Today I have a guest post from fellow foodie and health junkie, Samantha Boswell. I first discovered her blog through the Tone it Up nutrition plan, and have loved her posts ever since! If anyone can make a vegan diet and lifestyle look like something you want to try, or even a processed-free foods diet you want to try, then she can! We all eat far too much processed food and meat. I certainly do and have been trying to eat no meat for at least 2 days a week (and as Thomas is allergic to eggs and was allergic to milk- this meant going vegan 2 days a week). So this post is really helpful to me and anyone else wanting to detoxify their body from eating too much meat and processed foods which are acidic and a leading cause of cancer. So without further ado:
Eating Like a Whole-Foods Vegan – how to eat a vegan diet the most holistic &
nutritious way by Samantha Boswell
Cravings are a real thing friends…..just in case your chocolate loving selves weren’t aware of that already! But at 7 months pregnant I can honestly say I’ve never understood that more than right now; like the time I almost cried when someone bought the last chocolate mousse I had been eyeing in line for 10 minutes (shamefully a true story).
I was most surprised when my usually vegan baby got a craving for steak! (I’ll blame him
alone for that craving). Yes, steak- the big red juicy, medium rare kind of steak. And yes,
I might as well admit it right here, I have given in a (small) handful of times.
Thankfully, in most other craving dilemmas I would turn to some “vegan treats” instead, like almond milk “ice cream”, Daiya “chicken fingers” and some Earth Balance “butter” & crackers
It made me realize something; there’s really more than one way to be vegan.
If you mention the word vegan to a meat-eater, however, you tend to get a lot of
the same responses…
“I could never be a vegan– I’d miss my bacon pancakes with
cheese too much” (actual quote)
“All you eat is tofu?”
“So you basically aim to make foods that aren’t meat look and taste like meat, right?”
As for the last two quotes the truth is, those are just one way of “being vegan,” which is usually based on a long list of stereotypes and misconceptions.
There are a lot of less than natural substitutes for almost every food group out there that vegans can eat and I think they’re wonderful for someone that’s just making the switch to a vegan lifestyle. They help eliminate those initial cravings & make the transition a lot easier.
However, I don’t think that’s the place to stay long term. These products are proof that eating a vegan diet doesn’t necessarily equate to eating truly holistic and organic. I know this may come as a surprise, but there are in fact many vegetable-less vegetarians & vegans out there!
For example, did you know Oreos are vegan!?
Hypothetically, a vegan day could look like this:
Breakfast: Vegan toaster waffles with maple syrup
Snack: Earth Balance “butter” & crackers
Lunch: Veggie “hotdogs” & chips
Dinner: “Chicken” wings & fries
Late Night Snack: “Organic” gummy bears
You can easily see how eating vegan is not always a natural approach to diet and lifestyle!
With my little guy due in February, I’ve been thinking through ways my husband & I can live
more naturally at home – from the products we use to the foods we eat. Our new goal is to be “whole-foods vegans” as much as possible.
As you’re also striving to live a more natural life (based on the fact you’re reading this blog!) I challenge you to do the same. If you’re reading this and you’re not even close to being vegan, I still encourage you to take a similar challenge by eliminating processed & packaged foods from your home.
To help you out, I’ve compiled some of my top tips to becoming a more holistic, natural, &
- Follow the 5 Ingredient Rule- Only buy items with five ingredients or less and make sure
they’re all things you can pronounce and understand!
- Stick to Whole Foods! Find ways to add more green vegetables to your diet -‐ add spinach to your smoothie, have a big salad for lunch, or make vegetables the main feature of a meal. You could also buy a vegetable you’ve never tried & get creative in the
- Ditch the Fake Butters - Instead of purchasing butter replacers, try sticking to healthy
oils -sauté vegetables with olive oil, use coconut oil in your baking, or try raw vegan nut
cheeses to eat with the occasional cracker (a less than 5 ingredient cracker that is :))
- Limit the fake meats – Don’t be fooled into thinking you need soy processed faked
meats in order to get enough protein. Instead, get your protein from beans, legumes,
nuts, & seeds.
- Don’t buy Vegan, Gluten-‐Free Pre‐Packaged Baking Be aware of the ingredients in gluten free items. Most are highly processed, made with questionable ingredients, and high in sugar. Instead experiment with baking your own healthy treats with ingredients you can trust.
Focusing your diet on whole foods like vegetables, fruits,nuts, seeds, beans,legumes, and minimizing processed & packaged goods, will help make your diet much more nutritious. You’ll get the nutrients you need and help to reduce inflammation in your body, the leading cause in most chronic illnesses.
Don’t be fooled by the myth that eating like a vegan equals eating healthy!
*Samantha Boswell is an online health & wellness coach living in Montreal, Canada where
she enjoys visiting markets, drinking chemex coffees, running along the canal, and (slowly)
trying to learn French. For more tips & stories on trying to eat a mostly vegan diet & combating
pregnancy cravings (amongst other symptoms), you can visit her website at samanthaboswell.com
Well Thanks Samantha! Some really great tips there! I for one am guilty of buying processed ‘free-from’ foods when I was starting out! I was also a vegetarian for 11 years, when I was 13- 24 years old, and consumed far too many cheese sandwiches, pizza, veggie lasagne and Linda McCartney pies!- ouch! I’ve wised up now though! Be sure to check out her website, she is full of interesting information and great stories xx
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So what about you? have you ever considered a vegan diet?