Am I going vegan?
If you followed my recent trip to Bali, you will know that I dabbled in plant based eating. The vegan scene is pretty lit in Bali so I had plenty of opportunity to try a variety of foods.
Going out to eat in cafe's and restaurants I found myself naturally leaning towards vegan choices on the menu. Upon reflection, this was due to two main reasons:
1. As an avid macro tracker over the past three years, I have prioritised protein and foods that are generally easier to log into my food diary. I had this idea in my head that it was simply better to get protein straight from animal sources. I had never really put myself in a situation where I would choose otherwise. Going to Bali I had decided to give macro tracking a break and eat more 'intuitively' (which I will cover more in another blog...). Without hitting specific macros I was more open to trying new foods, cue vegan food!
2. In the past couple of months, I have found myself super interested in reducing my environmental foot print and sustainability in general. It started with a keep cup and recycling, to becoming fully aware of how EVERYTHING we buy has an environmental impact. Including the foods we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we use. Human dietary changes can play a huge role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which ultimately help to mitigate climate change (yep its real).
In saying that, I have definitely not gone 100% vegan and honestly am not planning on it. You won't see me labelling my instagram bio with '24, Vegan and Thriving' anytime soon like so many other Vegan bloggers seem to be doing at the moment.
However I am going to be making a HUGE effort to eating more plant based.
What even is the definition of plant based?
A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products. - Wikipedia
Realistically most of us do eat a large portion of plant based already without trying. Meat may make up a portion of our meal. Grains, veggies, nuts and legumes will also account for a large portion of our plate and are all 'plant-based'.
What are the steps I have taken to live a more plant-based life?
Firstly, as soon as I got home I researched vegan recipes. I went grocery shopping and it felt like I walked into a brand new store. There are SO many plant based goodies in just local grocery store (e.g. Coles or Woolies), so I didn't feel at all limited in choice.
I've heard a lot on social media and amongst friends that things like Tofu, Vegan Cheese and Falafels are 'expensive'. I urge you to question how much you actually spend on meats during the week before saying something else is 'expensive'. Become curious about the ethical and quality stand points of those meats you buy if they are more 'budget' choices too.
This isn't to judge what you are eating or how to source your groceries, more to give you a gentle suggestion to become aware of what money you already do spend and how you spend it. I understand not everyone will have money to put towards organic groceries and that's ok. It's not at all necessary either! I do believe we can all always improve the choices we currently do make though, by becoming more aware and educated of our choices.
For example, 100g of free range chicken is around $16 per kilo. Organic tofu ranges around $13 per kilo. Normal shredded cheese is $7 for 450g, where as vegan shredded cheese is about $17 per 450g bag. Admittedly, vegan cheese is a luxury and definitely isn't necessary as part of a balanced diet. These are all prices from our local Aussie supermarkets too, I'm not getting these numbers from Bondi's Organic Wholefoods Hipster Superstore where everything is *slightly* inflated.
One last thing to consider for me is where the desire to eat more plant based comes from. As someone who has dealt with disordered eating in the past, I wanted to make sure I was choosing to eat this for a benefit as opposed to using it as a secret way to restrict myself. My intrinsic motivation tells me I feel very aligned with eating in a way that helps to take care of our Mumma Earth. I feel excited about trying new recipes and foods that I previously swept under the non-macro friendly category. And lastly, the fact that I am so open to talking about it to my friends, family and YOU shows me that I'm not engaging in any self-sabotaging behaviours.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you made a transition to plant based eating? What are your reasons? Do you have favourite recipes or food swaps?
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