Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the resources listed below. I am recommending them based solely on my experiences with them, and how much I love them.
I’ve been on the vegan bandwagon for a while; 3 years, to be exact. Although I’ve been vegetarian/pescatarian since I was 18 (10 years next year!). For me, going vegan was completely ethical. I’d stopped eating meat because I didn’t like that animals were raised in horrid conditions, then brutally killed. It made me feel horrible to think I was supporting that, so I stopped.
Once I discovered that dairy and eggs were acquired by just as (or arguably crueller) methods, I realised I would be a hypocrite to continue eating them. I struggled at first, and wasn’t sure about vegan baking, or cheesy pasta dishes, or how to recreate all my dairy based favourites.
I went the first few months eating quite simply, and in all honesty, feeling a little disappointed. I didn’t have the right resources, or the right frame of mind when it came to switching to veganism.
It wasn’t until I started digging, finding amazing cookbooks and recipes by Oh She Glows, or the mouth watering Forks Over Knives that I realised I wasn’t sacrificing ANYTHING in opting for the vegan equivalents. In most cases, I actually enjoyed the vegan options more.
Over the years my diet has improved exponentially, as has my desire and love for vegan cooking and baking. However, I have noticed that recently I’m reaching for the easy, fast, vegan junk food. I’ve been eating a lot of artificial meats, daiya pizzas, and quick and easy to make frozen food.
It’s a combination of very easily feeling burnt out as a mum, going back to work, and having to squeeze all my life in-between work and running back and forth to daycare.
It’s hard. And as is often unfortunately the case with parents, your self care and diet is the first to be sacrificed when life is busy and full. Panago do a great vegan pepperoni pizza, which is a great treat, but shouldn’t be a regular staple (as has become the norm for me). So while my Mum & sister (who are already vegan) are making a pledge to do whole food, plant based meals for January, I’m following suit.
I don’t have as much energy as I know I should as a healthy 27 year old. I’m often physically and mentally tired, my body feels achy and I feel totally lethargic. I know exercise has a huge role to play, which is why that’s another one of my goals for the new year.
There’s something so satisfying about knowing you are cooking and feeding yourself delicious, healthy foods. Cooking meals from scratch feels like such a huge accomplishment, and I’m very excited to rediscover my love for cooking.
For those of you who are unaware what a whole foods plant based diet is, it’s eating only ‘whole foods’. No processed foods, no oil, just as many fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, and grains as your lovely little tummy can hold.
If you’ve yet to watch Forks Over Knives I can’t recommend it enough, and you can find information about it over on my “Why Go Vegan?” page. It’s an amazing documentary! If you’re looking for some serious inspiration and motivation, you should read their success stories page. Every new story I read, I am flabber gasted.
People have reversed diabetes. They have reversed heart disease. REVERSED. Not stopped from getting worse, not slightly improved, but REVERSED IT. That absolutely blows my mind. There are people suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma, MS, you name it, a whole foods plant based diet has cured someone, or vastly improved their quality of life.
I could seriously talk about the amazing benefits (read: magic) of a whole foods plant based diet forever.
But instead of this blog post being 20 pages long, I’ll direct you to some of my favourite websites. Forks Over Knives, as I previously mentioned is my favourite resource for whole foods. Nutrition Facts is also a great resource, and it’s run by the same doctor who wrote How Not To Die, and the accompanying cookbook. Oh She Glows is a great site I mentioned for vegan foods, though some recipes use oil and are not completely following the “whole food, plant based” model.
If you’re new to veganism, or are flirting with the idea of going plant based, you should check out Veganuary. It’s a month long vegan challenge (that my vegetarian brother, and his non-veggie girlfriend have signed up for, yay). You can find all the information about that here, but it’s a great resource to help you successfully dip your toes into the world of veganism.
I’ve downloaded the Forks Over Knives app (for a small one time fee) and I’ve already filled my favourites catalogue with every second recipe. Seriously, I was basically drooling reading through all the recipes. They all look incredible and as soon as I’ve done writing this post, I’m off to make their mac and cheese recipe for Willow once she’s woken from her nap. I say for Willow, but I mean for myself too.
I’m not doubting how incredible I’m going to feel on this diet, but since I’ve never actually committed to a WFPB diet before, I’m going to update you guys every so often with how I’m doing. What our favourites recipes are, what recipes I’ve actually managed to get Willow eating, and how I’m feeling. I’m really excited about eating clean, and honestly I’m looking forward to the fun of cooking. It’s been a while since I’ve found joy in preparing food, and I’m so excited to get back to that.
Please let me know if you sign up for Veganuary, or try any of the recipes I’ve suggested! Please shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me on Instagram. I’m always interested to hear you’re all navigating veganism, with or without kids, or trying something new!