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"What Do You Even Eat?" - A Plant-Based Story

January 8, 2018

To me, those other foods are like scented candles.  They look good, they smell incredible, but they are not food, so I don't put them in my mouth.

When people discover that I don't eat meat, eggs or dairy, their first question is always, as if rehearsed, "then what do you even eat?!"

 

I know that some people find it extreme or ridiculous that I don't eat animal products, but it's actually quite easy to avoid those things.  In fact, I have yet to find a single situation in which I:

 

A) Couldn't find anything to eat and was forced to starve.

B) Was riddled with shame for eating something different than everyone else.

or, most importantly,

C) Was overcome with strong, intoxicating temptation to eat the steak/chicken/omelette/Big Mac/ice cream/brownie/sausage in front of me.

 

Recently, a friend of mine had a revelation that people who are impressed by our diet seem to think that we have some unimaginable willpower, when in fact, we don't find these unhealthy processed foods appetizing at all, which is why we don't eat them.

 

Yes, I know that macaroni and cheese is delicious.  I've had plenty of it in my day.  I have gone deep into a charcuterie on many occasions; have reveled in more than a few giant ice cream sundaes; have inhaled hot dogs like a Cony Island contestant and have drunkenly devoured a number of medium rare hamburgers with a fried egg on top.  I don't think that you are a freak or a slob for enjoying these things.

 

However, I know that I don't feel very good after I eat them.

I know they're loaded with fat and calories that make it hard to wear my skinny jeans.

I know these foods are linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other lifestyle-related diseases.

I know that they're addicting and controlling.

I know that these foods are not good for me.

 

That's why I don't eat them.

 

So, back to the real question on hand:

What do I even eat?

In the morning, I have a banana before my workout.  The quick-digesting carbs and sugars are perfect for revving my metabolism before a sweat session, and they're so easy to grab and go.

 

After my workout, I usually have oatmeal.  I either make cold overnight oats with almond milk, PB2 (powdered peanut butter) and a banana, or hot oatmeal with water, flax seeds and date syrup.  These are slower-digesting carbs which keep me feeling full all morning, even after an intense HIIT session.

 

During the afternoon, if I feel like snacking, I'll grab some fruit or some veggies and hummus. Sometimes I go so far as to bake some chickpea chocolate chip cookies, but that's only on the rare occasion when I have time to make them.

 

For lunch, my recent go-to has been a huge portion of vegetable broth-sautéed collard greens, brussel sprouts and butternut squash, topped with Trader Joe's Everything Seasoning. 

 

For another snack, I'll grab a coconut rolled date, some dried mango slices, more fresh fruit or even a smoothie. 

 

Dinner changes day to day.  If I'm feeling really domestic, I'll make a sweet potato lasagna with tofu cheese.  If I just want to slap something together in one pan, I'll make a vegetable stir fry with some tofu or tempeh and brown rice or quinoa.  If I'm really not in the mood, I'll make my husband bring home Panera, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chinese or Sabrosa, all of which have dishes I can eat.

 

For dessert, I love to make banana "ice cream," have a sweet cup of tea, more dried fruit or coconut rolled dates, or even a few Oreos if I'm feeling wild.

Yes, it took time to get used to eating this way, but now it requires no effort at all because you couldn't pay me enough to feel that crappy ever again.

 

To me, those other foods are like scented candles.  They look good, they smell incredible, but they are not food, so I don't put them in my mouth.

What are your favorite plant-based foods? Check out mine below!

 

 

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