Thought I would write about my journey as people keep asking me if I’m vegan or not. I’m not 100% vegan. I am, since December 2017, meat, chicken and mostly dairy-free. I am trying to eat plant-based but I am still hanging on to ethical and sustainable fish and I will claim that my “busy lifestyle” has prevented me from going all the way.
(pic: the minimalist baker)
Going almost-vegan is a decision that I have made based on a few factors. One following Erin Ireland on Instagram, second my friend Genieve Burley and lastly the Rich Roll Podcast. These people have been so influential on encouraging me to think beyond meat. I also fell into an instagram hole one night (via Erin) and started following so many vegan groups and their crusade to help stop climate change by encouraging everyone to eat a plant-based diet. This resonated with me and so do their instagram posts. We can actually make a difference. Erin has the most amazing instagram and her food posts make veganism drool-worthy. Genieve is this beautiful yoga goddess that exudes kindness for all living creatures and if you haven’t heard of Rich Roll, well I suggest you listen to one of his thought provoking pod-casts and you will be changed for the better. As a well-known athlete, he continues to de-bunk the myth that you need meat protein to sustain an active lifestyle.
To be honest I haven’t missed meat that much at all, although I wish I could cook like Erin, because I am still finding my cooking skills sadly lacking. I have found that eating mostly plants has made me a stronger and healthier athlete. AND because I am making a conscious descion to eat more plants, I am less tired, I am leaner and I don’t just shove mindless carbs into my mouth when I am hungry. Also my skin looks better, another added bonus.
(pic: Chris Thorn Photography)
This doesn’t mean that I haven’t slipped. I couldn’t help eating a piece of pepperoni pizza at Stella’s bday party, or that piece of bacon at The Fairmont buffet…once or twice. I also will put cream in my coffee if they don’t have almond milk or an alternative- because I hate black coffee.
Being a woman on the go ALL THE TIME. I find it hard to eat 100% plant based and low starchy-carbs. The salads at the E-Bar in Nordstrom all have chicken on them. Protein packs mostly come with a hard boiled egg. There simply isn’t the greatest options to pick up on the go that contain protein and vegetables unless you want a sandwich or pasta. Since I am terrible at meal-prepping, I often resort to a Glory Juice smoothie and I head across to the Bel Cafe for a kale salad with salmon (wish they had tofu add-ons but they DO have oat milk now 🙂
(pic: Glory Juice)
Simone’s Fuel for Fat Loss program can be done completely vegan and this is a great option if you would like to eat clean, and macro balanced and be impactful on the environment (also really great for meal prepping). When sticking to Simone’s program I eat a ton of tofu and other plant based protein, chickpeas, chia seeds, quinoa etc. I think that as I practice more plant-based cooking, it will become more convenient to leave out the fish. It’s also easier to find fish at a restaurant and harder to get an add on of tofu. It would be SO great if you went out to dinner and there was 50% available on the menu that was delicious and meat free.
I have leaned down around 6-8 pounds since starting Simone’s program in July and my diet is now full of vegetables. I do struggle with weekends and dinners out. When Friday comes around I feel like I need to just relax and not be so strict with my “clean eating”, I’ll indulge in fries or bread and then my body feels terrible and I start all over again. But I am not perfect. So there is that.
At home I am often cooking plant-based for the whole family and since Stella loves tofu and Mark will eat whatever I cook, it seems to work. When I have time, I use both “oh she glows” cookbooks to find some sort of tasty meal. I use Gardein Ground Round for tacos and chilli and we have Beyond Burgers on the BBQ in the summer- no one really notices the difference. When I was in LA recently there was so many more choices in the grocery store for vegans, not so much here. But hopefully even Whole Foods here will step up their vegan cheese selection in the future. Options for vegan cheese that you don’t have to source across town is something that would really change the game. If you are a cheese lover, there are actually great vegan options but they are hard to find, Blue Heron is a great company to try.
I am interested in a plant-based life because you can’t ignore the facts. It’s a kinder way to live, it’s better for the environment and you can get all your nutrients to live an active and healthier lifestyle from plants. No news flash. I completely respect everyone’s choice to do what they want with their life so I am not one to judge. This is just what has been working for me.
My top 5 vegan places in Vancouver are: