I was reading an article that stated there are two reasons why many people decide to "change" their diet and fail: 1. They do not research it, and 2. They jump in with both feet not really understanding what they are doing. When I started researching a Whole-Food Plant Based diet, (WFPB), I read everything I could get my hands on that came from reputable universities and physicians. So I started by first getting rid of all processed foods. No one, I don't care what "diet" you are following, should be eating processed foods. So, that was the first step. I continued to research....next, I eliminated meat....no meat, that includes beef, pork and poultry....I continued to research....got rid of fish.....for two years I was following a diet that consisted of no processed foods and ate nothing that had a face or a mother. Nothing. I felt great!
Now, because my passion is nutrition, I never stopped researching and learning. I have to say, when I found out how BAD dairy was for us, I was heartbroken. From as far back as I can remember, I was taught milk was absolutely essential...there was no option, milk with every meal!! But, now I find out how detrimental it is to our health. My next step was to get rid of dairy...the protein in dairy, casein, feeds cancer cells. OMG...why don't Americans have this knowledge???? Very simple...the meat and dairy associations are extremely powerful people with brilliant marketing skills. The American public only hears what these associations want us to hear. Period. That's the answer, simple but true. So, out with dairy. It was not easy for me because my favorite treats were yogurt and ICE CREAM, not to mention cheese. However, once I researched how much havoc dairy wreaks on our bodies, I couldn't bring myself to eat it anymore. It was difficult, but, after a few weeks, the "want" was gone. I never felt better in my entire life....I never looked back. So, for those of you that are in the "research phase", let me give you some very easy steps to follow that I found on a website called, Project Kale, while you are trying to transition to eating healthy:
- Out with the cow's milk, in with the Almond Milk.
- Out with the coffee creamer, in with the Silk soy creamer, (or drink it black, I'm trying, but haven't gotten there yet)
- Out with the white flour, in with the whole-wheat flour, (or make your own oat flour..oatmeal in a blender)
- Out with the chicken broth, in with the vegetable broth
- Out with the white pasta, in with the whole-wheat pasta
- Out with the oils, in with healthy substitutes such as veggie broth, applesauce or bananas
- Out with the ranch dip, in with the hummus
- Out with the Hellman's, in with my favorite recipe for Vegan mayonnaise (below)
- Out with the white sugar, in with raw honey or real maple syrup
- Out with the cheese sticks, in with the kale chips, celery and carrot sticks
I know transitioning can seem daunting at times, but give yourself time and have patience with yourself. For many people, this takes time. However, once you start eating this way, you will feel so much better in a short period of time. Once you FEEL better and LOOK better, this will keep you motivated to continue.
Please don't forget, there are so many simple, easy recipes available to you...As I said before, I love the websites, straightupfood.com, VegKitchen.com, or just type in Vegan recipes and you will have so many sites to choose from.
This recipe comes from The New McDougall Cookbook:
1 c barley
3 c vegetable broth
2 c broccoli florets
2 c sliced mushrooms
1 c snow peas, trimmed
1/2 c sliced scallions
1/4 c chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c chopped green bell pepper
1 c bean sprouts
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c water
1/4 t ground ginger
1 T cornstarch, mixed with 2 T cold water
- Place the barley and vegetable stock in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour.
- About 15 minutes before the barley is done, place all the vegetables, except the bean sprouts, in a large pot or wok with the soy sauce, water and ginger. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Toss the vegetables with the cooked barley. Serve hot.
This recipe makes about 1 cup.
1 12.3 ox pkg Mori-Nu tofu, (if you can't find that, use a soft tofu)
2-3 T Dijon mustard
2 t distilled white vinegar
lemon juice to taste
agave nectar to taste (I use raw honey)
- In a blender or food processor, blend tofu with Dijon and vinegar until smooth and creamy.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of agave or honey and blend again.
- Taste and add more lemon, honey or Dijon as needed or desired. Chill until ready to use.