One day I woke up and decided to be vegan; I’m just that type of person. Sorry if that story is a bit boring. I did not think much about it before and didn’t give myself much of a transition time by going vegetarian first. I do nothing halfway.
I thrive on a plant-based diet made up of whole foods that are minimally processed and preferably organically grown. I enjoy eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, healthy fats and unrefined sugars in my diet.
I eat plants because I love my body, the planet, and other living beings.
With the change in diet, I started to read and research. At first I just wanted to make sure, that my nutrient needs were covered. But then I started to find more and more information about the truth behind the cruel food industry. I was the first in my family and circle of friends to completely quit animal products. The internet was my number one resource. With the knowledge I’ve learned about what animal products do to us, the animals and our earth – I choose not to put anything that has caused suffering in my body. I am convinced that humans can certainly thrive without eating animals – as I can testify from my own journey.
A lot of people want to know “what I am” – vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, high carb vegan. I don´t like to put a label on things, being it a diet or lifestyle or something else. My food philosophy is this: Labels stink. They force a person to define themselves with very rigid terms, and beat themselves up if they suddenly eat something that doesn’t fit that definition. I know I never want to put a label on my diet, but I always encourage you to do what works best for you. If that means ascribing to a certain label, I support your choice!
Healthy eating shouldn’t be complicated.
My diet is different everyday and I am not very strict about rules; as long as I am eating a mostly whole foods vegan diet, it’s all good. But certainly, there are some foods, that I enjoy almost on a daily base: Creamy bowls of sweet porridge topped with an abundance of fresh fruit, huge smoothies with plenty of greens, banana ice-cream in all flavors, colorful salads and giant plates of steamed vegetables and sweet potatoes. I do not restrict calories. I aim to eat high-carb/low-fat because our bodies have evolved to run on glucose.
I avoid refined sugar, which is extremely processed and doesn’t have any nutritional value. I primarily use agave syrup, Medjool dates and stevia. Once in a while if I feel that a recipe needs traditional sugar I will use organic brown sugar.
For cooking I primarily use virgin coconut oil for it´s health benefits. It also has a very high smoke point so it’s great for frying and roasting at high heats. I also use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil if I don’t want any coconut flavour in the recipe. But since I am a coconut lover, I really don´t mind.
I am fortunate enough to be able to have access to, and afford, fresh fruits and vegetables. I understand that is not to be taken for granted. Food access is a serious barrier for many people. Going vegan might not be a realistic option for all but if it is possible for you to do, I highly recommend it.