So we hopped on the bandwagon – for a month at least. We watched the documentary “What the Health” and that was the final straw for us to eat more plant based foods. I was already a big fan of 100 Days of real Food, but we went a little HAM on recipes like mac n’ cheese so we wanted to see what it would be like for us to just eat plants. It was a gradual process for us. First, we started taking down meat maybe eating it 3 times a week, then we ripped off the band aid. No dairy and no meat. 30 days. Just to see what would happen to our bodies.
Why We Went Plant Based
- We want to be healthier – My family is active but would like to find a lifestyle that would encourage slimmer bodies. We are happy where we’re at, but it would be nice to lose a few pounds and keep them off! We don’t want to live a life where we look forward to “cheat days” we just want to be happy and enjoy food.
- It’s cheaper (?) – I’ll explain why I put the question mark later. I have a big heart for low income families because that’s where I came from. I firmly believe that industries I won’t name, make profit from sick people and therefore will not go out of their way to help people with preventative health. The main victims of this heinous business practice are low income families. Having a healthy diet; which is one of the biggest ways we can prevent illness, should not be hard and should not require a lot of money. If any way is going to be cheap, sticking to the produce section would be it, right?
- We want to raise healthy children – I don’t want my children to have to relearn healthy eating habits because they didn’t learn them when they were young. I know children who have been raised on healthy diets and they grew up never having developed a taste for unhealthy options. I would like to duplicate that, please and thank you.
- Ailments- My Hubby has some heartburn and my children has some eczema. We’d like to see if a plant based diet would resolve that.
- Behavior – Word on the streets is, things like dyes and gluten can affect your child’s behavior. We believe one of our children may have some sensory issues so we wanted to see how things might change in the department.
How We Did It
We went cold turkey. Most people from my understanding usually go vegan after having been vegetarian for a while. Not us! We went from occasional Chicken to Kale in 24 Hours. I hopped on Pinterest and found anything my picky kids would eat. I did make myself a few of rules:
- No Fake meats (except for soyrizo)
- No overly processed food
- Go gluten free the last week
The first week I tried to make a lot of recipes that resembled meat like “nuggets” made from chickpeas and “mac n’ cheese” but honestly, I’d just rather not. The only thing that was legit was this cashew sour cream I made.
The second and third weeks were a breeze honestly. We felt good and just made house favorites without the meat and dairy. Like spaghetti, cereal etc.
The forth week was when we went gluten free. Would you like to know what’s more difficult than going vegan?! BEING FREAKING GLUTEN FREE AND VEGAN. I couldn’t find bread that wasn’t super processed and everything kinda tastes and feels like your chewing cardboard. So we noticed a lot of changes for the good, but some things sucked. I’m a “bad news first” kinda gal so let’s start there!
It got boring for us fast. If we plan to stick this out, we will have to find some flavor variations. After a while everything tasted the same. I think that was my bad though.
I missed tacos and my favorite Mexican foods in general. We live right next to Tijuana, Mexico. The struggle is real when you can’t eat carne asada. I have yet to find a meatless alternative that resembles the real deal and I doubt I ever will. The question is CAN I ACCEPT THAT AS MY EVERYDAY LIFE?! *Stares dramatically into the distance*…… at least salsa molcajete is vegan.
It was labor intensive. Look, if it was socially acceptable to change my name to “maximum results with minimum effort” I would. Lots of food processor usage and roasting and yeah…. No thanks. Again, probably my fault.
It was hard to get the kids on board. They didn’t get why they couldn’t have cheese sticks and pizza. BUT by the end of the month they were saying “WE’RE VEGAN NOW WE CAN’T EAT PIZZA MOM” So. Freaking. Funny to hear from some 4 and 6 year olds.
It was not as cheap as I thought. “Shi-shi poo-poo” grocery stores (*cough cough* sprouts) were racking me up at about $300 bills for 2 weeks’ worth of organic produce and vegan pantry items. I will have to find a solution to that because yeah, no.
That’s about it though! Other than that, lots of awesome things happened.
My son’s behavior improved. He seemed a bit more mild mannered. He was a little less aggressive. And a little less of a freaking psychopath throughout the day. Just a little though. I think cutting the dyes effected his behavior the most.
My kids skin looked great. The day we started back on our regular diet, my baby daughters entire back broke out in a rash. Same with my son on his face. Turns out their bodies don’t like to eat animal products either.
Our digestion was magical. Things were uh, really regular in the baño if you catch my drift.
We lost weight. The grownups have lost at least ten pounds and the kids maintained their already healthy weights.
Allergies. I usually start getting post nasal drip (aka allergies) when the seasons change. I didn’t then magically when I started up again with the cheese and sour cream everything came back! Same deal with my toddler.
We’re gonna do it again.
This time with no time limit, maybe we’ll stay that way forever. I’ve just got to do a couple of tweaks here and there. The thing with going plant based is that the problems I had I can fix. The ones with my family’s health? Not so much. My question is, if it affects my health and the health of my family, then is eating meat and dairy really worth eating? I’ll be diving more into this as time goes on and I have some exciting things in the works surrounding plants based eating!