Are you vegan??

I’ve always been pretty health-conscious, but after my cancer diagnosis, I thought a lot about changes I would make to my diet and lifestyle. There is so much buzz around the vegan diet and how it can reverse disease, lengthen life, prevent sickness, etc. While I don’t subscribe to a one-diet-fits-all approach, I do feel that many of the vegan tenets resonate with me. The hormones in chicken and beef, farmed fish, inflammatory properties of dairy – those are just a handful of reasons why I decided to make the switch.

fullsizeoutput_7888
My perfect breakfast: matcha latte and avocado toast with radish, tomato and broccoli sprouts

Before you classify me as one of those crazy vegans, know that I try my best not to be weird about it. In fact, I hate the label “vegan” because truthfully, I still eat some fish/meat sometimes (wild caught salmon for the omega3s or high-quality, well-sourced chicken for extra protein after surgery) and let’s face it, there’s quite a stigma to it. For me, it’s less about what I DON’T eat than what I DO eat. Because I eat a whole lot more fresh fruit and vegetables, I tend to eat less meat and dairy, and by virtue of this, am more “vegan” than not.

The “diet” I most consider myself following is a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet. This means most of my meals are derived from whole foods (not the grocery store), which means the whole fruit and vegetable. This means very minimal processed food and more simply-prepared dishes made out of fresh produce. A grocery trip for me usually means tons of greens, a variety of seasonal fruit, plenty of mushrooms, sprouts, and the basic cooking ingredients. I also eat healthy multi-grain or sprouted bread, cashew-based yogurt, almond milk, beans/lentils, nuts, seeds, matcha green tea, and sometimes seitan or Beyond Burgers for protein.

fullsizeoutput_7222
Mushroom bolognese inside a roasted spaghetti squash bowl

Contrary to what most may think, eating WFPB is not just eating salad. If it was, I would’ve quite long time ago. There’s a lot to be said by how creative people are nowadays so that many classic meat/dairy dishes have plant-based alternatives. One cookbook that is near and dear to my heart is Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows cookbook. All the recipes are super easy to follow and the end product actually tastes really good! Some of me and hubby’s favorites are the chickpea “egg” salad, broccoli and quinoa wrap with cashew-based cheese sauce, and chocolate chip cookies. On YouTube, I follow Jill’s channel The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show where she shares so many yummy recipes using whole fruit and vegetables without any salt, sugar, or oil (crazy, right?!).

IMG_5794
Chia pudding with mango and coconut
IMG_5727
No-bake protein balls

As far as eating out goes, my favorite plant-based restaurant in NYC is Jean-Georges’ abcV in the Gramercy/Flatiron district. I know, I know, it’s fancy but their philosophy of providing plant based, non GMO, sustainable, artisanal and organic whenever possible food sourced locally and globally from small & family farms is just too good! All restaurants should strive to be this way!

IMG_3786
abcV’s infamous Roasted Cauliflower

Experimenting with these recipes and finding creative ways to make old favorites healthier and plant-based has really inspired me to cook and bake almost everyday. My body doesn’t feel bloated, my skin especially my rosacea has cleared up, my energy levels are steadily high throughout the day, and I generally feel good. This cleaner way of eating paired with regular exercise has really made a difference not only physically but mentally as well. And that, is what has made it so worth it.

IMG_5902
Cauliflower and carrot cream soup

I’ll share more recipes and resources for clean plant-based eating, but for now, I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions around my vegan/plant-based diet, and maybe inspires you to try it out some time. Happy eating! ❤

2 thoughts on “Are you vegan??

  1. I have the exact same perspective on healthy eating. My boyfriend has been vegetarian for 18 years and I’ve been “mostly vegetarian” for the last 5, and we’ve both been testing out a vegan diet for the last year due to some digestive issues on his end. We get locally-sourced, organic, in-season fruits and veggies from a local farm & our pantry is filled with 99% organic cooking/baking supplies. We sometimes pick up the beyond burger and mock chicken strips, and I’ll enjoy guilt-free wild-caught salmon if my body is craving it. Vegan food is generally so delicious and satisfying, without weighting you down or causing bloating like so many of the “heavier” foods do. The “Oh She Glows” cookbooks and website are such goldmines!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very true! Food doesn’t have to be restrictive. In fact, a huge part of my life’s satisfaction is eating. So thankful there are options out there and plant-based eating is getting the spotlight it deserves.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s