When I changed how I was eating back in 2011, I’d never even heard the phrase plant-based diet. Weird, right – considering how commonly it’s used now. The only terminology I was familiar with for a diet that didn’t include animal products was ‘vegan’. The first few years I ate a lot of the super tasty ‘processed’ vegan foods, primarily because they were quick and easy to prepare and didn’t require me taking the time to find recipes for healthier options. I like to keep my time in the kitchen to a minimum. Of course I ate my fair share of ‘whole foods’ too… veggies, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts & seeds… but not nearly enough. I was a little bit of a junk food vegan (maybe slightly more than a little)…
I knew from the start that if I wanted to get ALL of the health benefits associated with eating a vegan diet, I’d have to eventually make a shift to eating primarily whole foods rather than so much of the processed stuff. So in early 2015 I strapped on my Google goggles and started looking for quick and easy healthy recipes. I found many in random places online, and I also found a boat load of what looked to be fantastic cookbooks. Unprocessed by Chef AJ was one of the first whole food cookbooks I bought and is still one of my favorites – see my review of her book HERE. (You can also find her on YouTube.)
In my research I quickly became aware of one thing… there are MANY different ways that people eat a plant-based diet. Who knew? I read about things like raw, SOS-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. Now I had heard of the raw and gluten-free diets of course, but what the H@&! was a SOS-free and oil-free diet all about? I thought some oils were good for you (besides being fattening) – why would someone eliminate them entirely? (That’s a whole other post.) So I learned that SOS-free stands for Salt, Oil, and Sugar free, and that there are in fact more and more people eating this way. I’m not here to say which is one is better, but simply to familiarize you with the variations in case you’d like to study them further.The world of plant-based eating is vast, and once you embrace the journey it's pretty exciting and interesting!Click To Tweet
I find all of this diversity fascinating and believe that each person can benefit greatly from educating themselves on these things. In doing so, they can better decide which version of plant-based eating (or combination there of) makes the most sense for them. Personally, I made the decision to cut out about 75% of the salt, oil, and sugar from my diet, which happened fairly easily once I stopped eating so much processed food and learned how to cook without oil. I now eat about 80% whole foods and 20% processed, instead of the other way around. Most noticeable benefits… my energy level is SO much higher throughout the day, and I effortlessly lost (and have kept off) those 10 or so pounds I’d been wanting to get rid of for a long time – yippee! And for us ladies… that lower sodium intake really does make that oh-so-fun time of the month a little more comfortable – never really thought it would, but it does – another win in my book.
The world of plant-based eating is vast, and once you open yourself up to the journey, it’s pretty exciting and interesting. If you have a moment, let me know what you think about all of this – either in the comment section below or via my contact page. I’d love to hear from you!
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