“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” -Arabian Proverb
I recently passed the one month mark in my transition into eating a more plant-based diet, so I want to give an update. If you missed my original video about my reasons for going vegan, check that out HERE. I’d love to say that it’s been an easy process and smooth sailing the whole way. But honestly, it’s been a real struggle. I mean, I feel better overall. I feel good mentally, and my energy level is amazing!
The hardest thing has been getting used to replacing my meat with other forms of protein, like beans, tofu, and things like that. Although I can cook some beautiful meals that are actually pretty tasty, sometimes a girl just wants some meat. I have asked myself a few times whether I really want to make this change permanently. Maybe questioning myself is just a part of the process.
When I first started I wanted to focus on recipes that were vegan versions of my favorite meals. Most of those didn’t work for me. I learned really quick that I prefer original vegan dishes, if that makes sense. Basically dishes that don’t have elements that are trying to “replace” meat. (Although I’d love to find a recipe for a vegan burger that I actually like. So far no luck.) Surprisingly I’ve had no issues with kicking dairy. I thought letting go of cheese would be a problem. But I’ve been able to find some non-dairy alternatives that work great! Dairy has caused me discomfort for years. It’s never been so bad that I felt led to discuss the issue with my doctor, but it’s definitely been an issue. Replacing those has been a breeze.
One issue that I’ve had to face is the fact that I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m stressed, sad or frustrated. But as you might imagine, eating plant based meals and healthy snacks just don’t cut it during those moments. I want junk to satisfy that frustration. It’s such a bad habit, so lately I’ve been trying to find better ways to deal with my stress that don’t involve food.
The great part about this past month has been trying different recipes! If you watched the video you saw that I planned to do some meal prep each week. Initially I tried, but it was so much more fun to try different things every day (or every other day)! Pinterest has been a great source for vegan recipes! YouTube has been another source of great recipes and vegan grocery shopping videos! I already have a couple of YouTubers that I’m totally obsessed with! And since I love having physical cookbooks to flip through, I decided to buy Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook. Loving it! They have amazing recipes on their website as well!
So with my diet change came new ingredients, some of which I was clueless about. This is why I was so glad when I discovered Thrive Market! The idea of going into a health food store searching for items that I had no clue of even what section they would be in, was intimidating for me. Thrive Market made it so much easier to find the essentials, and more!
If you’ve never heard of Thrive Market, they are an online wholesale organic and healthy food store. What’s really cool is that every item is assigned various “values.” So if you’re on a paleo diet, need gluten-free items, or you want to only purchase from women-owned brands, Thrive Market makes it easy to find exactly what you need! They have over 70 different values that a product can be assigned! You seriously have to check it out! For myself, I choose the vegan value when I search for an item, so that only vegan options will show. I also have the option to just browse all vegan products, which is a great way to find new things!
I was browsing around a local health food store a couple of weeks ago and I ran across some of the items I purchased from Thrive Market. I was happy to confirm that those same items really did cost less at Thrive. After my first two orders, I had already paid for my annual membership in the savings I’d received by shopping with them! Yay me!
Another thing that I love about Thrive Market is that they give back! For every paid membership, they donate a membership to a family who can’t afford one, a teacher, or a vet. So your membership not only pays for itself it savings, but you’re helping another family be able to access organic, healthy, food options! That’s a win in my book! Sign up for Thrive Market today and get a free 30 day membership, 25% off your first order, plus free shipping!
Even though my family hasn’t adopted the plant-based lifestyle, I still love sneaking in vegan friendly foods for them from time-to-time. For movie night popcorn is a must, so I used some of my Thrive Market products to make some stovetop herb popcorn from Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook. This popcorn is one that the kids absolutely LOVE! Of course I can’t share the recipe from their cookbook, but you can purchase yours now from Amazon.com. I promise you won’t regret it!
So there’s been some good and some challenging times during my first month, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel. Everyday may not go perfectly, but I want to keep going, and keep learning. Because I know that this change is good for me and will serve me and the universe well in the future. And most importantly, I know that this is what I really want for myself.
The holidays are coming up! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel! Next week I’ll be starting a series where I test recipes that I want to add to my Thanksgiving meal! Watch to see which dishes make the cut!
Have you made any major lifestyle changes? Tell me about it in the comment section below!
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Til next time…xo, LaToya.