Have you considered incorporating more fruit and vegetables or other plant-based foods in your diet? Does it all feel too hard?
I remember telling someone, who has been vegan for 16 years, that buying chicken at the grocery store was “easier” than sourcing locally, humanely produced chicken from the farmer down the road. She asked me why it was “easier”. I realised that easier, for me, equated with “knowledge”. I KNEW where to find the chicken at the grocery store and I could mindlessly buy it. To source out chicken raised by my local farmer required work and effort on my part. It required that I learn something. The same was true for a plant based diet; I required new knowledge.
That’s where a woman called Deb Gleason comes in. I joined Deb’s program called “Beyond Vegan” (http://www.debgleason.net/beyondvegan) knowing there wasn’t a requirement that I commit to “being vegan” by the end of the six week program. I was curious to see if eating a plant based diet as an endurance athlete would affect my performance. I was curious to see how my body reacted to the change in diet.
With each week and each conversation that passed, I WANTED to move toward plant-based diet. It was “easy” for me to stop eating red meat. I still had chicken and eggs in the house so I ate those but didn’t buy more. Eggs had become a staple breakfast food for me so giving them up was going to be tough (or so I thought). Deb taught me some alternatives (e.g. scrambled tofu) and it was EASY. She took the work and effort out of my learning.
It was tough to give up is cheese. I really (and I mean REALLY) paid attention to what it tasted like, both the taste and texture. I discovered it wasn’t near as tasty as I remembered. How often, when we eat, do we really and truly pay attention to how it tastes? But that’s a topic for another blog!
For me the solution was “Ease” as in easing into plant based eating, giving myself permission to do it gradually and as slowly as I needed to. For me the solution was letting go of the label of “vegan” because for me the label made it strict. If I ate a bit of cheese now and again, then I wasn’t “vegan”.
What I discovered throughout this process is that I lost weight and felt “lighter”. I don’t mean lighter as in the number on the scale, though that was a by-product. I simply felt lighter inside me. No longer did I feel the heaviness of a big steak sitting in my stomach, weighing me down, while my body digested it.
If you want to move towards a plant based diet, consider taking action by:
1) Enrolling in a plant based cooking class
2) Looking for recipes on the internet that use your favourite plant ingredients
3) Finding out how to substitute (e.g. flax egg for baking)
4) Changing only one thing at a time (e.g. no red meat)
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