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Plant Based Beginnings
Let me begin by saying that you do not need to be a vegetarian, vegan, or plant based eater of any type to be welcome at my blog. I share the things that make me happy here in the hopes that you might find something of value. If you are a meat eater, you are still very welcome here. If you are curious about a plant based diet, or just want some cool information that really can apply to anyone, then I hope you’ll continue along with me here.
My personal journey toward eating a plant based diet is far from finished. I still struggle with adhering to it and not going after the junk food. I still have some dairy products though I am working on eliminating those as well. I’m by no means perfect, but I do believe that a plant based lifestyle can help you feel fantastic. When I am sticking to it I have a ton of energy, and just feel like I know I should all of the time.”Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates Click To Tweet
I started my journey after reading two books. The first, was Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat. You’ve likely never heard of him. But you probably do remember when Oprah Winfrey was sued by cattle ranchers in Texas for her comments about no longer eating hamburgers. Most people remember the lawsuit, but they don’t remember who her guests were on that show. Howard Lyman, the author of Mad Cowboy, was one of them. His books really rocked my world, but it wasn’t enough to get me to stop eating meat entirely. That came after reading Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. I had a package of hamburger in my refrigerator at the time, and it went bad because I couldn’t bring myself to cook it.
I wasn’t really determined to stop eating meat, but I knew I couldn’t eat mass produced meat anymore, and I could’t afford to buy meat that I felt more comfortable eating. So I just stopped entirely. As time has gone on, I’ve been more convinced that I made the right choice, but those two books started my journey.
The Tools I Use
I hate to cook. Really. I hate it. If I ever become insanely wealthy I will pay someone to cook for me. There is nothing about it that I enjoy. But, I still have to do it. I have two teenage boys and for some reason that need to eat everyday. Who knew? So, I try to do everything I can to make the process as painless as possible.
I get recipes from all over the place, but I have a few cookbooks that I really love and reference frequently.
Everyday Happy Herbivore is a cookbook that is great if you are just getting started and like easy recipes. The ingredients are normal things that you can find anywhere, and many of her recipes are plant based versions of things you probably already love. I have several other Happy Herbivore cookbooks as well, because everything she puts out is great.
Plant Powered Families is my current favorite because so far everything I have tried my kids have loved. She has a pudding recipe that my youngest son makes for himself he loves it so much. She has another book out that is on my list.
I have a small kitchen, and I don’t like to keep a lot of appliances and gadgets around. Aside from a good set of pots and pans, and some sharp knives, I don’t have a lot of fancy kitchen items. Eating plant based really doesn’t require a lot of special tools. But there are a few things I can’t live without.
My Ninja blender gets used almost every day. As much as I wanted a Vitamix, it has not been in the budget, so I went with a Ninja and I have not been disappointed. My model has two different pitcher sizes and it has been able to handle anything I’ve put in it. I make smoothies, puddings, a vegan version of ice cream, and so much more.
The Instant Pot is not an appliance that I ever planned on purchasing. But the more I read, the more it came up, and everyone who owned one seemed to love it. So I went for it, and I have not been sorry. This thing can cook anything and it’s nearly impossible to use it incorrectly. It isn’t scary like a normal pressure cooker, and it just cooks everything so fast. You can cook dried beans in no time without having to soak them first! I haven’t even begun to use it to it’s full potential.
Zucchini noodles are all the rage in the plant based community, and there are a bunch of gadgets that can help you make them. I don’t really like one use kitchen gadgets because of the space that they take up. I did have a fancy contraption that allowed me to make a bunch of different size peelings, but it was bulky, hard to clean, and not always user friendly. I ditched it for an OXO Julienne Peeler and I LOVE it! It takes up no space, and gets me the results that I want fast.
Motivation can be one of the most important parts. I have always struggled with eating any type of healthy diet, so finding ways to be inspired helps. I have a few friends who are amazing examples of what a plant based diet can do for your health, and I’m in a lot of Facebook groups on the topic. Groups are also a great source of recipes! I also follow a lot of plant based eaters on Snapchat.
Forks Over Knives is a documentary that has changed a lot of people’s lives. If you have Netflix it has been on there for a long time so it may still be available. There are some amazing examples of what a plant based diet can do in this film.
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and it’s follow-up are also amazing for inspiration. While I’m not a juicer, there’s not denying the health improvements that occurred in these films. They are a testimony to the power of plants.
Unsupersize Me is another great film for inspiration. I’m friends with the creator of the film on Facebook and the results he was able to achieve with Tracy in this film are repeated all the time in his gym. He’s created a cookbook and a Facebook group for people who have seen the film and the transformations are amazing!
Those are my must have tools for a plant based life. Do you have any books, movies, or kitchen gadgets that are must haves for your way of eating?