On Health: Update – Whole Food Plant Based Diet

A bit ago I posted a blog called On Health: My 30 Day Trial of the Whole Food Plant Based Diet, I’ve long since completed my 30 day trial of a whole food, plant based (WFPB) diet. I promised you all an update ….

So, here are a few of my take aways from that trial …

(1) Because I eliminated processed foods which are usually loaded with sodium, and oils I found food a lot more bland.  The pro is that I’m learning to cook with a lot more spices and use fresh herbs (I love BASIL and CILANTRO).

(2) It’s hard to be social and be out with friends – food is a HUGE part of our society, culture and the way we bond.  Although there’s definitely a growing population of vegans and people who follow WFPB lifestyles – the food industry is a bit slow in catching up – although it is growing.  However, for the time being – it’s hard to go out dinner and stick to your basic salads – it gets boring after a while – and let’s be honest – when you’re vegan / WFPB most of your friends aren’t willing to compromise and go to that type of restaurant to eat – I literally had a friend say “if I’m gonna spend money to go out and eat, I’m gonna eat meat!”  – well ok then!

There were some options at most restaurants that I could eat – the one restaurant had baked brussel sprouts as an app, Les Enfants Terribles in Montréal had a grilled cauliflower but it came with squid ink (so instead of sending it back I ate the parts that weren’t covered in ink – which as an aside, I’m not particularly fond of).  I usually gravitated toward a salad or quinoa dish – less the cheese – which was hard for me because I LOVE cheese!

Cucumber, cherry tomato, bocconcini and basil salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  I eat cheese from time to time now.

The restaurants I went to that focussed on this way of eating were my favourites — Rawlicious and Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen.  For quick eats I usually grabbed a naked burrito from Fat Bastard, rice paper rolls from my fave Viet / Thai place or some kind of bowl from Freshii.  And, yes I did eat at home as well – but being an empty nester now – I tell you it’s NOT enjoyable cooking for ONE ☹️.  Even A&W is hopping on the band wagon —  they landed the popular vegan Beyond Burger at nearly 1,000 A&W Canadian locations on July 9th – I haven’t tried it yet – if anyone one has – can you comment below how you liked it?

(3) The other thing I found was that I literally needed to eat meat.  At the time I was participating in the WFPB trial I was severely anemic and was taking iron supplements, but I didn’t seem to be getting enough through plants, legumes and beans.  So, my Naturopath asked me to reintroduce beef into my diet for the iron (I went on to eat 2 Sweedish meatballs per day).

(4) To be successful, you need to be planful – you need to make time to meal prep your lunches and dinners.  Most of my breakfasted consists of either an Ezekiel 4:9 bread with homemade almond butter, banana, crushed mixed nuts and hemp and a bit of agave nectar OR a homemade carrot cake oatmeal bowl.  Also, instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed by all of the reductions to my menu, I kept it simple by just continuing to make the things I liked which are already WFPB or modified them in ways that they can be made into WFPB.

(5)  I drank a lot more water than I ever did – I inched my way up to the 72 oz per day – I still drink this about of water per day.

My Fave Cook Books …

I had a few staple cook books that I turned to time and time again — they are: Forks Over Knives (Spring Edition), Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (this is actually quite entertaining) and Rawlicious.  

Conclusion …

I haven’t stuck to the WFPB diet 100% – but I do eat wayyyyy less meat than I used to.  Which is a step in the right direction …

I have cut other things out of my diet all together and have started making a lot of my foods now – fresh – with my Vitamix (blessing – yes, it’s worth the price of a small car!).  I make my own homemade almond butter, fresh strawberry jam, and my own hummus – to name a few.   I gave up dairy milk and switched to coconut or almond milk and I don’t buy wheat bread – I eat sprouted grain bread.

So, despite not being 100% WFPB yet – because of my participation in this trial, I have made much better changes to my diet – and it helped kickstart my eating habits back to the way they once were.  So, I would consider that a SUCCESS!

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Homemade vegan pho 🤩

Do any of you have any favourite WFPB or vegan dishes I could try?

Some people think plant-based diet, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.

~ Caldwell Esselstyn

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