The Importance of Plant Based
I know what you’re thinking. ”I could never cut out animal products. Where would I get my protein? How would I have enough energy to get through the day?” The truth is, you would absolutely have enough protein and energy if you cut out animal products from your diet, but that’s not the point of this post. I’m not going to shame you into a certain lifestyle or diet. That’s not fair! Food is a very personal thing and not everyone has access to a plant based diet.
With that in mind, I want to challenge those of you who do have access and the means to go to grocery stores with fresh produce to hear me out. Eating plant based foods are not only better for you, but better for the environment! Need more convincing than just reading a blog post from a stranger you found on the internet? I would too. Some documentaries that feature doctors and other professionals discussing the benefits of plant based diets are “What the Health?”, “The Game Changers”, and “Cowspiracy”. All can be found on Netflix!
I watched “What the Health?” and become a vegetarian the next day. It freaked me out and was enough to stop my meat consumption, but notice I didn’t say vegan. Vegan is the sustainable goal! It’s the complete lack of animal products in a persons diet and that is extremely admirable. However, I haven’t jumped the hurtle of eliminating dairy from my diet and that’s not something I am ashamed of. Just like you shouldn’t be ashamed of eating meat! No one is perfect and that’s not what should be strived for. Sustainability is reached from small changes. Deciding to have one meatless meal a week makes a difference. If 7 billion people decide to have one meatless meal a week, that makes a HUGE difference. So don’t let anyone make you think that your small choice isn’t provoking positive change. It is. If you’re doubting that, reach out to me! I am more than happy to be your sustainable cheerleader.
This isn’t going to happen overnight, but if you’re thinking about cutting back your animal intake, maybe first take stock of the foods you already love that don’t contain animal products. For me, it made the transition less scary. I thought, “Okay I normally have avocado toast for breakfast...Wait! Nothing about breakfast has to change! Score!” Then I thought about the days when I don’t have toast for breakfast. “Hmmm I love smoothies, but I normally use milk and/or yogurt.” Lucky for me, freezing my bananas provided the thickness yogurt normally did, so I was able to cut that out. As for the milk, oat milk and other alternatives are accessibly to me at my grocery store so that wasn’t a huge inconvenience either. If it isn’t accessible for you, don’t sweat it! Drink your milk. The fact that you’re even reading this and thinking about ways you can make a change is a huge deal. Don’t downplay that. Another very simple (and sort of “college”) meal I love is pasta with tomato sauce. Oh my goodness I could eat that all day. Is it the healthiest option? Definitely not, but it’s something a lot of people eat and don’t even realize it’s vegan. I also LOVE French fries. That’s not a meal, I know, but they’re delicious and plant based!
Clearly my palate is not super sophisticated and I’m not doing the vegan community justice. All the vegan food bloggers are shaking their heads right now. “Pasta and tomato sauce? Did she REALLY just say pasta and tomato sauce???” I know. I’m so sorry. I’ve never been a great cook. Lucky for us, vegan recipes and food bloggers are way easier to come by now! If you search #VeganFood on instagram, you will not be disappointed. You will also probably find some awesome inspiration for kickstarting some ”meatless Monday’s“ or whatever meal you want to designate as your “less animal intake” meal. Again, there is no shame in the food you eat, this is just to get the conversation going for anyone looking to make some sustainable changes.
As always, no change is too small!