heck would you want to?
Okay, I will preface this blog post by saying that I’m not 100% vegan nor am I 100% vegetarian. I do however try to be. I also did not agree with this way of life until about 4 months ago, even though I’ve always been a huge advocate for health.
The reason for my “change” was a documentary called “Forks over Knives” which then lead into tons of hours online researching with my hubby. We didn’t just want to take the documentary at face value because you never know these days and all of it could just be made up data, although it all sounded great.
I won’t get into all of the details, but my first request is that you watch it. It’s free on Hulu! How easy is that? Then if you get interested, buy the book.
Forks over knives promotes a plant based diet, primarily fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and tubers. It does NOT include dairy, eggs, refined foods like bleached flour, sugar, or oil, nor does it promote meat (including fish).
How in the WORLD do you do this? Impossible right?
It felt that way to my husband and I at first also, but we were also kind of excited to try something new. And, we have learned SO much. Have you ever tasted quinoa, tempeh, tofu, or buckwheat? Well neither had I! I had also never had spaghetti squash, which is my new favorite!
How to Become Vegan:
- I would suggest doing some research. Start slow, because especially if you aren’t used to this, it can be difficult. Find the reason WHY you want to? I personally want to live until I’m 100, and I want to feel awesome doing it. Lower BP, cholesterol, weight, or just have more energy?
I know it’s cheesy, but it’s not an easy switch but one that’s well worth it.
- Convince yourself that it costs you less, not more. Meat is expensive so if you use the age old, “eating healthy costs more” then write it all down as my husband and I did. We calculated that we would save $50/month just on protein alone even if we bought protein supplements (hemp, not soy or whey).
- Make a grocery list. It will be long with TONS of veggies and fruits. Find recipes, make it fun. It’s not hard, and there are TONS of options but here is maybe just an idea of a day.
Breakfast: oatmeal with flaxseed and almond milk with a banana
Lunch: tofu salad with tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and onions
Snack: Protein shake with strawberries and blueberries
Dinner: Broiled fish and steamed squash and zuchinni
Snack: almonds and an apple
[Disclaimer: From my research, the only reason ‘fish’ was considered bad was because of the treatment to the fish not the food itself. I won’t go into my opinion on that, but just suffice it to say that I still eat fish hehe!] The key here is variation, and keeping spices handy just in case you aren’t used to the diet and think that it needs more salt. Most processed foods are FILLED with salt therefore if you take those out entirely, then you will crave the salt even if you don’t realize it. Tanner keeps “Mrs. Dash” which is a salt free substitute on hand, and we like Balsalmic Vingerette because this also has no sodium.
- You won’t starve as you are currently thinking. Personally, my husband has a hard time getting enough calories in for the day because vegetables and bananas and apples and grapefruit and strawberries and carrots and onions and tofu and tempeh and squash and zuchinni and mushrooms (you get the point) have such low caloric density that it’s impossible not to be stuffed.
- And you won’t gag off of all of these new choices. They are GOOD. Our culture has just convinced us that healthy foods taste bad, but once you get your body off those cravings, you find a new world out there! J
It seems daunting at first, but there are so many cookbooks, and it becomes a hobby. I have so many new staples that I love that I never even knew existed before, which is so cool to find! I can say that dairy has been the hardest for me (yogurt, egg whites, cheese, etc..) but I keep on pushing because I have seen the research and know the benefits!! So, check it out and let me know what you think! J You won’t regret it!