Monday, April 10, 2017

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My Plant Based Experience

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian. ~Paul McCartney

FYI: I've said it before and I'll say it again... I'm not a vegan or vegetarian but I've reduced my consumption. I like to share what I've learned/experienced but I'm not forcing anyone to do what I do. Take what you can and leave the rest. It's sad that I have to put up a disclosure but I'm well aware of how toxic some people can be when it comes to this lifestyle. If you don't care... X out and I'll see in the next one. 

I challenged myself to eat plant based as much as possible for a month. Why? Because the foods I love to eat doesn't always love me back. I was making and trying lots of plant based foods. Especially ones I've always wanted to try but stayed away from.

These types of challenges are not new to me. I did a 30 Day No Meat Challenge a few years back. Check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4. I also recently started my (slow) transition to dairy free.

Farmer's Market kind of day

Going into this eco-friendly lifestyle, I knew the foods that I love to eat would be the hardest part of my journey. Well... I grew up in a Haitian household and meat is eaten with everything. Even the side dishes had some kind of meat in it. I remember one time we had a live chicken and yeah... it turned out to be dinner later on. At a young age I had a feeling that it wasn't right but ain't no way I'm telling my mom that. Pretty sure I'd get major side eyes.

Anyways, as I got older I became more conscious of what I was eating. I shared a little bit of that in one of my recent posts. I started participating in Meatless Mondays almost religiously. Sometimes, I'd go beyond Mondays. In addition to reducing my meat consumption it has also helped my budget. Buying meat is the most expensive food item so I don't mind not having it on my list sometimes.

I've checked out books from the library, watched documentaries, read countless articles, gone to vegan festivals (you can check them out here and here) and visit the farmer's market every chance I get. Whew!!! I still have a long way to go but I'm happy with how far I've gotten on this healthy eating journey.

My bag was overflowETH with fruits and veggies 

Am I the only one that gets so excited when I see how much I saved and can't wait to do it again? I can't be the only one. I heart that feeling. For most of this challenge I prepared meals at home. I think I ate out like once or twice during this challenge. It was at this black owned restaurant that I did a review on earlier this year. On days that I ate at home, well... take a look at what breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks looked like during my experience. 

Breakfast: I normally have smoothies in the morning and on weekends I'll do the hot breakfast thingy. But I most definitely switched things up a bit.

Oatmeal Banana Cookies


Found this super easy recipe in one of the books that I checked out from the library. 

INGREDIENTS: 
-Bananas
-Oatmeal
-Raisins
-Cinnamon

In a bowl mash bananas and oatmeal together with a fork; add a few dash of cinnamon; line a baking dish with parchment paper; shape oatmeal mixture into cookie shape; and put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Bars (also great as a snack)

With agave nectar.... Mmmmm

Local natural food store haul

Lunch/Dinner: This is where I was trying a lot of different brands that make plant based meat substitutes. Some I've tried here and there in the beginning of my journey, but a lot I haven't tried.

Chickpea Sandwich


Smoked Carrot Dog with Veggie Chips

Meatloaf (Gardein) with Kale Avocado Salad and Baked Potato

Snacks: Who says snacks always have to be chips and cookies??? I love how easy it was to make these snacks. Like... super duper easy. 


Kale Chips and I've become obsessed with seaweed lately

Strawberry Pops

Miscellaneous: Just random stuff. 

Made my own dressing using grapefruit juice. 

Vegetable Stew with Rice. Reminded me of this Haitian dish.

Sprinkled this on carrot dog and baked potato. 

Bean and Potato Soup using a few ingredients


There was a lot of gems in this book. Above is a screenshot that tells the difference between omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and more. It reminded me of a post I did a few years back on the different types of eating people practice. 

Whole Paycheck Foods haul

After my experience I can proudly say that I've found my favorite plant based milk. But I later learned that a lot of them have not so friendly ingredients. Ingredients like carrageen and gellan gum. Both are used as thickeners and don't have much nutritional value. Which can cause some health issues if you have a sensitive gut. 

A lot of the organic/natural food companies are adding in these ingredients then using their "amazing" marketing skills to promote their products as healthy. I think I'm going to stop researching. But seriously, I'm not going to stress about everything I eat. Looking back, I've come a very long way and happy with my decisions. I still plan on trying out different brands/varieties as well as making my own (one day not anytime soon). So for now, I'll continue with what I'm doing.  


Now my whole experience was mostly positive but I gotta keep it real. Vegan food doesn't always equal healthy foods. Processed vegan foods do exist. I know we love our junk food. I know I do, but I eat them in moderation. Some of them tasted really really good, others... I'll never ever touch again. YUCK!

Through research, I learned that GMO-Free doesn't mean it's organic and organic does mean GMO-Free. I wasn't too much surprised by that. We still have to read those labels. Especially, if you have food allergies or other health issues. I'm so glad I don't have any major food allergies because I know I'll be breaking all kinds of rules.

Wanna now when my taste buds were the most happiest? When I ate real whole plant based foods in its natural state. Ok, maybe a lil seasoning and cooking here and there but you get my drift. It was the real deal. It felt... HEALTHY. Here's a live look at what my taste buds looked like....


Online I know I can find a community of like minded individuals when it comes to this lifestyle. Offline... I get interrogated. People will ask me questions and I'll give a genuine answer and they will still have excuses. They looking at me like....


and I'm looking at them like...

Then my voice starts to get louder, then theirs too. I start throwing things and them too. Then it turns into one big F*CK You Fest. Ok, ok, I'm kidding about that. But it seriously feels like that's where it's headed.

Check out #CluelessEating. It was a chat I moderated via Twitter with black vegans sharing their experience living a plant based lifestyle. The journey STILL continues...

2 comments:

  1. Enjoy your journey. I do agree the masses may come after you with pitch folks and touches if you think for yourself. LOL.
    I have been try to come up with three basic meals that I will eat everyday. Just to limit the time I spend thinking about food and meal planning. As a would be foodie it has been challenging.
    Like you I expect to get bombarded with negative opinions and criticism when I mention it. LOL.

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    1. Ha! I find that it's usually those who won't even TRY that are the most toxic and it's exasperating. I'm totally enjoying the journey and hoping the same for you as well. We won't let them get to us.

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