Thursday, March 30, 2017

A journey of eating plants...

"You're starting a plant-based diet? What does that mean, you are going to start eating dandelions?!" said, My Mom (after a "help I can't breath", belly laugh). 

Yes, I have decided along with my family that we will start a plant-based diet in April. I had been a vegetarian from 2010-2014, still eating fish and dairy products. However, all of that came to a dead halt after moving to the south and smelling all this amazing BBQ, with pulled pork sandwiches being my weakness.  All that being said, I have felt drastic changes from the inside of my body both physically and emotionally. My husband and I came to this mutual decision after watching a couple great documentaries (on Netflix of course): 
  • Forks over Knives
  • Food Choices
  • Kids Menu
...just to name a few. We also researched a couple websites showing how several athletes also perform at their best on a plant-based diet. Check out this Website: (vegan).

 "I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look. I enjoy eating more, and I feel great."

— Carl Lewis U.S track 9-time gold medalist 1979-1996 

With Husband's love for fitness and an occupation in the military, this spoke to him, and gave him inspiration to try something new. And I for one love that this is now "his idea" and not just something his crazy crunchy wife decided for the family and is forcing him into. 💆🏽  

As far as our boys go... they are on board with not killing animals. And for now that is a good start. They agreed to much of what that Kid's menu documentary was about, and asks and reminds us all the time of how much sugar there is in all their cereals. Pretty much right now their diet consists of avocados, chicken strips, fries, honey mustard and ranch; pepperoni pizza, apples, peas, tuna, deli meat, cheese, and kid-friendly protein bars. I am not proud of all the items in this list... and I take full responsibility. In the beginning years, infancy-toddlers, they ate sooo healthy, their first meal was an avocado and I made their baby food from scratch, even steamed and skinned a red pepper... do you know how hard it is to remove the skin from a red pepper? I was dedicated,  I was intentional and I felt so good insuring that our boys were getting a good start to life with a variety of fruits and vegetables in their bellies. But then something awful happened... they turned TWO!! (bu-bu-bum!!!) it was like as soon as that happened their taste buds came alive and they could now tell me in half completed sentences that they no longer like anything I make, so I resorted to a lot of cereal and cheese. In my overwhelmed, stressed out, sleep deprived mommy brain, that's all I felt I could do, so I caved. So like most moms I imagine, I became a short order chef, making something different for everyone, and I am sick of it! I figured I can't be hurting them any worse than I already am by only making dishes with colorful fruits and vegetables, instead of bland tan processed meats and cheeses. Plus, isn't that the right of a parent? Raise the child how you want them to behave, then let them rebel, only to find out that all along "mom and dad were right". 

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
-Proverbs 22:6

I am not saying this will be easy, especially omitting most sugars and cheese. For one... my husband is 50% greek so feta is very big staple in our household, as is cereal, (cereal has nothing to do with being greek, but has everything to do with my husband). The important thing for us as a family is to realize is that this is not a "quick fix" to anything, this is a journey and a lifestyle. We believe that it is important to be intentional in all aspect of life and when it comes to food it's so easy to be enslaved to the food we eat. We eat when we're bored, sad, happy, depressed and angry. Instead, the direction I want to take is putting food in it's place... I want my food to work for me. Food is a source of energy. We need energy to wake up in the morning, we need energy to work out, and we need energy to help our brains function at full capacity. Again, this will not be easy, simply because we are all very weak humans and temptation lingers in every kitchen... but we will try our best. 

Feel free to leave comments below with any advice if you are also a vegan, how do you handle the na-sayers? Or if you are a "na-sayer" go ahead and leave your comment as well. I'd love to hear your input! 

Husband's Disclaimer: 
We are not activists, nor are trying to force our lifestyle on anyone, we still enjoy hunting and fishing. We are not perfect, and we love Jesus. -much love, Justine and husband

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