What it’s like to eat like a Vegan

I have been following a plant-based diet for 8 months. When people find out I don’t eat meat, eggs, dairy or fish the most common question I get asked is ‘so what DO you eat?’

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I started my vegan journey eating mostly fruit but it turns out that I like fruit more than it likes me so I switched the focus of my diet to starches. Now my food centres around potatoes, rice, beans, corn, bread and vegetables. I still have fruit, just not as much. To give you an idea, here’s what I ate today.

After a sleep in (hey, its Saturday) and a big glass of water I had multigrain toast, peanut butter, banana, cinnamon and black coffee. I don’t drink coffee every day but I just felt like it today.IMG_1561

Sometimes I’ll have oats and fruit with almond milk or leftover dinner (like lentil curry and rice or mashed potatoes – whaaat?) or just an orange or something. I eat freely depending on how hungry I am and what I feel like. Because I eat plant-based mostly whole foods, I don’t worry too much about what I eat or when I eat it.

I spent the morning running errands (and drinking more water). For lunch I made a zesty green juice out of spinach, apples, ginger, cucumber, coriander, celery and lemon juice. I got the recipe from  High Carb Hannah on YouTube.

Gosh they look beautiful don’t they? So fresh and vibrant.IMG_1565

I had half of the green juice for lunch with TWO helpings of homemade hashbrowns which I loaded up with capsicums and spring onions and served with sweet chilli sauce.

I made them in my sandwich press so I didn’t have to use any oil – yet another idea I got from High Carb Hannah. I generally try to avoid adding extra oil to my food as I find it lurks in a lot of foods anyway such as hummus and breads.IMG_1566

I was still a leeetle bit hungry so I cut up a sprouted grain tortilla, sprinkled it with lemon juice and salt, baked it in the oven and made chips which I scarfed down with a dollop of hummus sprinkled with paprika. And I drank more water.IMG_1568

The afternoon was spent in the garden painting my woodshed and then I did some housework. When that was finished I was pretty tired (and thirsty so I drank more water). I took a shower and then started dinner.IMG_1569-1

I was going to have pasta but I wasn’t that hungry so I sprinkled a corn cob with paprika and salt and roasted it in the oven. I love how the paprika makes my lips tingle when I eat it. I really enjoy the different textures and sensations that creative cooking offers. Anyway, I followed that up with an orange, the rest of the green juice and more water. IMG_1555

And that’s it folks.

But wait, what about protein?

The NZ Nutrition Foundation states that women between the ages of 19 and 70 should eat 45g of protein a day. Today’s food intake equaled 40.7g of protein. On Wednesday I had 72g (it was a big day for lentils and hummus) and on Thursday I had 55.6g. Over the week I averaged 44.8g of protein so rest assured people, I’m getting enough protein.

What I love about eating a plant-based diet

1. When I started eating this way I had to re-learn how to cook. And it wasn’t always wonderful. Some of the things I made tasted like, um, dirt, and I got distracted by vegan processed food. But now that I’m starting to get the hang of it I’ve discovered such a huge variety of interesting and amazing ingredients (yes, I’m looking at you, Nutritional Yeast). I’m eating foods I would never have considered before like flaxseeds and tahini. It’s such an exciting way to eat.IMG_1574

 

2. I get to eat comfort food….¬† all… the… time.

3. My taste preferences have changed. I used to have such a sweet tooth. I craved chocolate, cream, vanilla – all those unctuous, mellow, soft flavours. Now, I crave things like ginger, chilli and lemon. Oh and I just can’t get enough of oranges. I still like chocolate and vanilla occasionally, although I prefer medjool dates.

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Bliss balls – made with dates, taste like chocolate

4. I feel great. I have so much more energy (probably because of all those carbs). I’ve pretty much stopped snacking between meals at work and I no longer experience the mid-afternoon energy slump.

5. My main motivation for doing this is simply because I do not want to eat animals. I love animals. Eating plant-based is in line with my values and that’s why it feels so good. Cute-miniature-pigs-happy-life-14

When you live true to your values, you’re happy!

 

 

 

 

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Author: homemade and humble

My name is Ana. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I am married. My husband has a teenage son who lives with us and our dog. I have an adult son who lives away from home and he looks after my two cats. I run my own consultancy business and I spend a lot of my spare time cooking vegan food, homemaking and trying to live a frugal life. I am an introvert and my idea of bliss is hanging out at home with my husband and cooking in the kitchen while he potters around in the garden.

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